The reluctance of Canadian businesses to collect race-based data needs to end

posted on January 6, 2021

December 25, 2020

By  and , The Glode and Mail

One of the few bright spots of 2020 is that business leaders have awoken to the power of CEO activism. They have come together to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, while dismantling the pandemic of bias and anti-Black systemic racism.

Out of a commitment to remove the barriers faced by Black Canadians and safeguarding the social and economic health of women, who have disproportionately been affected by the pandemic, The Prosperity Project and the BlackNorth Initiative were born. These initiatives are driven by the goals of equity, prosperity and eliminating racial barriers. This is not only of social importance, but a business imperative.

In Canada, “95 per cent of institutional investors said strong diversity and inclusion metrics have a positive impact on a company’s share price,” according to research released by PR and marketing consultants Edelman last month. But where are the metrics?

One of The Prosperity Project’s five initiatives is to collect gender diversity data on the representation of women in leadership roles in Canada’s largest organizations, including intersectional data (women who also identify as BIPOC and/or living with disabilities). Signatories of the BlackNorth Initiative’s CEO Pledge have agreed to collect and report employee data by race also.

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