Program aims for greater ethnic diversity on boards

February 25, 2015

One in five Canadians is an immigrant, and in 15 years visible minorities will make up nearly a third of this country’s population. But the unelected bodies that hold sway in a community, the boards of public institutions and agencies, typically have significantly fewer immigrants and visible minorities than might be expected given their share of population.

How to change that situation is a question that has preoccupied Ratna Omidvar, executive director of the Global Diversity Exchange at Ryerson University. Most of the leaders she lobbies say they want to see change, but don’t know how to achieve it.

“I would say the spirit is willing, but often it’s the flesh that’s weak,” Ms. Omidvar said.

This week Ms. Omidvar announced the national launch of a program aimed to break down the barriers of the old-boy network by identifying, training and selecting qualified board candidates who are also either immigrants or members of a visible minority group.

By Joe Firesen, Globe and Mail | Read Full Article