It is a widely known fact that in Canada, the representation of diverse groups on boards is low. According to a 2016 report, visible minorities make up 22.3% of the total population yet only 4.5% are directors at FP500 companies (Canada Board Diversity Council, 2016). Various studies have also highlighted that this under-representation contributes to economic and social exclusion.
A recent study by Ryerson’s University’s Diversity Institute finds that while women in general are gaining ground in board representation in specific sectors, racialized women are having a harder time than non-racialized women. And, in general, racialized people (commonly referred to as visible minorities) are almost invisible in corporate leadership roles, even in cities like Toronto where more than half the population is racialized.
The report concludes that while there has been progress in the representation of women, there is still much more work to be done to increase representation on boards for other diverse groups.
Which is why organizations like the newly launched Synergy on Boards Consulting Group (SBCG) have a critical role to play. SBCG is a company that aims to support, mentor and train candidates from the Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) community, thus ensuring that organizations have access to executive, ‘board ready’ candidates from this specific population.