Beyond Diversity, Towards Inclusion

Beyond Diversity, Towards Inclusion

For five days starting February 1, CBC Radio’s Metro Morning ran a series focusing on how Toronto is moving from just being a collection of diverse individuals to using those diverse backgrounds towards truly inclusive thinking. Host Matt Galloway interviewed the CEO of RBC, the Deputy Chief of Police, and those who worry that we take our diversity for granted.

If you and I think the same, then one of us is redundant…. Diversity is what leads to better problem solving and more creative ideas that can help build an organization and build a business. People should be seeking out more diversity, not settling for less.

Tim Penner, Procter & Gamble Canada

Beyond Diversity 1

Courtney BettyIn the series opener, Matt Galloway spoke with Toronto lawyer Courtney Betty, chair of the Diversity Business Network. Courtney discussed:

  • how important diversity is to the city moving forward, and
  • who is doing good work in terms of really bringing different perspectives together in Toronto to steer the city in different directions.

Courtney also talked about Toronto’s Pan Am Games diversity clause and how an economic driver can have a positive impact on diversity.
Listen (runs 7:23)

Beyond Diversity 2

Gordon NixonMatt Galloway spoke with the President and CEO of RBC, Gordon Nixon, and with Zabeen Hirji, RBC’s Chief Human Resources Officer.

Gordon discussed how diversity is an RBC pillar and key business driver. You should look at diversity through two lenses: it’s the right thing to do, and it’s a tremendous business opportunity.

Zabeen HirjiZabeen discussed building on Diversity 2.0, which moves us from diversity to inclusion. Inclusion is how you make the diverse mix work for you, how you turn it into value for clients, employees and for the organization. Diversity shouldn’t just focus on differences, but on shared values – making it a world of “ands”, not “either/or.” It’s important to have structural incentives in the organization, and to embed the pillar at all levels. Selling diversity means helping people to see it as an economic opportunity and imperative. Is inclusion just an inevitable way forward? Zabeen is optimistic that we’ll get it right by the next generation.
Listen (runs 8:28)

Beyond Diversity 3

Peter SlolyMatt Galloway spoke with Peter Sloly, Deputy Chief of Toronto Police Service. The TPS is being recognized as being aggressively proactive for diversifying its force and its command structure. Deputy Chief Sloly believes that Toronto has it right when it comes to diversity. We have much to offer to other cities about how a diverse city should work and how inclusiveness should be talked about. The TPS is at the point now of challenging itself through “difficult discussions.” This will mean challenging business processes, and business leaders to allow diverse voices to contribute to basic level decision making and higher level strategic planning.
Listen (runs 7:03)

Beyond Diversity 4

Beth WilsonMatt Galloway spoke with Beth Wilson, managing partner of KPMG’s Toronto office, about taking diversity beyond multiculturalism to full inclusion. Moving the organization towards diversity and inclusion is a work in progress and is evolving. KPMG believes that good diversity management is good people management. KPMG encourages staff to form grassroots groups with similar interests, as they define them, giving people in the organization the space to be different. Corporate leaders see the benefit of higher engagement of their workers and that moving diversity and inclusion forward benefits the organization. Beth commented that the financial sector has been at the forefront of this work, although progress still needs to be made in C-level executives and the boardroom.
Listen (runs 6:39)

Beyond Diversity 5

Tim PennerMatt Galloway spoke with Tim Penner, the president of Procter and Gamble Canada. What does P&G do to animate and elevate the idea of diversity in the company? Tim discussed how it matters that they tap into all strengths available to business today. Tim stated: “If you and I think the same, then one of us is redundant.… Diversity is what leads to better problem solving and more creative ideas that can help build an organization and build a business. People should be seeking out more diversity, not settling for less.”

Elaine NewmanMatt also spoke with Elaine Newman, the CEO of Global Learning. Elaine discussed how change management around integrating diversity takes time and how to build a successful strategy. Two critical steps are to know what you want to do and have it communicated from the organization’s leadership. It’s about engaging all employees, making sure that they are comfortable being their whole selves at work. To meet the needs of their workforce, it is important for organizations to conduct a diversity profile of their employees, to fully understand their needs and makeup.
Listen (runs 12:52)



A final thought, from Maytree’s Ratna Omidvar, as she outlines why organizations need to think strategically about enhancing the diversity of their leadership.