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Ritu Bhasin: Eliminating barriers to equality

Seven people whose work toward eliminating barriers to equality and discrimination has had a significant impact on the lives of Torontonians were recognized recently.

David Abbott, Aboriginal Affairs Award; Luke Anderson, Access Award; Dr. Rosemary Moodie, Anne Rochon Ford and Valerie Mah, Constance E. Hamilton Award; Keisha Williams, Pride Award and Ritu Bhasin, William P. Hubbard Award for Race Relations.

Ritu Bhasin is a lawyer and social entrepreneur who has spent almost 20 years working to eliminate racism and prejudice.

For 10 years Bhasin practised civil litigation, human rights, and constitutional law on Bay Street and then she broke new ground in the Canadian legal profession by becoming one of the few people of colour to serve on a senior management team, focusing on talent management for law students and lawyers. She worked tirelessly during this time to advocate and promote diversity and inclusion within her law firm and across the legal profession in Toronto and Canada.

In 2010, Bhasin completed her Executive MBA while continuing to work full-time in her demanding Bay Street job.

She then took a leap of faith and founded her own consulting firm. The firm focuses on advancing diversity and inclusion within organizations, and coaching diverse professionals to find success. Bhasin works with a range of world-renowned organizations, including law firms, corporations, banks, academic institutions, professional associations, and non-profits.

Through her work, she brings together people to become actively involved in the elimination of racism and other forms of prejudice.

Bhasin has previously taught in the Executive Program at the Rotman School of Management, and in diversity strategy in not-for-profit governance.

Additionally, she was on the instructing team that contributed to the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance’s 2011 DiverseCity Fellows Program. She contributes to many of Toronto’s community organizations including CivicAction and the Maytree Foundation, and is a mentor to dozens of emerging leaders from racialized communities, including youth from Toronto’s Regent Park community.

Bhasin has been a member of the Pan Am Games Toronto 2015 Employment Advisory Council, the City of Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square Board of Management and the Habitat for Humanity Canada Board of Directors.

She has previously served on the Rotman School of Management’s Values Initiatives Working Group, the Law Society’s Equity Advisory Group, the Board of Directors for the YWCA Toronto, and Rotman’s Business Edge Mentorship Program for Women In Business.

She is a recipient of numerous awards and distinctions, including the 2011 Gordon Cressy Leadership Award from the University of Toronto and the University of Western Ontario’s Young Alumni Award for 2013.

Posted: Jan 4, 2015

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