Replicating the DiverseCity onBoard program

Replicating the DiverseCity onBoard program


There are solid arguments in favour of ensuring that governance bodies in the public and nonprofit sectors reflect the rich diversity of our society. Hundreds of thousands of public and nonprofit boards around the world oversee and deliver a wide range of both volunteer and business activities in our daily lives.

The benefits of diverse leadership include improved financial and organizational performance, enhanced innovation and creativity, and strengthened cohesion and social capital. These benefits extend to diverse leadership in governance – a growing field of study and a potentially powerful initiative for your community.

Yet, while cities around the world are becoming more and more ethnically and racially diverse, there often is a striking lack of diversity at the top of corporate, public and nonprofit organizations. This is a missed opportunity.

In the Greater Toronto Area, DiverseCity onBoard addresses this challenge of lack of diverse leadership with a proactive matching service that identifies, trains and facilitates placements of highly qualified candidates in board roles in public and nonprofit agencies, boards and commissions.

To help you set up your own program, we have created a replication toolkit.

This toolkit answers the following questions:

  • How can I connect qualified members from under-represented communities to agencies, boards, commissions and nonprofits?
  • What can I learn from Maytree’s DiverseCity onBoard program?
  • Where can I find up-to-date resources and sample tools?

For more resources on governance, you can find links to useful publications, documents and links to websites.

Reason for Replication

In 2011, DiverseCity onBoard was selected from over 400 international proposals to receive second prize in the Intercultural Innovation Awards sponsored by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and BMW Group.

The award opened up a new chapter for DiverseCity onBoard and Maytree. It supports the replication of DiverseCity onBoard nationally and internationally and has resulted in a growing network of 21 cities working together to develop similar programs in countries around the world.

There is interest in adapting or replicating our program expressed, among others, from organizations in Auckland, Atlanta, Barcelona, Berlin, Birmingham, Boston, Calgary, Cologne, Copenhagen, Dublin, Hamilton, London, Montreal, New York, Oakland, Ottawa, Stuttgart, Sydney, and Vienna.