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New research report finds more visible minorities in leadership positions

The leadership of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is more diverse than it was three years ago, reveals a new research report.

The third annual DiverseCity Counts report, produced by the Diversity Institute at Ryerson University on behalf of DiverseCity: The Greater Toronto Leadership Project, finds that 14.5 per cent of leaders in the GTA are visible minorities (relative to 49.5 per cent of the population studied) which is an overall increase of eight per cent from 13.4 per cent in 2009.

DiverseCity Counts: A Snapshot of Diverse Leadership in the GTA tracks over 3,000 leaders across the corporate, public, elected, education and non-profit sectors. The 2011 report results show that year after year government agencies, boards and commissions (22 per cent) and the education sector (20 per cent) consistently out-perform other sectors. Elected officials are the third most diverse group of leaders at 19 per cent – the corporate sector is the least diverse at 4.2 per cent.

“Perhaps the reason that the public sector typically has more visible minority leaders is the higher level of transparency and scrutiny that inspires action,” explains Wendy Cukier, the lead author and founder of the Diversity Institute at Ryerson University. “Organizations that make a point of tracking and reporting on their results tend to have higher levels of diversity. What gets measured gets done.”

Over the three-year timeframe, elected officials show the largest growth across sectors studied from 16.1 per cent in 2009 to 19 per cent in 2011 – an 18 per cent increase.

This year’s report also found that just 6.8 per cent of leaders (judges, governing bodies and law school leaders and law partners and crown attorneys) in the GTA legal sector are visible minorities compared to 14.4 per cent of a talent pool of practising visible minority lawyers in the GTA. While 6.6 per cent of partners at the biggest law firms are visible minorities, 8.3 per cent of judges are visible minorities.

“In terms of the overall results we are glad to see movement in the right direction. But we recognize that at this pace it will be 30 years before our leadership catches up with our demographic reality,” says Ratna Omidvar, President, Maytree, who together with John Tory is co-chairing the DiverseCity Project. The full report can be found at www.diversecityoronto.ca/diversecity-counts.

Posted: Jul 1, 2011

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