Thursday, March 10, 2011

Acknowledging the Need for Diversity

SIRC was pleased to attend the meeting "Diversifying Your Board" hosted by Sport4Ontario at the Sport Alliance for Ontario. Diversity is an integral part of the Canadian landscape and that is no more evident than it is in Canada’s biggest city of Toronto. Almost half (44%) of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) residents are not native born to Canada, compared to 16% of the Canadian population as a whole.

DiverseCity onBoard is an organization that currently provides over 1500 qualified and pre-screened visible minority candidates in the GTA who are ready, willing and able to serve on an organization’s board of directors. Their statistics show that visible minority leadership in the GTA is 12.5% for board members in the voluntary sector and 4% of leaders in the corporate sector. To date, their program has linked over 500 qualified visible minorities and new comers to agencies, boards and commissions in the GTA. Because of their reach out ability and achievements, several provincial sport organizations have had the opportunity to use their services, with many more to come.

DiverseCity onBoard is the brain child of the Maytree Foundation who has the support of Citizenship and Immigration Canada. They have been working over the last two years to realize the promise of a stronger and more prosperous GTA through a more diverse leadership.

But first things first. As an organization you will need to establish a baseline acknowledging the need for diversity on your board by asking a few simple questions:
  • Could a homogeneous board composition be limiting creativity, fundraising ability and vision?
  • Are the demographics of your community being served?
Diversity does matter in business and in the business of sport, no matter how big or small you are. It assists in bringing a perspective in decision-making which leads to making better decisions, helps legitimize the mandate of an organization, and builds social capital and cohesion among diverse populations.

For more information on any of these topics please contact SIRC.

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