The first annual research report measuring diversity among leaders in the GTA analyzed a total of 3,257 leaders in Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Markham and Richmond Hill including elected officials, public sector executives, members of agencies, boards and commissions, as well as a sample of the largest voluntary and business organizations as determined by revenue.
The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is one of the most diverse regions in the world. In 2009, about 40% of its population is comprised of visible minorities. Ensuring that the leadership of the region reflects the population’s diversity has important social and economic implications.
The authors looked at a sample of elected officials (federal, provincial, municipal, and School Board Trustees), the public service (City of Toronto and Province of Ontario), the corporate sector (large companies by revenue located in the GTA), agencies, boards and commissions (municipal and provincial), the voluntary sector (large charities and foundations), and the educational sector (schools, colleges and universities).
The results indicated that, as of March 2009, visible minorities are under-represented in the senior-most leadership positions in the GTA. Just 13% of leaders we analyzed are visible minorities.
Among elected officials, visible minorities are best represented at the provincial level. Overall, eight of 35 MPPs (23%) in the targeted municipalities are visible minorities, compared to 21% of School Board Trustees, 14% of federal MPs, and 10% of Municipal Councillors.
Among public servants in provincial ministries and municipal government departments, visible minorities represent only 4% of senior employees in regional and municipal governments but 8% of police executives and 10% of provincial Deputy Ministers and Assistant Deputy Ministers.
In the corporate sector companies we examined, visible minorities account for only 5% of senior executives and 3% of board members. Among the largest charitable organizations and foundations we examined, visible minorities represent 8% of executives and 14% of board members. There were no school boards with visible minority directors (although this changed in June 2009 as a result of a recent appointment) but 19% of principals and vice-principals in the City of Toronto District School Board are visible minorities. Visible minorities make up 20% of college executives and 11% of university executives, and represent 27% of college boards and 24% of university boards in the GTA.
In addition to these sectors, the report also examined the number of visible minorities sitting on City of Toronto and Province of Ontario agencies, boards, and commissions. Thirty-one percent of the City of Toronto’s municipal agency appointments are visible minorities, but visible minorities comprise only 11% of the appointments to the Ontario agencies we examined. It is also interesting to note that, in all sectors except the corporate sector, boards of directors are more diverse than senior executives.