Tuesday, May 31, 2016

On Board with Diversity - LEXPORT

by Bev Cline 
Originally published: May 30, 2016 
Publisher: Lexpert.ca

As companies are required to disclose the gender diversity of their boards, in-house counsel can play a leading role.

On International Women’s Day this year, once again marchers celebrated the strides women have made toward gender parity yet voiced their concerns for the barriers yet to be broken. Although there was much solidarity, the day also highlighted divergent global approaches toward advancing women’s issues.

For example, in many countries there is a push to achieve gender parity on the boards of publicly traded companies. A 2015 survey for the Canadian Board Diversity Council reveals that although more women than ever are serving on boards, they presently hold only 19.5 per cent of FP500 board seats. But how to achieve this result is hotly debated and in some cases, controversial. Should this parity be achieved through a disclosure approach or through a legislated change that features a quota system?

The often highly vocal arguments for and against various approaches are no surprise to Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Aaron Dhir, author of Challenging Boardroom Homogeneity: Corporate Law, Governance, and Diversity, published by Cambridge University Press in 2015. His book is published at a time, says Professor Dhir, when “policymakers around the world are wrestling with difficult questions that lie at the intersection of market activity and social identity politics.”

Group aims to help immigrants integrate into the fabric of Kingston - KINGSTONREGION.com

by Mandy Marciniak
Originally published: May 30, 2016
Publisher: KingstonRegion.com

News – Alla Kryachkova and her husband immigrated to Canada from the Ukraine in 2007. They originally settled in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where Kryachkova worked for the Ukranian consulate and her husband taught piano, but they quickly realized that if they wanted better careers in Canada, they had to further their language skills and education.

“We decided that if we wanted to get better careers in Canada we needed to get Canadian education,” she explained. “St. Lawrence College was willing to accept seven credits from my husband’s previous education and his economics degree, so we relocated.”

Kryachkova also pursued an education in business administration and while she completed here diploma two years ago, she still struggles to find a job in her field in Kingston.

Increase Your ‘CQ’ IQ - POSTBULLETIN

Originally published: May 30, 2016
Publisher: PostBulletin.com 

Here’s a new abbreviation you need to know: CQ. It stands for cultural intelligence and it’s becoming more important in the workplace with each passing year.

With the entrance of millennials into the workforce, the dynamics in the workplace have changed. The U.S. Census reported in 2015 that millennials are more diverse than the generations that preceded them, with 44.2 percent being part of a minority race or ethnic group.

“With the changes in demographics within the nation and with the customers we serve, it’s becoming more important to have that cultural intelligence or cultural dexterity, which allows you to adapt behavior in light of cultural differences,” says Murray A. Mann, a leadership coach in Chicago who specializes in diversity and cultural intelligence. 

Powerful actions to promote women into leadership roles - INTHEBLACK

by Libby Lyons 
Originally published: May 30, 2016
Publisher: IntheBlack.com 

Organisations frequently talk about addressing the lack of women in senior positions, but does the rhetoric lead to effective solutions?

Sometimes it is the smallest decisions and actions that create the greatest change.

A senior HR executive recently attended a pay equity round table. After learning what others in her industry were doing to address the gender pay gap, she left to make a simple change. 

That very day, the CEO of her organisation had signed off on a letter of offer for a new general manager. The firm had short-listed two people, a man and woman. On merit, they decided the woman was the better candidate and so, after reviewing her salary expectations, put the letter of offer together.

The twist in this story is that the male candidate had asked for a salary that was $100,000 higher and the company was prepared to pay it. Despite this, they offered the woman a salary package that was $100,000 less than what the man expected and the position had budgeted for. 

When Designing a Workplace, Here’s Why Diversity Matters - WOMENSENEWS

by Ying Hua
Originally published: May 30, 2016
Publisher: WomensENews.org 

As I was giving a talk in Tokyo recently on global workplace trends, I noticed something shocking. In the audience of about 150 people representing the leaderships of architecture firms, real estate developers, builders and engineers, I saw hardly any women.

That matters.

My talk was about future workplaces that respond to mega trends of economy and society.

My premise: that the continuous advancement of technology and rise of telecommuting is changing the meaning of the business workplace. Less and less does it mean office buildings. More and more it will mean dining rooms, coffee shops, patios, park benches, gyms, train stations. Workplaces are now anywhere, permeating all types of urban spaces.

How Office Politics Can Hold Women Back—and What to Do About it - FORTUNE

by Lauren Schiller
Originally published: May 30, 2016
Publisher: Fortune.com 

The hazards of working at a company founded by “a bunch of white guys.”
We’ve heard how companies that have women on their boards have higher returns. We’ve heard how groups that include more women have a higher collective intelligence than those that don’t. Yet we’ve also heard how the number of women in top leadership positions is still growing very, very slowly. So how do we translate what we know about the power of workplace diversity into actual women getting seats at the table?

Rosina Racioppi has made a career of answering that question. As president and CEO of Women Unlimited Inc., she helps women meet their full potential as leaders at some of the world’s largest companies, including Adobe Systems  ADBE 0.76% , Bayer  BAYZF -1.30% , Colgate-Palmolive, and Prudential  PUK 0.39% .

I spoke with Racioppi about the why there’s a need for female-specific professional development programs like those offered by Women Unlimited, why women “opt out” and what we can do to close the gender salary gap.

Zoo Printing Agrees to Pay $110,000 to Settle EEOC Disability and Retaliation Discrimination Lawsuit - NATIONAL LAW REVIEW

Originally published: May 30, 2016
Publisher: NationalLawReview.com 

Company Discriminatorily Fired HIV-Positive Employees,  Federal Agency Charged

Zoo Printing, Inc., a commercial printing company headquartered in California with facilities in New Jersey and Kentucky, will pay $110,000 to settle a disability discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced on May 19th.

According to EEOC's suit, Zoo Printing violated federal law by firing two employees at its Louisville, Ky., facility because they have the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). EEOC further alleged that one of the employees, a former human resources assistant, was fired in retaliation for opposing the company's refusal to hire female or applicants with disabilities and the discriminatory termination of an employee with a disability.

Disability discrimination, including firing an employee because of his or her HIV status, violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Firing an employee in retaliation for opposing discriminatory employment practices, including against people with disabilities and women, violates the ADA and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. EEOC filed suit (Civil Action No. 3:15-cv-00727-DJH) in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, Louisville Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

The Common Habit That Undermines Organizations' Diversity Efforts - FASTCOMPANY

by Suzanne Wertheim 
Originally published: May 30, 2016
Publisher: FastCompany.com 

In 2003, a journalist named Katherine Rosman was at a party where she felt awkward and out of place. So she struck up a conversation with someone else who seemed to feel out of place. He was one of the few African-Americans there, and turned out to be a state senator. Later that evening, Rosman learned that one of the other guests had assumed that the senator was a waiter, and had asked him to get a drink from the bar.

This anecdote, which might not seem especially newsworthy, was reported in the Wall Street Journal in November 2008, because that state senator had become president-elect of the United States.

Barack Obama had been on the receiving end of what I call an "unconscious demotion," the unthinking habit of assuming that somebody holds a position lower in status or expertise than they actually do. In my research on language and bias, I’ve found that it's usually women and people of color who are most often on the receiving end of these incidents while meeting new people.

Uber rebuffs calls to release worker diversity numbers - BOSTON GLOBE

by Dan Adams
Originally published: May 30, 2016
Publisher: BostonGlobe.com 

In April, Uber unexpectedly raised the live-wire issue of race.

Drivers were publicly demanding that the company change its smartphone app to let passengers tip them with credit cards, one skirmish in a running battle over pay and benefits. Uber refused to add the feature, making the provocative argument that its customers’ unconscious racial biases would lead them to tip white drivers better than black drivers.

But now, facing questions about race and diversity in its own corporate offices, Uber is tight-lipped.

The company has rebuffed demands by a civil rights group that it release statistics on the racial and gender makeup of its workforce, as Google, Apple, Facebook, and other prominent technology companies did following similar pressure. While many other big names — including Snapchat, and Uber’s ride-hailing competitor Lyft — also keep their numbers private, activists sensed an opening to push Uber on the issue.

Monday, May 30, 2016

GitHub Is Making Diversity and Inclusion a Priority - TECH

by Cameron Glover
Originally published: May 27, 2016
Publisher: Tech.com 

Diversity is a necessity in the business world today. Consumers are beginning to closely examine what plans major tech companies are using to promote large-scale inclusion and long-term diversity. GitHub, one of the most prominent open-source companies out there, has recently published their own diversity initiative, including demographics and a commentary from the company CEO.

Chris Wanstrath, the CEO of GitHub, led the “Letter to the CEO,” explaining the need for transparency to help with the improvement of their own diversity goals. He writes:

“Over the past 18 months, diversity and inclusion have become a major focus for us. We’ve learned how diversity of life experiences makes a big difference in how we identify and solve problems, design software, and communicate. Today, we’re releasing our diversity data for the first time to show where we’ve made progress, where we haven’t, and to be transparent about how much further we have to go. We will also provide updates annually and share lessons we learn along the way.”

Gender reassignment: trans customer wins toilet sign claim - PERSONNEL TODAY

by Stephen Simpson 
Originally published: May 27, 2016
Publisher: PersonnelToday.com 

A  ferry company has updated its toilet door signs to use symbols rather than words and carried out diversity awareness training with staff after a transgender customer successfully claimed gender reassignment discrimination in a Jersey tribunal.

Ms Bisson, a trans woman, brought a gender reassignment discrimination claim against Condor Ferries under discrimination laws introduced in Jersey in 2015.

Since 1 September 2015, Jersey discrimination law has banned discrimination on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, and pregnancy and maternity.

The legislation covers direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation. It extends to employment and the provision of goods and services.

At work, culture gaps within countries can matter most - AFR

by Bradley Kirkman 
Originally published: May 27, 2016
Publisher: AFR.com 

When we talk about managing across cultures, we tend to think of the words "culture" and "country" interchangeably.

For example, it is widely accepted that in Eastern countries like China and Japan, group harmony takes precedence over individual achievement in the workplace, while in Western countries like the U.S. and Germany, stronger emphasis is placed on individual performance at work.

Managers refer to "Japanese culture" or the "American way" of doing things when referencing work-related beliefs, norms, values, behaviours and practices. The assumption that "country equals culture" results in expat managers trying to do things the Japanese way in Japan, the Brazilian way in Brazil and so on.

Working While Black symposium in Halifax focuses on workplace racism - CBC

by David Irish 
Originally published: May 28, 2016
Publisher: CBC.ca

Symposium aimed to create a space for people to discuss their stories of racism in the workplace.

About 40 people gathered in north-end Halifax on Saturday to discuss racial discrimination at the first Working While Black symposium. 

The goal of the symposium, held at the Community YMCA on Gottingen Street, was to create a space for people to share and discuss their stories of racism in the workplace. 

Shelly Fashan worked as a government employee for many years and says though things are changing for the better, she was often treated differently because of her race. 

"Re-examine your hiring. Look at your organization. Do you have black people in there? If not, why not?" she said. 

Supporting Mental Health Efforts Beyond The Month Of May - FORBES

by Tori Utley 
Originally published: May 29, 2016
Publisher: Forbes.com 

May is mental health awareness month, and there’s no hiding that this has been a hot topic of discussion this year. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), over 43 million adults suffer with a mental illness every year, or approximately 1 in 5 adults in America. With organizations, student bodies and passionate individuals speaking up and speaking out more, it’s apparent that the traction being gained in the mental health field is worthy of attention.

With staggering numbers of those who struggle with mental illness annually, there exist clear next steps that must be taken to ensure the future of mental health care for patients is adequate and helpful for those who are in need of these services.

Mental Health Reform

In an effort to advance the care and services offered to those struggling with mental health conditions, NAMI has launched a petition for mental health reform. The following areas address what the organization and others in the mental health movement believe will move the needle forward in improving care for those in need:

  • Improvement of reimbursement for mental health services
  • Improvement of access to mental health services
  • Improvement of integration of mental health and physical health care
  • Increased funding streams for mental health research

Business Case for Diversity, My Foot - WORKFORCE

by Kellye Whitney
Originally published: May 27, 2016
Publisher: Workforce.com 

I’m feeling a little mean today. I’m facing some sweeping tech system changes at work, which always puts me in a bad mood. So I thought I’d take this time to kvetch about something that just gets on my nerves. I’m talking eye rolling, lip smacking, facial expressions — the works.

What is it that creates such a strong, negative reaction you ask? It’s when someone asks for the business case for diversity.

I usually think, really? Then I think, are you kidding? Would you like to clarify that question, maybe be more specific if you need hard data with which to persuade the budget keepers to fund a new program or initiative? That I get. But if someone asks that question expecting someone else to explain to them why an organization or a leader should care about diversity, I say, poo.

Let me repeat that — poo.

Hiring bias pilot program launched - LAWYERSWEEKLY

by Lara Bullock 
Originally published:  May 30, 2016
Publisher: LawyersWeekly.com 

One Australian law firm is participating in the Victorian government’s pilot program to stamp out unconscious bias in recruiting.

The 18-month Recruit Smarter pilot initiative will target bias in recruitment, helping employers to take advantage of the full breadth of skills, experience and talent that exists across the Victorian workforce.

Hall & Wilcox is the only law firm participating, with other participants including a range of government agencies, big four accounting firms, the Law Institute of Victoria, Melbourne University and Westpac bank.

Hall & Wilcox partner Anastasia Coutsouvelis is leading the program at the firm.

"This program has great potential by bringing unconscious bias into the open, so it can be recognised and understood and eventually overcome," Ms Coutsouvelis said.

Documentary shines spotlight on experience of LGBT Inuit - TORONTO STAR

by Miles Kenyon 
Originally published: May 29, 2016
Publisher: TheStar.com 

Two Soft Things, Two Hard Things, premiering at Toronto’s Inside Out festival, examines difficulties faced by some in embracing both their cultural and sexual identities.

Nuka Fennell, a 24-year-old gay Inuk, gambled on a new life when he left his home in Iqaluit at 16 and moved south. He had struggled to find acceptance in Canada’s Far North, where many have been taught that homosexuality is incompatible with traditional Inuit culture.

“I chose to be homeless in Ottawa as opposed to going back home because I just felt like it was the only way I would be able to survive,” Fennell says in a new documentary exploring the complexities of being both queer and Inuit.

“People treated me like my identity was a condition,” he adds, explaining he was the victim of discrimination and violence in high school before moving away.

Fennell is one of the subjects of Two Soft Things, Two Hard Things, the documentary making its premiere at Toronto’s Inside Out LGBT Film Festival. The film focuses on Iqaluit’s attempt to re-establish Pride celebrations in 2014 after a hiatus of several years. It also examines how some residents are actively “unshaming” themselves and learning to bridge the gap between their sexual and cultural identities.

What supervisors should know about the ADA - NEWSDISPATCH

by Nora T. Akins
Originally published: May 29, 2016
Publisher: theNewsDispatch.com 

Supervisors do not need to know Congress passed the amendment to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 2008 because the Supreme Court’s narrow definition of disability resulted in the denial of protection for many people with impairments including cancer and epilepsy. Now the definition of a disability is broad. So broad, that many employers do not bother to determine whether the employee qualifies; they simply accommodate. Employers should take the time to determine whether an employee qualifies for protection under this law.

Supervisors need to protect their companies and their employees.

 Supervisors do need to:

Stay away from medical conversations! Most employees share personal information at work. Employers strive to connect with their staff. Employees are more relaxed than ever in bringing home and family matters to work. That is nice. It is good for morale. Here is a bright line supervisors cannot cross. Supervisors should be prohibited from medical conversations about the employee and the employee’s family medical history (Family history is related to Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act). Never discuss whether the condition was due to the employee’s actions. For instance, saying, “Sally smoked like a chimney, no wonder she has lung cancer” is not simply irrelevant, it’s mean. Courts do not take the source of the impairment into consideration to determine whether the impairment constitutes a disability. Stay away from medical conversations!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Discrimination's New Frontier: Transgender Individuals In The Workplace - MONDAQ

by Kevin B. Leblang and Robert N. Holtzman
Originally published: May 26, 2016
Publisher: Mondaq.com 

In a growing trend in employment law across the country, regulatory agencies are engaging in efforts to eliminate transgender discrimination. Employers should be aware of these developments and sensitive to issues that affect transgender employees.

EEOC Efforts to Protect Transgender Employees

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the "EEOC") began focusing its agenda on transgender discrimination issues in 2012. In Macy v. Dep't of Justice, EEOC Appeal No. 0120120821 (April 20, 2012), the EEOC ruled that employers who discriminate against employees on the basis of their transgender status violate Title VII. In April 2015, in Lusardi v. McHugh, EEOC Appeal No. 0120133395 (April 1, 2015), the agency ruled that denying employees use of the bathroom aligned with their gender identities and refusing to address transgender employees by their preferred gender pronouns constitute discrimination on the basis of sex, and thus also violate Title VII. Although both addressed employees of the federal government, these landmark rulings serve as the foundation of the EEOC's plan to weed out transgender discrimination in the workplace.

The EEOC subsequently filed three lawsuits in three different states, two of which (in Florida and Minnesota) were settled. In April 2015, a Florida eye clinic paid a $150,000 settlement to a transitioning employee (i.e., an individual transitioning from one gender to another). In January 2016, the EEOC settled a case with wide-ranging implications for the treatment of transgender employees. Britney Austin, a transgender employee, was denied access to the bathroom consistent with her gender identity and purposefully addressed with the incorrect gender pronoun. Pursuant to the consent decree resolving the case, Deluxe Financial Services Corp. ("Deluxe") must revise its equal employment opportunity policies to include a clear prohibition against discrimination based on an employee's transgender status. Deluxe also must comply with requests to change an employee's name and gender and cannot prevent an employee from using the bathroom aligned with the individual's gender identity. Additionally, Deluxe will conduct annual training for all employees that must address the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of transgender status and gender identity. Deluxe also must submit annual reports to the EEOC for the next three years demonstrating its compliance with these requirements. Consent Decree, EEOC v. Deluxe Financial Services, Inc., 15-cv-2646(ADM/SER) (D. Minn. Jan. 20, 2016).

11 States Sue Over Obama's School Transgender Directive - ABC NEWS

by Paul J. Weber
Originally published: May 26, 2016
Publisher: ABCnews.go.com 

Texas and 10 other states are suing the Obama administration over its directive to U.S. public schools to let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.

The lawsuit announced Wednesday includes Oklahoma, Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Maine, Arizona, Louisiana, Utah and Georgia. It asks a North Texas federal court to declare the directive unlawful in what ranks among the most coordinated and visible legal challenges by states over the socially divisive issue of bathroom rights for transgender persons.

The Obama administration has "conspired to turn workplace and educational settings across the country into laboratories for a massive social experiment, flouting the democratic process, and running roughshod over commonsense policies protecting children and basic privacy rights," the lawsuit reads.

How to prevent racial discrimination during recruitment - HUMAN CAPITAL

by Shane Koelmeyer 
Originally published: May 26, 2016
Publisher: HCAmag.com 

Earlier this month, journalist and TV presenter Waleed Aly in his Logie acceptance speech referenced an interaction he had with an actor that night. Aly recalled that the actor told him that he was not able to use his birth name Mustafa, because he would not be able to get a job in the TV industry.

Aly’s speech highlighted one of the potential dangers to businesses in the recruitment and selection process –  omitting from the selection process an applicant with a name which may indicate their race, descent, national or ethnic origin.

The incidence of this racial discrimination is not confined to the showbiz industry. Recently, accommodation website Airbnb also came under scrutiny after a Harvard Business School study revealed that requests by users with African- American names or profiles were 16% less likely to be accepted than non-African-American users. One user demonstrated the discrimination when two profiles were created – a request from the profile which had an African-American name was rejected while another fake profile with a different name was accepted.

Unity Welcomes More Women To Gaming With Global Workshops - FASTCOMPANY

by Susan Karlin 
Originally published: May 26, 2016
Publisher: FastCompany.com 

Because enough already with the industry’s boys club.

WHAT: A global series of Women in Gaming workshops launched by San Francisco gaming platform developer Unity Technologies to promote diversity and women’s careers in gaming.

WHO: Powerhouse female gaming business executives, venture capitalists, and academics.

WHY WE CARE: Gaming industry leaders must take a more proactive stance to counter bullying like #GamerGate and increasing concern about misogynistic environments greeting female players, developers, and executives in this arena. It’s especially important as gaming expands into nontraditional uses and newer audiences, calling for a growing cadre and diversity of talent. These workshops will tackle challenges facing women’s careers in gaming, while offering opportunities to network and learn about career building, leadership, strategic thinking, and organizational dynamics. Says Unity’s chief people officer Elizabeth Brown, "These events are an important platform for women to come together in a collaborative setting and learn from each other, which is key to ensuring their ongoing success in the gaming and tech communities."

Diversity champions: UPstanding’s top 100 ethnic-minority executives - FINANCIAL TIMES

by Carola Hoyos and Farva Kaukab
Originally published: May 26, 2016
Publisher: FT.com 

Racial bias remains a serious barrier to the success of many people from black and minority ethnic communities, as our special report shows. The UPstanding Leaders’ List highlights and ranks 100 executives in the US and UK who have reached senior roles in business while also fighting against discrimination and championing ethnic diversity and inclusion in the workplace and beyond. For the full report, go to www.ft.com/ethnic-diversity.

British Muslim women face 'double bind' of gender and religious discrimination, report warns - INDEPENDENT

by Siobhan Fenton 
Originally published: May 26, 2016
Publisher: Independent.co.uk 

Muslim women are experiencing a ‘double-bind’ of religious and gender discrimination which sees them subjected to abuse and harassment in the workplace, online and in public life, new research has warned.

Muslim women have been found to face significant barriers in the workplace, including pregnancy discrimination, an enlarged pay gap and racial profiling in job applications. The report, titled ‘Forgotten women: The impact of Islamophobia on Muslim women in the UK’ was commissioned by the European Network Against Racism and British group Faith Matter to ascertain the experiences of British Muslim women.

Muslim women with degrees have been found to be much less likely to have a graduate level job than White Christian women with the same qualifications. They are also much less likely to receive replies to job applications when submitting CVs.

Irving Shipbuilding to hire 20 Aboriginal students through pilot program - CBC

by Kristen Brown 
Originally published: May 26, 2016
Publisher: CBC.ca

A new pilot program that will employ 20 Aboriginal students at the Irving shipyard, has launched in Halifax. The program will be offered through the Nova Scotia Community College in the field of metal fabrication.

"We're working with Irving Shipbuilding and a large group of partners along with the Mi'kmaq Friendship Centre to focus on 20 Indigenous students to help prepare them for long term employment with the Irving Shipbuilding team," said Kathy MacLean, vice-president of learner and college development at NSCC. 

"The college will offer its shops and classrooms and instructors as part of their two year path," she said.

The big questions: how to increase workplace diversity - FINANCIAL TIMES

by Simon Fanshawe
Originally published: May 26, 2016
Publisher: FT.com 

High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights.  

Why are there few people from ethnic minorities at the top of US and UK business?

Research points to three reasons. Senior executives tend to promote people like themselves. The lack of African-American men in leadership positions is an example. Qualities that in white men are seen as ambitious, in black men are seen as threatening. Secondly there are low expectations of black staff. Diversity policies, despite good intentions, can treat black staff as victims rather than encouraging ambition. Thirdly, leaders fail to advocate for talented black staff.

Which policies work?

Leaders have to be serious about wanting change and take an active role in spotting and promoting talent from under-represented groups. Recognise the ambition of colleagues from ethnic minorities and recruit and promote them.

What are the pitfalls?

Never fall into the trap of accepting that you must choose between diversity and quality. Diversity should extend the talent pipeline, not exclude people with potential. Recognise barriers, but develop talent and keep the bar high.

Managing and accommodating disability - CANADIAN HR REPORTER

by Brian Kreissle
Originally published: May 24, 2016
Publisher. HRReporter.com 

I have mentioned a few times on this blog and other forums how age discrimination makes little sense because we were all young in the past, and most of us will be old at some point. Time really does seem to go much faster the older we get, and it is true that at some point we find ourselves being at an age we considered positively ancient not so long ago. 

Disability is very similar in many ways because we can all become disabled at some point in our lives due to illness, accidents or the aging process. According to the Ontario government, approximately 15 per cent of the population has some type of disability. That figure is likely to increase as the population ages. 

Unlike race, nationality, gender or sexual orientation, which do not usually change (other than in the case of gender reassignment surgery), disability is one of the prohibited grounds of discrimination that could potentially apply to anyone. While I’m not saying other types of discrimination should be condoned or justified, the fact that we can all become disabled is something we can point out to people when they make discriminatory comments or fail to accommodate people with disabilities. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Understanding equality versus equity - CANADIAN HR REPORTER

by Stuart Rudner
Originally published: May 24, 2016
Publisher: HRReporter.com 

I saw a graphic on Facebook feed and thought it provided an excellent demonstration of the difference between treating people equally and providing them with equality. I also thought it confirmed how the need for accommodation can address the symptom, or the cause. 

In the first image, three people of varying heights are standing on blocks of the same height looking over a fence to watch a sports game, so the smallest person is at a disadvantage as he cannot see the game — but they are being treated equally. 

The second image shows the same three people but they are standing on different-sized blocks that make them all the same height, and able to see the game — they are being treated equitably. The third image shows the fence removed, so all three can easily see the game — the systemic barrier has been removed. 

Business Built Around Workers With Disabilities Expanding - DISABILITY SCOOP

by Paul Owers
Originally published: May 24, 2016
Publisher: DisabilityScoop.com 

John D’Eri opened Rising Tide Car Wash in 2013, convinced that a business whose primary mission of employing adults with autism would be a financial success.

Three years later, Rising Tide continues in Parkland, and now it’s expanding to a second location.

D’Eri paid $1.5 million for 1.5 acres on State Road 7 in Margate — less than 5 miles south of the Parkland store. He hopes to break ground in July and open by early next year.

Individuals with autism can get work experience at Ford through new FordInclusiveWorks pilot program - AUTOMOTIVE WORLD

Originally published: May 25, 2016
Publisher: AutomotiveWorld.com 

Ford Motor Company today announces it is collaborating with Autism Alliance of Michigan on a pilot program that aims to provide individuals who have autism with an opportunity to gain work experience with the company in an on-the-job training program funded by the alliance.

FordInclusiveWorks kicks off June 1. It will provide work roles in Ford’s product development organization.

“We are committed to making people’s lives better, and this pilot program has the potential to not only make the participants’ lives better, but also help Ford be an even more diverse and inclusive workforce,” says Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president, product development and chief technical officer. “Autism affects many people in our communities, and I’m proud we’re taking on this important initiative.”

Five new positions in product development were created to suit the skills and capabilities of people with autism. As part of this pilot, Ford will evaluate participants for future employment, as well as the program in general. If there is a potential fit, the individual will enter into Ford’s standard recruiting process

L’Oréal Hosts Mentoring and Career Readiness Program for Young Women - BLACK ENTERPRISE

by Kandia Johnson 
Originally published: May 25, 2016
Publisher: BlackEnterprise.com 

Recently, L’Oréal USA gave 10 high school and 28 college students an opportunity to learn practical workplace skills and shadow a few professional women in the beauty industry. The New York City-based mentoring and career readiness program was launched in support for the New York Coalition of One Hundred Black Women’s annual Role Model Program.

“This year’s theme was ‘Engage, Educate, Empower,’” said Cecilia Nelson, L’Oréal’s assistant vice president of diversity & inclusion. “One of L’Oréal USA’s core values is support for programs that empower women and girls.”

Throughout the week, students experienced a broad range of opportunities. From two full days with mentors and professional and personal development workshops to expose them to the realities of the workplace, to a visit to the National Museum of the American Indian, WBLS-FM, and an “Immersion” at ESSENCE magazine.

Businesses focused solely on 'diversity' are missing the bigger picture - MASHABLE

by Rebekah Iliff
Originally published: May 25, 2016
Publisher: Mashable.com 

This article is part of DBA, a series on Mashable about running a business that features insights from leaders in entrepreneurship, venture capital and management.

Over the last several years, we've seen a landslide of companies prioritizing diversity. 

They often, however, leave out the idea of inclusion, which is perhaps the most important aspect of building strong, collaborative teams that pivot upon each member's strengths.

Unlike focusing on diversity, which is rather straightforward in theory, the concept of inclusivity can be difficult to implement because it takes a tremendous amount of creative thought, effort and execution on behalf of leadership. Creating an inclusive culture ranges from figuring out a process by which employees can freely give input on new products to systematically finding ways for employees from various departments to collaborate.

Why Now Is the Time for Women in Tech - BUSINESS 2 COMMUNITY

by Alexandra Nation 
Originally published: May 25, 2016
Publisher: Business2Community.com 

There’s a photo of me at age 10: a nerdy kid with glasses, completely engrossed in one of those old-school gray Game Boys with the size and heft of a brick (it was the 90s).

Growing up, I preferred video games and Legos to Barbies and dress-up. I never played house, which is probably why I am defiantly undomestic to this day. Thankfully, I had no concept of technology or video games as a “boy thing,” so it’s completely unsurprising that I pivoted into technology sales as an adult.

Right now, there’s a floodlight shining on women in the workplace, with topics ranging from gender dynamics in meetings to balancing professional and personal lives and career advancement. Everyone is chiming in with their perspectives: lean in, play big, have it all, stay home with your kids, hire a nanny and focus on your career, etc.

But I don’t want to talk about any of that. 

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Trans People But Were Too Afraid To Ask - FASTCOMPANY

by Jeff Beer 
Originally published: May 23, 2016
Publisher: FastCompany.com 

#AskTransFolks is a new social video campaign that aims to demystify trans issues.

Between Caitlyn Jenner's celebrity, some states' controversial bathroom bills, and the award-winning show Transparent, it's been a high-profile year for trans issues in the news.

Perhaps less known is that 2015 saw a record high number of 15 transgender people murdered in the U.S. According to the National Coalition of Anti-violence Programs (NCAVP), of the 11 reported trans homicides in 2016, nine were transgender people of color. In order to raise awareness and demystify transgender people and issues, a new social campaign launched last week inviting people to ask any question they want through the hashtag #asktransfolks, and a transgender person would respond in a video.

How Designing For Disabled People Is Giving Google An Edge - FASTCOMPANY

by John Brownlee 
Originally published: May 23, 2016
Publisher: FastCompany.com 

Google's Eve Andersson tells Co.Design how today's accessibility problems could lead to improvements in robots, Google Maps, and even YouTube.

"Accessibility is a basic human right," Eve Andersson tells me, sitting on a lawn at the Shoreline Amphitheater during this year's Google I/0 developer conference. "It benefits everyone."

Soft spoken and ginger-haired, Andersson is the head of Google's accessibility efforts—the gaggle of services that Google bakes into its products to allow them to be just as usable by people with disabilities as they are by the general public. Under Andersson's leadership, Google has made Android completely usable by voice, teamed up with outside vendors to give Android eye-tracking capabilities, and launched the Google Impact Challenge, a $20 million fund to generate ideas on how to make the world more accessible to the billion-odd individuals in the world living with disabilities.

For Women In Tech, Clinton Campaign Events Double As Networking Opportunities - FASTCOMPANY

by Christina Farr
Originally Published; May 23, 2016
Publisher: FastCompany.com 

The Clinton campaign is focusing on wooing the Silicon Valley vote and it's paying off in mobilizing young women.

When veteran tech executive Claire Lee got a call from Hillary Clinton’s campaign staff, she didn’t hesitate to get involved.

"(Hillary’s) campaign reached out to me and said you’re the kind of person that can get involved and help us reach the influencers and investors and the entrepreneurs," says Lee, who is the head of early-stage banking at Silicon Valley Bank. "That’s how I ended up fundraising and spreading the word."


Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has made regular trips to Silicon Valley in an attempt to motivate the tech sector, including women of all stages. Her staff have reached out to existing groups for women in tech and business, such as one run by Lee called the League of Extraordinary Women. And she’s visited the homes of prominent female entrepreneurs, including Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, the CEO of a startup called Joyus, to raise funds and rally support. "(Clinton's) campaign team are clued in with the Silicon Valley influencer network," says Lee. "They are all over it."

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

How Google, Pinterest, And Others Use Internships To Push Their Diversity Initiatives - FASTCOMPANY

by Lydia Dishman 
Originally published: May 23, 2016
Publisher: FastCompany.com 

Starting before they even hit the full-time workforce, interns are playing a valuable role at changing the ratio at tech companies.

"In the world of diversity, things take time," Candice Morgan, Pinterest’s diversity chief told Fast Company when she was hired back in January.

Pinterest joined a growing number of companies, including Atlassian, Airbnb, Autodesk, and Twitter, in hiring a dedicated person to lead diversity initiatives; still, significant change takes time, and the numbers haven’t budged that much. Each of the new appointees acknowledge there is work to be done, not only to diversify the employee pool, but to make companies more inclusive.

Some companies are looking to make an impact at the earliest point of the talent recruitment process: They’re diversifying members of their internship programs. The potential ripple effect is huge.

One Of The Biggest Challenges Of Getting Funding For Minority-Owned Business - FASTCOMPANY

by Lydia Dishman 
Originally published: May 24, 2016
Publisher: FastCompany.com 

Lack of access to capital is a big challenge, but so is the lack of access to networks and advisors.

When Natasia Malaihollo and her cofounder raised $1.5 million for their startup Wyzerr, she became part of a very small group. As an African-American woman, Malaihollo was one of only a dozen who’ve raised over $100,000 in outside investments for their businesses, according to early data from Digital Undivided’s Project Diane.

Statistics compiled from CB Insights reports by Project Diane indicate that between 2012-2014, startups led by African-American women comprised less than 0.2% of all the venture deals in that time period.

Wyzerr’s funding was led by Connetic Ventures, which Malaihollo points out has Meena Maddali, a woman of color as partner and chief operating officer. "The reason a lot of us [women and minorities] don’t get funded is because a lot of investors don’t look like us," Malaihollo contends.

Culture Counts Big in Solving Gender Pay Gap - TALENT MGT

by Andrew Chamberlain 
Originally published: May 24, 2016
Publisher: TalentMGT.com 

Recent Glassdoor research shows the myriad factors that contribute to pay inequality -- namely a lack of workplace flexibility.

When it comes to the gender pay gap, it’s not as simple as bias in the workplace. Few studies have been able to identify this gap at the job title, or even individual company level.

My research team at employer reviews website Glassdoor Inc. recently analyzed more than 534,000 salary reports from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany and France. The report found there was still a significant gender wage gap in each nation, and a deeper dive reveals the nuances at the heart of the problem.

In the U.S., the unadjusted difference was 24 percent, meaning that for every dollar a man makes, a woman makes 76 cents. That gap does shrink when factors like job title, education, age and industry are taken into account, making the adjusted wage gap 5 percent, or 95 cents to the dollar.

That amount might appear small, but it is still highly significant. If a man makes $50,000 a year, a woman in the same position makes $2,700 less a year and at least $108,000 less over a 40-year career. What’s more, simple math may not paint the real picture.

Lesbian and bisexual woman asked to share their workplace experiences - GAY STAR NEWS

by David Hudson 
Originally published: May 24, 2016
Publisher: GayStarNews.com 

The organizers of the British LGBT Awards are appealing for women to take part in a survey they are conducting into the needs of lesbians and bisexual women in the workplace.

The survey is being launched partly in response to the fact that just 8% of the nominations for this year’s awards were submitted from lesbian and bisexual women.

Although half the awards cover celebrity and entertainment categories, the rest were corporate and workplace categories – recognizing LGBTI and straight allies and employee networks.

Winners at this year’s event, which took place 13 May in Covent Garden, included Lloyds Banking Group’s Rainbow LGBT Network group, Flt Lt Ayla Holdom (LGBT Inspirational Role Model) and YouTuber vloggers Rose and Rosie (Celebrity Rising Star).

Too few women at the top: Book on female empowerment in GCC paints bleak picture - THE NATIONAL

by Tahira Yaqoob
Originally published: May 23, 2016

Women achievers such as mountaineer Raha Moharrak are seen as the symbol of female empowerment in the GCC. But a new book sheds light on a stark disparity between the number of women graduates and those going into jobs.

They come from all walks of life – electrical engineers, mountaineers, business executives and entrepreneurs.

But there is one thing that unites the women depicted in a new book, Game Changers: How Women in the Arab World are Changing the Rules and Shaping the Future. It’s a fierce determination not to be held back by circumstance, tradition or self-doubt.

Raha Moharrak, the first Saudi woman to climb Everest, the business magnate Raja Al Gurg, and Donna Sultan, chief executive of the architectural and engineering firm KEO International Consultants, are among those lending their voices to the book.

The book was launched last week in Dubai, where there were plenty of empowered and powerful women to tell their stories.

The Transgender Bathroom Debate and the Looming Title IX Crisis - THE NEW YORKER

by Jeannie Suk 
Originally published: May 24, 2016
Publisher: NewYorker.com 

This month, regional battles over the right of transgender people to access public bathrooms were elevated to national legal theatre. First, the Justice Department told North Carolina that its recent law, requiring education boards and public agencies to limit the use of sex-segregated bathrooms to people of the corresponding biological sex, violated federal civil-rights laws. Governor Pat McCrory responded with a lawsuit, asking a court to declare that the state’s law doesn’t violate those federal laws. Meanwhile, in a suit filed on the same day, the Justice Department asked a court to say that it does.

To top it off, on May 13th the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights (O.C.R.) and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division issued a Dear Colleague letter announcing to the nation’s schools that, under Title IX—the 1972 law banning sex discrimination by schools that receive federal funding—transgender students must be allowed to use rest rooms that are “consistent with their gender identity.” The threat was clear: schools that failed to comply could lose federal funding. Protests of federal overreach immediately ensued, including from parents citing safety and privacy as reasons for children and teen-agers to share bathrooms and locker rooms only with students of the same biological sex.

Preventing discrimination against Muslim and Middle Eastern employees - EMPLOYER LINC

by Anna Lukeman
Originally published: May 24, 2016
Publisher: EmployerLinc.com 

In the wake of recent terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has warned employers to be proactive and take measures against discrimination aimed at those who are, or are perceived to be, either Muslim or Middle Eastern.

In her statement to address this issue, EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang said, “America was founded on the principle of religious freedom. As a nation, we must continue to seek the fair treatment of all, even as we grapple with the concerns raised by the recent terrorist attacks. When people come to work and are unfairly harassed or otherwise targeted based on their religion or national origin, it undermines our shared and longstanding values of tolerance and equality for all.”

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the federal law that prohibits employers from discriminating against employees and potential employees on the basis of national origin, religion, race, color or sex. Discrimination can potentially occur in many forms throughout the employment process, including hiring, firing, harassing, promoting or demoting, disciplining and accommodating. In support of the rising need to protect employees from discrimination, the EEOC has released two resource documents explaining the federal anti-discrimination laws in a Q&A format.