DiverseCity Counts: The Importance of Diverse Leadership in the Greater Toronto Area

The Greater Toronto Area plays a pivotal role within the Canadian economy. It is also one of the most richly diverse communities in the world. There is enormous potential to take advantage of diversity, according to DiverseCity Counts: The Importance of Diverse Leadership in the Greater Toronto Area.

The report, from The Diversity Institute in Management and Technology at Toronto’s Ryerson University, reviews various studies examining the benefits of diverse leadership and why Toronto organizations should make the most of a diverse population.

The main points of the report include:

The imperative of Diversity to Canada

  • A talent shortage is looming in Canada because of an aging population, low birth rates and global competition for skilled workers.
  • Visible minorities account for a growing proportion of the Canadian population.
  • By 2011, all labour force growth will come from immigration.
  • In 2006, 30 per cent of all visible minorities in Canada were Canadian-born and 66 per cent were immigrants.
  • There are costs associated with under-utilizing the skills of visible minorities and immigrants.

The Under-Representation of Visible Minorities in Leadership Roles

  • In 2005, only 44 per cent of corporate boards had a minimum of one visible minority director.
  • In 2006, 7.8 per cent of all Members of Parliament were visible minorities.

Importance of Diversity in Leadership

  • The benefits of diverse leadership include: improved financial and organizational performance; linking domestic and global markets; recruiting from global and domestic labour pools; creativity and innovation; and social inclusion.
  • Financial performance may be enhanced by diverse leadership and diversity supports innovation and creativity.
  • Diverse leaders are able to respond better to Canada’s increasingly multicultural markets.
  • Diverse leadership is more likely to attract and retain a diverse workforce.

Opportunity for the Greater Toronto Area

  • In 2006, visible minorities comprised 16.2 per cent of Canada’s population and 40 per cent of the GTA population.
  • Visible minorities represent 50 per cent of Peel’s population, 47 per cent of Toronto’s population, 37 per cent of York’s population, 17 per cent of Durham’s population and 13 per cent of Halton’s population.
  • In Toronto, visible minorities are expected to comprise 51 to 54 per cent of the population by 2017.

Read the full report: DiverseCity Counts: The Importance of Diverse Leadership in the Greater Toronto Area.