Friday, August 30, 2013

New Ryerson B-school dean champions entrepreneurship

by Jennifer Lewington
Originally Published: August 30th, 2013

When Steven Murphy arrived earlier this month as the new dean of the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University, he joined its Department of Entrepreneurship and Strategy as a tenured professor.
His departmental affiliation signals his aspirations for the business school to play an even bigger role in helping students – whatever the program of study – interested in starting a new venture.
“I have done quite a bit of work on the linkage between organizational behaviour and entrepreneurship,” says Prof. Murphy, who previously was associate dean, research and external, at Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business. “There is a natural fit for me because of the things we would like to accomplish [at Rogers].”
Professors at the business school already provide advice to the university’s high-profile Digital Media Zone, a multi-disciplinary incubator space for young entrepreneurs. Prof. Murphy sees scope to deepen the school’s relationship with DMZ and other discipline-related “zones,” such as fashion and design, emerging on the downtown Toronto campus.
“It’s incumbent on us as a business school to step up and say we would like to play a larger role in helping to shape those businesses into being the very best they can be,” he says. In the coming year, he hopes to develop more business courses tailored for would-be entrepreneurs who, even if not pursuing a formal business degree, want to learn the fundamentals of finance, accounting and taxation.
“This faculty has a long history of reaching out and offering the non-business student some of the basic business courses,” says Prof. Murphy, appointed for a five-year term. “What we have to do is think about how you slightly repackage those as entrepreneurship courses.”
On other fronts, Prof. Murphy aims to enhance the research profile of the school and strengthen its graduate programs. He cites the master of management science, a thesis-based graduate degree, as a program ripe for redesign given industry demand for those with the skills to analyze complex issues. But he emphasizes that “stimulating the research agenda” cannot come at the expense of teaching. “It is not an either-or,” he says. “It is how do you do both?”
Online recruitment fair
Canadian business schools will have a significant presence at a global online recruitment fair on Sept. 10 and 11 sponsored by the Graduate Management Admission Council, which manages the standardized GMAT entrance test for graduate business and management programs.
A total of 94 business schools have signed up as exhibitors, with seven from Canada: Dalhousie University, McMaster University, Queen’s University, Simon Fraser University, HEC Montreal, University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto. Participating schools will have virtual “booths,” with an opportunity to refresh material over a 12-month period.
In a new format designed to showcase potential study destinations by region, GMAC invited four geographically representative Canadian schools (UBC’s Sauder School of Business, HEC Montreal, U of T’s Rotman School of Management and Queen’s School of Business) to participate in an online “auditorium” session to sell Canada as a top choice for prospective students.
“It is very encouraging for us as a group of Canadian schools to know that big organizations are starting to understand there is a real value for candidates to consider Canada,” says Niki da Silva, director of recruitment and admissions for the full-time MBA program at Rotman.
In their pitch about Canada, the panelists from Canada will highlight the overall quality of business education here, the student experience, the recognition by others of Canada being ranked fifth on Forbes Magazine’s best countries for business in 2013, as a stable economy and, not least, with friendly immigration rules (by global standards) that permit graduates to work here for three years after earning a graduate degree.
“The mistake that a lot of our schools make when recruiting international students is to assume they know why Canada is so fantastic,” says Ms. da Silva. “In our experience, they don’t.”
In addition to exploring potential schools, would-be MBA candidates can look at presentations on the GMAT exam and sign in to an online “lounge” for networking. In 2012, the fair drew almost 3,000 participants from 120 countries.
Interested students can register until Sept. 10 at
Professor honoured
A professor at Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business has been honoured for his work on aboriginal issues.
Prof. Mark Selman developed Beedie’s executive MBA in aboriginal business and leadership in consultation with First Nation, Metis and Inuit leaders, with the program`s first class of 25 students scheduled to graduate in spring, 2015. The program, a combination of in-class and distance learning, is designed for managers and entrepreneurs of aboriginal ancestry as well as non-natives who want to improve their capacity to work with aboriginal communities.
Prof. Selman received his “business champion” award from the Industry Council for Aboriginal Business, which honours a non-aboriginal who demonstrates leadership and best practices in aboriginal engagement and business relationship development, according to a press release from Beedie.

Read the original article from The Globe and Mail here: 

FEATURE: Discrimination against women in IT all in the mind?

by Brandon Gregory
Originally Published: August 30th, 2013

In Africa, men seemingly dominate the fields of software programming, IT, business analysis and consultancy. Charlene Tshitoka and Chimwemwe Sichali of ThoughtWorks ask whether women on the continent feel they have more to prove and what role African men play in preventing their daughters from studying and entering IT professions.
“At ThoughtWorks, I’ve has the unusual experience for a software developer of participating in meetings in which members of the client discuss with our team the project’s progress and, jointly, trigger new ideas. In the process, the only discrimination I’ve experienced has been in my own mind,” said Tshitoka, originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
“I find myself thinking that I don’t deserve to be talking here and that what I say is not going to be as good as when a man says it. I have to work all the time on overcoming that fear.”
Tshitoka was one of 11 Congolese learners to win a Tshwane University of Technology scholarship in Pretoria. She married an electrical engineer. “He’s a geek too, so he understands my passion for technology,” she said.
She said she always got support from men within her profession, but had to overcome considerable resistance from her older brothers, who told her that no man would be romantically interested in a woman who spends her time on “technical stuff.”
However, Tshitoka’s success has changed their perception, but some of her brother’s daughters still believe studying within a ‘male orientated’ field such as computer science will negatively impact their chances at being “exemplary women in society”.
Sichali’s story is different in that she did not experience any family discrimination or resistance against her interest in IT. However, some of her friends considered her career choice as odd.
She initially considered medicine or teaching, but changed her mind upon discovering there was a lack of females within the IT world. While she did not experience gender discrimination from her clients, some of her male counterparts were hesitant regarding her capabilities.
She refers to an incident involving an interviewer, whom she had to put at ease through demonstrating she understood the technology he was talking about in the interview.
“It was interesting that he did not take for granted that I had the credentials for a job I applied for and for which I had submitted my CV and references,” said Sichali.
Sichali believes the issue of African men preferring stay-at-home wives, which is raised often, needs to be addressed from a perspective of balancing work and life, because she manages as a mother, a wife and keeping abreast of technology.
“There’s no need for self-sacrifice. For instance, had I not moved from Malawi when my husband took a job in South Africa, I wouldn’t have encountered ThoughtWorks and experienced an entirely new way of developing software as well as managing projects,” said Sichali.
She added: “Instead of the layers of hierarchy I’ve been used to in other organisations, at Thoughtworks I am part of a much flatter structure, a much more distributed leadership style. ThoughtWorks also consciously chooses a diverse culture, all of which is extremely empowering – for everyone.”
Sichali organised a forum in Malawi for women interested in IT, and are introduced to new open source technologies. The forum has grown to include a number of other African countries.

Read the original article from Human IPO here: 

At Marriott and other firms, HR becomes increasingly strategic

by Sarah Halzack
Originally Published: August 25th, 2013

Marriott International’s new gaming app, Xplor, sounds like a straightforward marketing initiative.
The free program, which launched in August, allows players to travel the world on the screens of their smartphones and tablets, solving puzzles and answering questions as they vie to win Marriott Rewards points. (Naturally, their avatars rest up at virtual Marriott hotels around the world.)
But the development of the game was a collaborative effort, led by not just the firm’s chief marketing officer, but also its chief human resources officer, David Rodriguez. And there’s a reason why the Bethesda-based hospitality giant found it made sense to bring the teams together for this project.

“Every customer is a potential employee, and every employee is a potential customer,” Rodriguez said.
Marriott’s move to bring its human resources department in closer collaboration with another area of the company, coupled with its mind-set about the crossover between marketing and recruitment, are examples of a trend that experts say is taking hold at many businesses. As the competition for top workers intensifies and as technology transforms the ways recruiters can reach them, some employers are trying to enhance their talent operations by more strategically aligning or entwining that team with other divisions of the business.
“There’s a really big trend for heads of HR and heads of recruiting to partner with marketing to make sure that the messaging — the story that’s being told about the company’s products, the company — is consistent,” said Josh Bersin, principal and founder of talent consulting firm Bersin by Deloitte.
The talent game
The idea for Marriott’s Xplor app was rooted in an earlier social media game dreamed up by the human resources division. My Marriott Hotel is a Facebook game they launched in 2011 that was meant to attract talent by showing players what it was like to work at the hotel chain. Over time, it drew players from 138 countries, some of which weren’t even home to a Marriott hotel.
The broad reach led Marriott to wonder: “What do we do with this?”
Soon, the marketing and human resources divisions were working as partners to figure out how gaming could be further leveraged to trumpet both the company’s consumer brand and employer brand.
As Marriott competes for talent and customers, especially in emerging markets, “You really don’t have the luxury of being clunky,” Rodriguez said. “You really have to move faster. And to do that you must have much better teamwork inside the organization.”
With that goal in mind, Marriott’s human resources team has aligned with many different divisions across the company. The company has a human resources staffer embedded in every department so they can better translate business needs into smart hires.

“They’re not guessing what the issues might be, they’re living the issues with the rest of the business,” Rodriguez said.
Social media skills
While Marriott is working to align human resources with virtually all of its other departments, experts say it seems especially common for employers to move to integrate their talent operation with marketing.
In today’s digital world, there are increasing similarities between what these departments do: Each is more frequently relying on analytics to understand its audience. And now that recruiters are constantly on the hunt for “passive job seekers,” they are often in outreach mode, much like their counterparts in marketing.
“It’s no longer enough to be a compensation expert or just to be a rewards expert,” said Paul Rubenstein, a leader in the talent practice at consulting firm Aon Hewitt. “You have to be able to really articulate the value proposition of working at your company.”
That marketer-style pitch has not always been an essential skill in the human resources staffer’s tool kit. And so to close that gap, some organizations are bringing those operations into closer cooperation.
Social media has been another key factor fueling the shift. Even a single tweet or Facebook update can become a powerful tool that can at once shape whether people want to buy something from you and whether they want to work for you.
For example, Sheryl Sandberg’s foundation,, learned this the hard way two weeks ago when one of its staffers posted on Facebook that the group was looking for an unpaid intern. A firestorm of criticism quickly ensued in the post’s comments section and in the blogosphere, where critics scoffed over the idea that an organization that promotes women’s advancement would ask them to work for no pay. After the dust-up, the organization said that itwould compensate its interns going forward.
“There’s as much brand reputation to be protected through how we recruit as there is in delivering customer service,” Rubenstein said.

Read the original article from The Washington Post here: 

IT Industry needs a woman’s touch

Originally Published: August 30th, 2013

The IT industry is one of the world’s fastest-moving sectors where new developments and technological advances happen at an incredible rate.
But where business has moved forward in appointing women to key managerial and executive roles, it seems technology companies are lagging behind. The ratio of males to females working in the IT sector is nearly four to one – so why is it that the figures just don’t compute?
According to a study by e-skills UK, women account for 45% of the entire UK workforce, however only 19% work in the IT industry.
Gender imbalance is common across IT-related education courses as only 15% of acceptances to computing degree courses are female and the proportion of females taking computing at secondary school level remains low at only 9%.
Aberdeen-based Skibo Technologies Ltd employees Holly Paterson and Faye Summers know first-hand how tough the IT industry can be for women – but they wouldn’t have it any other way.
Faye currently works for Skibo in desktop support and procurement. The Robert Gordon University graduate works in-house with global integrated energy company Hess – one of many firms which use Skibo’s on-site support services. Although Faye studied computing subjects at school, a career in IT was not part of her original plan.
Faye said: “A career in IT was never something I had thought about before but through my years at school my career path seemed to veer in that direction. It wasn’t until I went to university and found I was the only female in my entire degree, it hit me that there could be a lack of women in the IT industry.
“I was always aware that IT was a job option but to be honest I don’t think it was promoted as much as other careers. Some people are still shocked when I tell them what it is I do as I think they still see it as more of a man’s role.
“I think there is still a stereotype when it comes to IT and that may be why some women might not consider a position in the industry. I know first-hand how intimidating it can be walking into an office and being the only female but I also believe the intimidation goes both ways. From my own experience, it can take a bit of time for men to feel at ease especially working with maybe only one or two females in the same office.”
Stepping into her role as sales and marketing manager in 2012, Holly Paterson brought with her several years of experience working in business development in the IT sector. Her main focus is not only to generate new business for the company, but to ensure high levels of customer satisfaction and to foster strong, long-lasting relationships with clients.
Holly says that schools need to play a role in promoting IT as a career option, but the industry itself can also help by celebrating the success of its female pioneers.
She added: “We definitely need more female role models. Young men have the likes of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey and his contemporaries who launched Twitter, but there are not many high-profile women to look up to. Hopefully that might change now that we have Martha Lane Fox, who was behind, appointed UK Digital Champion by the government.
“I think the perception of jobs within IT may also influences females. There is a notion that IT professionals spend their days hidden away in a room with only their computers for company, when it couldn’t be further from the truth. IT jobs, especially jobs with outsource companies like Skibo, can be incredibly sociable as engineers can be out on site with three or four companies a day.
“My advice to females thinking about careers in IT is not to be put off by the image that it has. It may be a male-dominated industry, but let your skills and abilities speak for themselves. As someone who works in IT sales, I can say that being a woman sometimes helps. There are so few women in the sector that you always stand out.”

Read the original article from Press and Journal here: 

What’s next for LGBT sports?

by Brent Minor
Originally Published: August 30th, 2013

Much has been written lately about LGBT athletes. In some ways it reflects the national conversation about the growing acceptance of LGBT equality, but it is also unique in that it shatters the stereotype we have of who plays sports and how they will be received by fans.
While Jason Collins may be today’s “Ellen” in high tops, many athletes who come out in the future will likely be met with a collective shrug of the shoulder pads. While there is still much work to be done, as athletes realize that any downside to endorsements or team unity is minimal compared to the freedom of living without the fear of being outed, conversations will quickly steer back to batting averages and pass completions.
There are now significant efforts to address homophobia and to make sports a more welcoming place. Players are slapped with huge fines for anti-gay slurs and most of the leagues have adopted non-discrimination policies. While the locker room door has not fully swung open, the work of organizations like the You Can Play Project, Athlete Ally, GLSEN and a number of others are clearly changing attitudes.Close to home, Team DC’s Night OUT Series has helped local professional sports franchises better appreciate the value of working with the LGBT community while creating new fans in the process. We have learned that it is one thing for the Gay Men’s Chorus to sing to 1,000 of their fans at a concert and quite another to sing the National Anthem in front of 12,000 people who never knew that there was a Gay Men’s Chorus.
Indeed, our next step is not about finding another gay athlete to come out; that will happen in time. Our work now is to maximize the collective strength of the LGBT sports community and put that to work. Our individual sports clubs are incredible, but imagine how strong we could be if we were more united.
Earlier this year, I helped create the Equality Sports Association. Its mission is to unite City Teams (such as Team DC), LGBT sports leagues and their governing bodies in an association to maximize outreach, develop new corporate partnerships and build a strong foundation where new sport initiatives can grow and existing programs can flourish.
A handful of sports programs already succeed at a high level, but these are the exception and are often centered in major metropolitan areas. As more people come out, there is a growing need to develop programs in places like Iowa and Idaho because our experience shows that sports offers a positive and healthy alternative to our community that a bar or chat room just cannot match.
There are also niche sports that will likely never grow to a self-sustaining level, so there is a need to work with mainstream sports organizations to educate these clubs about the value of welcoming gay participants.
By working together, organizations can not only learn from each other and maximize resources, but greater visibility will help clubs expand into new areas and communities, including getting more women involved — finally! Such efforts not only help local clubs grow, but support regional and national tournaments and seminal events such as the Gay Games.
Perhaps the most exciting part of the Equality Sports Association is its potential to succeed or fail. But just like in baseball, if you don’t go up to bat, you’ll never know if you could get a hit.
More about the Equality Sports Association, including how you can become involved, can be found at

Read the original article from Washington Blade here: 

Oh, Canada: Enshrining religious discrimination in law

by Matthew Block
Originally Published: August 30th, 2013

canada-flag-webA little while back, former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams made headlines for his comments on the persecution (or lack thereof) of Christians in the West. “Persecution is not being made to feel mildly uncomfortable,” he said. “I am always very uneasy when people sometimes in this country [the United Kingdom] or the United States talk about persecution of Christians or rather believers. I think we are made to feel uncomfortable at times. We’re made to feel as if we’re idiots—perish the thought! But that kind of level of not being taken very seriously or being made fun of; I mean for goodness sake, grow up.”

It’s perhaps best the Most Rev. Williams restricted his comments to the United Kingdom and the United States, because the threat of religious persecution in Canada just got a whole lot more real. The Province of Quebec is planning to pass a law which would ban public employees from wearing religious symbols, including such things as turbans, crucifixes, hijabs, and kippas. And it’s not just for government representatives: it would apply to all public institutions, including schools and hospitals. That’s right: teachers, doctors, and nurses, among numerous other workers, would all be forbidden from wearing religious symbols on the job. Don’t like it? Find another job.

It’s all part of the proposed “Charter of Quebec Values.” Indeed, Premier Pauline Marois says the plan reflects “universal” values and will bring Quebecers together.

Shockingly, some members of the “universal” human race have disagreed that it’s their values on display here. The philosopher Charles Taylor (who once oversaw the province’s commission on the accommodation of minorities) expressed disbelief at the announcement. “It’s unprecedented,” he told Radio-Canada. “This will feed an attitude of exclusion,” he said, calling it something more akin to “Putin’s Russia” than Canada.

For his part, federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has condemned the upcoming legislation, likening it on Wednesday to the segregation Martin Luther King fought against in his time—though in this case it’s segregation based on religion rather than race. “People are going to have to choose between their freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of conscience,” Trudeau warned, “and their economic well-being and their acceptance in the workplace.”

Regrettably, the Prime Minister (Conservative) and the Official Leader of the Opposition (NDP) have been much more reserved in their criticisms of the charter. What is needed is clear and public condemnation of Quebec’s plan to strip Canadians of their religious freedom. What has been offered instead has been meek disapproval. Trudeau expressed it well: “The careful politics that my NDP and Conservative counterparts are playing is irresponsible.” He isn’t wrong. But it’s more than irresponsible: it’s morally reprehensible.

Sadly, the Conservatives and NDP have good political reason to lay low: the proposed Charter of Quebec Values has a remarkable (and frightening) amount of support among average Canadians. A recent poll found that 42% of Canadiansapprove Quebec’s plan. In Quebec, a full 58% of citizens approve the proposed charter. Canadians like to pride themselves on their tolerant approach to people of other cultures; we’re a “cultural mosaic,” we like to say, not a “melting pot” like our American neighbours. But you’d never guess that based on this poll.

Shortly after saying Westerners need to grow up and stop claiming they’re the victims of religious persecution, former Archbishop Rowan Williams apologized in a letter to The Guardian: “In suggesting that some people need to ‘grow up’ before talking about the persecution of Christians in the UK or US,” he wrote, “I had in mind those who offer what I  think unduly sensationalised accounts of the situation—and, to a lesser extent, those in the public eye who have to put up with a certain amount of routine attack.” “I realise in retrospect,” he explained, “how offensive the words might sound to those who suffer bullying for their convictions or whose faith presents them with real and painful dilemmas in their professional lives. I want to make it clear that I’d regard urging such people to ‘grow up’ as insulting and insensitive to a degree, and apologise for giving any impression to that effect.”

The Most Rev. Williams is right: some Westerners shout about religious persecution when they are merely being insulted. But there are indeed some in the West who face very real persecution. In Quebec, believers may well be about to face the type of “real and painful dilemmas” in their “professional lives” the Most Rev. Williams has in mind. In the French lyrics of Canada’s national anthem, we speak of being “ready to carry the cross.” The Province of Quebec seems intent on putting that readiness to the test.
It’s words from the English version of our anthem, though, that I’ll be meditating on over the next little while. Near the end, we sing: “God keep our land, glorious and free.” That’s the prayer I’ll be praying as this charter of “values” is brought forward by the Quebec government. I ask all readers to make it their prayer too.

Read the original article from First Things here: 

Information Technology Workers Thrive in Canada

Originally Published: August 30th, 2013

Canada’s Information Technology (IT) sector is currently growing. In recent years, the Canadian Government has taken steps to attract the world’s best IT companies and most promising professionals. Some IT workers , such as computer engineers, may be eligible to apply for Canadian Permanent Residency without a job offer, through the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) or Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW) programs. Many IT workers can also come to Canada as temporary foreign workers if they obtain a Canadian job offer and work permit. Once in Canada, IT workers can enjoy high-paying jobs and one of the highest qualities of life in the world.
The IT Industry in Canada
Information Technology is one of the most successful industries in Canada today. With statistically full employment, professionals in the field appear to have a high chance of finding and keeping jobs. IT professionals are also compensated very well for their expertise; The Information Technology Association of Canada stated in a recent publication that IT professionals are paid an average wage that is 52% higher than the national standard.
The average Canadian computer engineer makes a salary ranging from $70,000 to over $100,000 a year, depending on their experience and expertise. Web Designers and Database Analysts were named on a recent list as earning some of the 20 highest starting salaries in Canada. Even recent graduates in these fields with little or no career experience make on average more money than their peers in other industries, beginning work at a salary of approximately $45,000/year.
The Need for Foreign Workers
In 2013 The Information and Technology Association of Canada stated that “success in recruiting and retraining foreign trained professionals is key to business health”. Indeed, with a predicted 106,000 unfilled IT jobs in the next four years alone, foreign workers are likely to become increasingly necessary to ensure the industry’s continued growth.
In a recent study for Industry Canada, it was revealed that every interviewed IT firm was actively hiring new employees. Of these, three quarters believed that there was a significant lack of local Canadian talent, and a full two thirds used foreign recruitment to retain a significant percentage of their new hires.
Thankfully for IT professionals, there are a number of ways to come to Canada and fill these job vacancies. Workers in this sector have a vast array of potential job opportunities and the Canadian has taken measures to help these valuable employees immigrate to Canada relatively quickly and easily.
Permanent Residency: The IT Edge
There is a range of immigration programs open to IT professionals. Two popular Canadianimmigration categories, the FSW and QSW programs, have included certain IT fields on their lists of eligible occupations/areas of training. The FSW program is currently open to computer engineers, while the QSW program awards points for a wide range of computer-related professions. These include computer engineering, computer support, computer science, and computer science techniques.
In addition, Canada recently opened an exciting new program designed to attract promising immigrant entrepreneurs. The Entrepreneur Start-Up Visa program grants successful applicants Canadian Permanent Residency and helps them to secure funding and support to set up their business in Canada.
The program has been advertised in places such as Silicon Valley in the United States. TheGovernment of Canada has promoted it as a straightforward alternative for prospective immigrants who are frustrated with difficult immigration processes in other countries and are looking to settle and begin their business in earnest.
“Our new Start-Up Visa will help make Canada the destination of choice for the world’s best and brightest to launch their companies,” said former Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. “[It] underscores our commitment to supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in the Canadian labour market.”
Temporary Work: Help Wanted Across Canada
With an economy searching for talented IT professionals, IT workers with an interest in working in Canada do not necessarily need to wait to obtain Canadian PR.
There are over 250,000 foreign workers across Canada working in a variety of fields. In order to come to Canada as a temporary worker, one must be offered a job in Canada and receive a Temporary Work Permit. Interested individuals can search for jobs in Canada by using theCanadavisa Job Search Tool.
Canada has a number of international agreements that help facilitate the entry of foreign workers. Perhaps the most popular is the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which facilitates the work permit process for US and Mexican citizens coming to Canada to work in specified professions. Both Computer Systems Analysts and Graphic Designers are listed amongst these professions.
In Conclusion
“Information Technology professionals are some of the most sought-after workers in today’s economy,” said Attorney David Cohen. “I have helped many clients with IT backgrounds come to Canada, and they have by and large gone on to incredibly successful careers in virtually every Canadian province.”
Prospects in Canada are especially bright for IT professionals. As the world continues to move in the direction of greater innovation and technological capacity, it is likely that these prospects will remain extremely good for many years to come.
To find out if you are eligible for one of over 60 Canadian immigration programs, please fill out afree online assessment today.

Read the original article from CIC News here: 

University of Alberta creates ‘all-gender’ restrooms for transgender students

by Thaddeus Baklinski
Originally Published: August 29th, 2013

EDMONTON, Alberta, August 29, 2013 ( – Although the University of Alberta already has unisex restrooms on campus, the university has agreed to create "all-gender washrooms" for transgender students.

“We see a lot of people on our campus who may be trans- or gender non-conforming who do have issues with the washrooms because they are forced to act on this [sexual] binary," said Melanie Alexander of the school's "Gender-Based Violence Prevention Project," according to a CBC report.

"It’s this really vulnerable place to be when you don’t feel like you have places that reflect your gender expression,” she added.

The school has replaced the signs on all single-toilet washrooms, such as those that are wheelchair accessible, with ones that show both male and female figures in addition to a wheelchair.

The university will also be providing a map of the "all-gender" washrooms to students when they return to school next week.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

The Gender Based Violence Prevention Project (GBVPP). which describes itself as a "new project of the Students' Union that promotes a campus free of gender based violence," works in conjunction with campus homosexual groups.

GBVPP is funded by Status of Women Canada.

While some of the washrooms on campus will still be designated for men or women, if the federal government's controversial transgender "bathroom bill" is successfully reintroduced after the new session of Parliament begins, it may become illegal to prevent a male student who calls himself transgendered to use a campus restroom intended for women.

Bill C-279, which seeks to include “gender identity” and “gender expression” as protected rights in the hate crimes sections of the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code, was before the Senate, but failed to pass third and final reading before the summer break. Prime Minister Stephen Harper's recently announced decision to prorogue Parliament.

Read the original article from Life Site News here: 

One-Third of U.S. Employees Say Employers Do Not Accommodate Religion in Workplaces

Originally Published: August 30th, 2013

What American Workers Really Think About Religion
What American Workers Really Think About Religion
...religion is a workplace issue. Employers who ignore it, do so at their own risk.
New York, NY (PRWEB) August 30, 2013
Consider a typical workplace: meetings, production deadlines, coffee or smoke breaks and casual Fridays all come to mind as part of the routine. But when it comes to prayer breaks, wearing religious garb in the office and other accommodations specific to religion, that’s a different story.
This Labor Day weekend, a new national survey released by the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding makes the point. Today, more than one-third of workers report observing or being subjected to religious bias at work. The survey, "What American Workers Really Think About Religion: Tanenbaum’s 2013 Survey of American Workers and Religion," examines religious bias and discrimination against American workers.
“This survey puts employers on notice,” said Tanenbaum CEO Joyce Dubensky. “American workplaces in-creasingly reflect the makeup of the country; they’re more and more diverse. Work is the place where people with extremely different beliefs interact on a regular basis. But where there’s more diversity, the survey shows that we can expect to find more conflict.”
Survey results confirm that a majority of workers believe Muslims are facing discrimination at work. The Muslim community is not alone.
“Other groups report being marginalized too, including members of other minority religions in the U.S. and atheists,” explained Dubensky. “But that is just part of the story.”
In fact, the survey shows that workplace discrimination is also a serious issue for many members of America’s Christian majority. Six in ten white evangelical Protestants agree that discrimination against Christians has become as big a problem as discrimination against other religious minorities.
“The experience of discrimination by the white evangelical community is a real issue for companies. It’s also a societal issue, one that goes beyond the workplace,” Dubensky said. “Workers from the white evangelical community are twice as likely to believe that they are experiencing a lot of discrimination, as they are to be-lieve that African-Americans are being discriminated against.”
“Religion is one key way that people define themselves,” revealed Dubensky. “Being harassed at work be-cause of your religion, or not being allowed to follow basic beliefs such as observing a required prayer is painful. Such experiences affect morale and, ultimately, impact a company’s ability to attract talent. The good news is that the survey shows that this can be turned around through smart policies that address employees’ diverse religious needs. Do that and you increase the likelihood of having happier employees and less turnover.”
Other findings from Tanenbaum’s survey include: 
  •     Half of non-Christians surveyed believe that their employers are ignoring their religious needs.
  •     Employees in companies without religious diversity policies are almost twice as likely to be searching for another job as their counterparts in companies with policies.
  •     Among American workers at companies where religious bias had been reported to managers or human resources, nearly one-third of workers report that the company took no actions to stop the bias.
  •     Nearly six out of ten atheists (59%) believe that people look down on their beliefs, as do nearly one-third of non-Christian religious workers (31%) and white evangelical Protestants (32%).
  •     Atheists (55%) are substantially more likely than workers in any other group to report that they them-selves face a lot of discrimination today. However, unlike white evangelical Protestants, atheists are also more likely than workers overall to believe that Muslims (66%), gay and lesbian people (63%), Hispanics (50%), and women (39%) experience a lot of discrimination.
“If there’s one message from this survey, it’s that religion is a workplace issue,” Dubensky suggested. “Employers who ignore it, do so at their own risk.”
Tanenbaum conducted the 2013 Survey of American Workers and Religion with Public Religion Research LLC. The survey provides a comprehensive picture of American workers’ experience with religious discrimination and bias in workplaces, as well as their perceptions of discrimination in American society. The survey’s respondents are a random sample of over 2,000 employed American adults. For a limited time, the survey is available as a free PDF download, with print copies for sale, on Tanenbaum’s website:
The Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding is a secular, non-sectarian organization that promotes mutual respect with practical programs that bridge religious difference and combat prejudice in workplaces, education, health care and areas of armed conflict.

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Labor Day no celebration for people with disabilities

by Neil Jacobson
Originally Published: August 30th, 2013

I firmly believe that all people must work — even those with disabilities. Like me. Work brings meaning to life, provides important social connections and allows people to provide economically for themselves and their families.
Yet for too long our society has made it nearly impossible for most disabled people to secure long-term gainful employment. Since my childhood in the 1950s, the United States unemployment rate for people with disabilities has exceeded 70 percent. Laws including the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 resulted in greater accessibility and acceptance for those with disabilities but did little to improve the dismal employment picture.
Our nation’s policies hold very low expectations for individuals with disabilities. Indeed, the government definition of disability as the “inability to work” creates a serious disincentive to finding employment.
I was fortunate to have the values of hard work and independence instilled in my life from an early age. As a child with cerebral palsy, my parents did all they could to foster my self-reliance. My mother woke me each morning and would insist I dress myself, even though it took two hours to do so. At night, I’d get two dinners. One dinner I had to feed myself; the other I was provided assistance to ensure I got enough to eat.
These approaches may sound extreme, and today I know that a key to independent living is knowing when and how to get help. But for my parents work was, quite literally, a life and death matter. As Holocaust survivors, they had seen how those who could not work were considered worthless, and were the first to perish in ghettos and concentration camps. They showed me that determination and perseverance are the key to achievement.
For me the payoffs have been enormous. Despite my obvious disability — I can’t sit upright, I have involuntary movements and my speech impairment is significant — for nearly 30 years I built a career at Wells Fargo, rising to senior vice president of information technology. Work gave me purpose. Work made me proud. Work allowed me to gain economic independence and build a secure financial future.
As a society we need to embrace the view that people with disabilities can be full partners in our nation’s economic growth. Instead of relegating them to disability benefits and safety nets, we must create a system of supports that make work and economic success an achievable dream. It is time to stop saying, “Disabled people can work” and start believing that “All people must work.”
To foster this change in attitude, I helped create the World Institute on Disability’s Center on Economic Growth in 2011. CEG measures success as a level playing field where people with disabilities have the same employment rate, earning power and asset-building opportunities as their non-disabled peers. Now, in collaboration with the National Council on Independent Living, we are asking Congress to pass legislation that would allow us to demonstrate through a five-state pilot program the benefits of a career-oriented approach that could replace the current Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance programs for young adults with disabilities.
Known as The ACCESS Program (Adult Coaching, Counseling, and Employment Support Services), the initiative would eliminate work disincentives, promote employment and encourage participants to be as productive as possible. Instead of a check compensating them for their inability to work, participants would receive a stipend to offset their high cost of disability. Every participant would be expected to develop and follow an Individual Career Plan. All services required to successfully perform their ICP would be coordinated through the Access Program.
Efforts such as the Access Program offer real hope for increasing the employment participation rate of people with disabilities. Particularly at a time when funding for entitlement programs is increasingly tenuous, we need to make every effort to give those with disabilities the opportunity to reach their economic potential and become full participants in the labor market. I have seen the transformative power of work in my own life. Now is the time to ensure that more people with disabilities have that same chance.
Neil Jacobson is an advocate and information technology professional who co-founded the World Institute on Disability’s Center on Economic Growth in 2011. He wrote this for McClatchy-Tribune News Service.

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Telefilm Canada and Maison Birks pay tribute to the year's 10 Canadian women directors and actors at the Toronto International Film Festival

Originally Published: August 29th, 2013

Members of the selection committee chose five honourees in each category from a list of nominees, taking account of the impact of their achievements and talent; the recognition they have received from recognized organizations as well as from their peers; and the visibility they have brought Canada over the last year. Nominees were also required to have either directed or appeared in a production during the past year.

"This partnership with Maison Birks offers us a new opportunity to recognize these remarkable women's artistic talent and the major contribution they provide to our industry," said Carolle Brabant, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada. "Because the world's attention is focused on the Festival, the time is perfect to celebrate the successes of our creative talent, who distinguish themselves not only in Canada but around the world."

"We are delighted to renew our partnership with Telefilm Canada this year in order to highlight the important contribution of Canadian women filmmakers in the context of the Festival," said Jean-Christophe Bédos, President and Chief Executive Officer of Birks & Mayors. "Canadian women filmmakers and actors help our country shine brilliantly around the world—the same way that Canadian diamonds make us proud on the international scene! The Toronto International Film Festival is synonymous with glamour, with prestige, and especially with Canadian success. That's why this partnership is a natural for Maison Birks."

The pan-Canadian jury is made up of renowned journalists covering the arts, cultural and entertainment fields: Maxime Demers (Le Journal de Montréal), Manon Dumais (Voir), Noreen Flanagan (Elle Canada), Peter Howell (Toronto Star), Brian Johnson (Maclean's), Bruce Kirkland (Toronto Sun), Marc-André Lussier (La Presse), Katherine Monk (Postmedia), Andrea Nemetz (The Chronicle Herald), Tamy Emma Pepin (Citytv), Odile Tremblay (Le Devoir) and Marni Weisz (Cineplex Magazine).

Starting at 4 p.m. on September 11, the public will be invited to meet with honourees on the red carpet at the FanZone, which will be set up in front of the Maison Birks store at 55 Bloor Street W. in Toronto.

Collaboration between Telefilm Canada and Maison Birks
This is Telefilm's third event, in collaboration with Maison Birks, to honour Canadian women filmmakers. Last year, Telefilm and Maison Birks paid tribute to Canadian women in film at the Toronto International Film Festival, in an event held at the Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto. In 2012, the inaugural Birks Canadian Diamond was awarded during Telefilm Canada's Tribute to Canadian Talent event at the Cannes Film Festival.

About Telefilm Canada
Telefilm is dedicated to the cultural, commercial and industrial success of Canada's audiovisual industry. Through its various funding and promotion programs, Telefilm supports dynamic companies and creative talent here at home and around the world. Telefilm also administers the programs of the Canada Media Fund. Visit and follow us on Twitter at and Facebook at

About Maison Birks
Birks & Mayors is a leading retailer and owner of 54 prestige jewellery stores in Canada and the United States. The company runs 31 Birks stores located in most of Canada's major urban areas, 20 Mayors stores in Florida and Georgia, two Brinkhaus stores in Calgary and Vancouver, and one Rolex store in Orlando. Founded in 1879, Maison Birks has, over the years, become Canada's number one retailer, designer and manufacturer of high-end jewellery, watches, sterling and silver plated silverware as well as gifts. For more information, visit

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