Friday, May 26, 2017

Quotas: flawed but effective at boosting workplace diversity - FINANCIAL TIMES

by Brian Groom 
Originally published: May 25, 2017

Mandated targets help widen the talent pool, but can be demeaning to beneficiaries.

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Where corporate chiefs often pay lip service to boardroom diversity, Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz has done something about it. The coffee chain recently added two non-white directors, meaning that 36 per cent of its board are from ethnic minorities, 29 per cent are female and they range in age from millennials to baby boomers.

WXN and American Express Canada join forces to launch Mentorship Guide to showcase the power of workplace mentorship - CANADA NEWSWIRE

Originally published: May 25, 2017

As part of their ongoing efforts to promote professional mentorship with female executives, the Women's Executive Network (WXN) and American Express Canada have partnered to release "Mentorship Fundamentals," a practical new guide designed to help women start, structure and get the most from their mentorship relationships.

Both organizations believe that mentorship opens up opportunities for professionals at any career stage, from high-powered executives to junior employees. The right mentorship strategy can help an aspiring executive plan a career move, get feedback on a project or expand their professional network.

"Mentorship can be your window to the professional potential you have but just can't see yet. It's one of the best ways for leaders, women in particular, to get the support they need to take their careers to the next level," says Sherri Stevens, Owner and CEO of WXN. "Plus, mentorship is beneficial to both parties involved. The mentee gets advice and the mentor gets a fresh perspective, a personal connection to the next generation."

A 12-Step Program For Retaining Your Diverse Workforce - TLNT

by Dr. John Sullivan 
Originally published: May 24, 2017

Most firms have no idea that they have a revolving door that is bleeding diversity talent, because unexplainably, they don’t measure and report diversity turnover and the cost. But what if your executives knew that diversity turnover was off the chart, especially in tech where workers, and especially women, black and Latino tech workers were more likely to quit because of unfairness or mistreatment

And your executives would be even more concerned if they knew that high diversity turnover rates were costing a large corporation tens of millions of dollars each year. As a result of this continuous talent drain, it really shouldn’t be such a surprise when your firm consistently fails to meet its diversity goals. After successful diversity recruiting at your firm, HR for some reason left out diversity retention, the critical follow-up program.

I call this loss the “diversity revolving door.” This is the same phenomena that occur when you’re filling a glass, because you’ll never succeed if there is a hole toward the bottom that results in much of the liquid pouring out. And that’s exactly what’s happening with most diversity recruiting programs. You spend tons of money and management time to bring in diversity recruits only to have them leave because there was no formal proactive and targeted effort to retain them.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Women make their mark in sport’s executive suites - GLOBE AND MAIL

by Allan Maki 
Originally published: May 24, 2017

When Tricia Smith was younger and on her way to athletic glory, her mother offered some advice, “Don’t beat the boys at school. It makes them feel bad.”

Beating the boys didn’t motivate Smith. She simply wanted to be the best she could be. It turned out that attitude helped take her to a place she never imagined at a time when a meaningful number of power brokers in Canadian amateur sport are women – and there’s no reason to feel bad about it.

Through Carla Qualtrough, Anne Merklinger and Smith, women occupy three top positions of influence as Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, CEO of Own The Podium and president of the Canadian Olympic Committee, respectively. All three were athletes. Qualtrough competed as a visually impaired swimmer at two Paralympics and won three medals. Merklinger swam for the Canadian national team and curled in the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. Smith was an Olympic silver medalist in rowing before becoming a lawyer. All three worked their way through a male-dominated system to help shape sports and inclusiveness in this country.

'Bittersweet' day for ex-RCMP women as sex-harassment lawsuit nears end - CBC

by Colin Perkel 
Originally published: May 24, 2017

Two women who endured years of sexual harassment as RCMP employees expressed mixed emotions as a landmark class-action suit against the force edged Wednesday toward final court approval.

Speaking after a settlement hearing, the women expressed hope their long battle would pave the way for a more hospitable RCMP workplace.

"It's not a happy day based upon the fact that we've had to take this action to get change," said Linda Davidson, one of the representative plaintiffs. "That's sad. It's 2017."

The Legal Landscape on Employer Dress Code and Appearance Policies: A U.S. and European Prospective - CORPORATE COUNSEL

by Greg Grisham
Originally published: May 22, 2017

Personal dress and appearance is a common way individuals express their personality, including their political and religious views. Unfortunately, the personal choices individuals make in attire, hairstyle and other personal appearance factors may collide with workplace rules, creating conflicts.

Federal U.S. law does not directly regulate employer dress codes or appearance policies. However, it does prohibit employers from discriminating against employees based on a number of protected characteristics including, for example, religion, sex, race and national origin. This prohibition on discrimination can implicate employer dress codes if they have a disparate impact on individuals in a protected classification or if the policy is selectively enforced. Federal law also requires U.S. employers to reasonably accommodate the religious practices of employees unless doing so would result in an undue hardship. Additionally, some employer dress code/appearance policies may violate U.S. labor law. Furthermore, U.S. employers must also be aware of state and local laws, which often provide greater protections for employees than provided by federal law. Finally, multinational employers must be aware of the laws in foreign jurisdictions, which may differ significantly from U.S. law. This article discusses significant U.S. laws that may impact employer dress code and appearance polices, while Part II of this article addresses the laws of significant European jurisdictions.

Music can lower prejudice, boost empathy: Study - INDIAN EXPRESS

Originally published: May 24, 2017

The universal language of music may have a humanising effect and reduce feelings of prejudice between people from different racial backgrounds, say scientists. Researchers recorded a mock news story featuring an Arab and an American actor playing music together. They then showed the video clip to US participants who were not Arab.

The team found that when viewing the two cultures collaborating on music, individuals in the study were prone to report more positive perceptions – less of a prejudiced view -of Arabs. “Music would not have developed in our civilisations if it did not do very important things to us,” said Jake Harwood, a professor at the University of Arizona (UA) in the US.

“It allows us to communicate common humanity to each other. It models the value of diversity in ways you don’t readily see in other parts of our lives,” said Harwood. The benefits were notable, even when individuals did not play musical instruments themselves. Merely listening to music produced by outgroup members helped reduce negative feelings about outgroup members, Harwood said.

Is your board broad enough? - CIVIL SOCIETY

by Juliet Taylor 
Originally published: May 24, 2017

The role of an effective board plays can be make or break, so strength and diversity is vital, says Juliet Taylor. 

The right team of trustees for any arts, culture or heritage organisation is a formidable asset when we all find ourselves on shifting sands. Yet there is little guidance available centrally and consistently on how to plan, recruit for and support high performing boards. In particular, while there has been increased and often intense scrutiny on board governance, the human aspect of effective boards is easily overlooked. The challenges presented by the environment in which today’s not for profit organisations have to operate places a premium on strong and resilient boards that are equipped to steer the course. What should boards be thinking about?

Icelandair Launches First Gay Commercial, Says It’s “Only Natural” To Reflect Customers’ Diversity - NEW NOW NEXT

by Cody Gohl
Originally published: May 24, 2017

In an effort to represent the diversity of its clientele, Icelandair has released a new video advertisement featuring a middle-aged gay couple.

The short spot shows the men enjoying all the best that Iceland has to offer—from horseback riding to taking in the Northern Lights—by using points earned through the Icelandic airline.

“Icelandair’s customers are as diverse as they are many,” explained Icelandair brand manager Jón Skafti Kristjánsson. “We think it’s only natural to reflect that in our marketing material.”

“This ad portrays a cultural trip to Iceland and the group it’s aimed at is people who travel to enjoy what life has to offer with their loved ones,” he continued. “So it was an obvious choice to use a loving middle-aged couple for such an ad; it’s worked well for us in the past. But this time we thought: why not add to the diversity and make this loving, middle-aged couple a same-sex couple?”

Harvard Business School Has A Diversity Problem — Here's How To Fix It - REFINERY 29

Originally published: May 24, 2017

Last week Dean Nitin Nohria of Harvard Business School penned an editorial for the Washington Post on how diversity fails without inclusion. I appreciate how hard it must have been to go public on a subject that seems controversial to some: the lack of respect and equal opportunity for people of all backgrounds that still pervades our most august institutions. As a Black woman from working-class Baltimore and a Harvard-trained lawyer and Barnard alumna, I have my own experiences in elite and majority white-male educational and corporate institutions. I realize it’s especially hard for “the Asian Dean” of HBS to say such, because people of color who have “made it” are supposed to be grateful and not complain. We are supposed to be evidence that all is right with the world.

But that’s simply not the case. As an expert in the field for over 20 years, what is clear to me — from meeting with young people who are surprised by both the lack of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) on their campuses and workplaces — is that our institutions need to step it up. D&I is not a controversial subject to most young folks; it is assumed and expected. If organizations like Harvard Business School are going to remain leaders in their fields, they must commit to transforming their cultural norms and systems.

Serena Williams' new job: bringing diversity to the tech world - LA TIMES

Originally published: May 25, 2017

Tennis star Serena Williams has 39 Grand Slam titles, four Olympic medals, major endorsement deals and her own line of clothing and accessories. Now she is embarking on a new mission: to help tech companies diversify their workforces and solve one of the industry's most vexing problems.

Williams, 35, will get her chance as she joins a Silicon Valley boardroom. Online poll-taking service SurveyMonkey announced Williams' appointment to its board on Wednesday, along with Intuit Chief Executive Brad Smith.

“I feel like diversity is something I speak to,” Williams said in an interview with the Associated Press. “Change is always happening; change is always building. What is important to me is to be at the forefront of the change and to make it easier for the next person that comes behind me.”

Apple’s New Diversity Officer Will Report Directly to the CEO - FORTUNE

by Grace Donnelly 
Originally published: May 23, 2017

Apple has named Denise Young Smith vice president for Inclusion and Diversity, marking the company’s latest effort to improve racial and gender disparities among its employees. Young Smith, formerly the company’s global head of human resources, will take over diversity initiatives and report directly to Apple CEO, Tim Cook.

She takes over for the previous head of diversity and inclusion, Jeffrey Siminoff, who served at a director level and reported to Young Smith. He left the company for Twitter in January of last year.

It’s a step in the right direction for Apple, since best practices for corporate diversity indicate that having a CEO directly involved leads to more effective inclusion measures within an organization.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

‘Swim Team’ Chronicles Life On The Spectrum- DISABILITY SCOOP

by Shaun Heasley
Originally published: May 23, 2017

A documentary about the unlikely rise of a group of swimmers on the autism spectrum will hit theaters this summer.

The film “Swim Team” follows three New Jersey teenagers with autism who are part of a competitive swim team known as the Jersey Hammerheads and find success in the pool despite their challenges.

“Children with developmental disabilities are routinely excluded from community activities, often as early as preschool,” said Lara Stolman, the documentary’s director.

Canadians Living with Disabilities Celebrate June 5th: Independent Living Across Canada Day - WIRE SERVICE

Originally published: May 23, 2017

IL Canada and its network community of 25 Independent Living Centres across Canada are pleased to fully support Minister Qualtroughs' recent announcement of celebrating National AccessAbility Week from May 28th to June 3rd, 2017.

"An inclusive Canada is one where all Canadians can participate and have an equal opportunity to succeed. We've made great strides in promoting inclusion for Canadians with disabilities, but there is still much work to do", says Minister Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities.

"We must work together to continue our march towards an Accessible Canada. This announcement encourages all of us, and certainly adds momentum to our June 5th celebrations across Canada", says Diane Kreuger, IL Canada Board Chair. "IL Canada is ready, willing and able to help make the Minister's dream a reality, as we launch our Celebrating 150 Stories Digital Campaign leading up to our annual Independent Living across Canada Day June 5th, 2017, and Canada's 150th".

Diversity in Technology 2017 – going beyond the issue of gender in the workplace - COMPUTER BUSINESS REVIEW

by Hannah Leonard
Originally published: May 24, 2017

I am thrilled to be launching the UK’s first conference dedicated to increasing diversity and equal opportunity within the tech sector! After the success of Europe’s largest Women in Technology conference, this is the next step in our push for progress.

Diversity in Technology 2017, being held on 15 June, goes beyond the issues of gender. It is the first UK conference to have a holistic discussion about how we can increase diversity and equal opportunity in the fastest growing sector of our economy.

Plus, with uncertainty on the horizon, it is vital to be aware of the current economic and political situation and the impact change could have on the tech sector. We will analyse the opportunities available so you can create a strategy to future proof your company.

Lawmakers Ask Justices to Take Up Veterans’ Workplace Rights- BLOOMBERG LAW

by Josh Eidelson,
Originally published: May 24, 2017

Eighteen lawmakers are testing their luck at the Supreme Court, asking the justices to take up a case on whether military reservists’ unfair dismissal claims can be forced into arbitration by their civilian bosses.

Because the case involves veterans’ rights, the legislators say they are hopeful the Supreme Court of John Roberts will temper its usual affinity for agreements waiving employees’ right to sue.

“The tragic irony could not be more dramatic,” said Connecticut Democrat Richard Blumenthal, the senator spearheading a friend-of-the-court brief set to be filed Wednesday by six senators and a dozen House members, including three Republicans. “They’re serving and sacrificing so we have these rights, and then they come home and they are denied those very rights that they are fighting to uphold.”

HRC launches groundbreaking LGBT workplace inclusion survey in Mexico - LGBT WEEKLY

by Steve Lee
Originally published: May 23, 2017

Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation announced that its HRC Equidad MX: Global Workplace Equality Program is undertaking a groundbreaking new survey of Mexican businesses’ LGBT inclusive policies and practices. Continuing their long record of support for equality, major employers Citibanamex, Accenture, Google, Kellogg and Mastercard have already committed to participate in the Mexico-focused survey and report.

The survey was announced at an event today hosted by Citibanamex and comes during a time of significant progress in LGBTQ workplace inclusion around the globe. In the coming months, Mexico-based HRC Equidad MX will collect responses to the survey, which will run parallel to HRC’s annual Corporate Equality Index (CEI) survey, and release the results during the Fall of 2017. 

‘Diversity, inclusion drives innovation at Maersk Group’ - THE GUARDIAN

by Sulaimon Salau   
Originally published: May 24, 2017

The Head, Diversity and Inclusion of A.P. Moller-Maersk Group, Rachel Osikoya, said the priority attention accorded the concept of diversity and inclusion has been key to driving innovation at the multinational group.

Osikoya, who was in Lagos recently for a women leadership development programme, said diversity is about understanding and managing differences at the workplace.

She said, “At Maersk we are focusing specifically on diversity in terms of gender, nationality and age. Generational diversity is something a lot of companies are looking at now. It is also about how you think, how you solve problems, what difference you bring to the organization.

How To Improve Your Workplace Diversity Using Hiring Metrics - ENTREPRENEUR

by Andrew Lavoie
Originally published: May 23, 2017

Achieving workplace diversity is a hot topic in hiring trends. It's a goal that requires a careful balance of resources and strategy, and companies lately have been diving in.

According to a September 2016 LinkedIn Pulse survey released just last month, startup founders projected that, in the future, they would be hiring roughly 50 percent female and 50 percent racially diverse talent in the future. The study also stated that 50 percent of white founders surveyed said their number one obstacle was finding the best talent, regardless of diversity.

Another significant factor here is how some companies are spending millions of dollars on improving diversity. In a May 2015 interview, Google's vice president of people operations, Nancy Lee, told USA Today that Google planned to spend $150 million that year to promote diversity.

Blind recruitment boosts diversity and performance: study - ENTERPRISE INNOVATION

Originally published: May 24, 2017

Many organizations are adopting blind recruitment in an effort to help eliminate unconscious bias, according to recruiting experts Hays, in the latest edition of the Hays Journal.

Blind recruitment involves omitting personally identifiable information, such as name, gender, age and education, from applicant CVs. The aim is to overcome unconscious bias during the recruitment process, which can be counterproductive to a strategy to improve workplace diversity.

“Everyone has unconscious bias,” says Yvonne Smyth, Head of Diversity at Hays. “At its most basic, it is about whether you see someone as part of your ‘in group’. For example, do you have a Caucasian sounding name, as I do? Did you go to the same university as me? However, when it comes to any kind of selection at key points in careers, which could be recruitment, promotion, being put forward for a new project, even giving feedback, this can influence the shape of someone’s career and the opportunities they have.

KPMG's Lynne Doughtie On Why Women Are The Future Of Work - FORBES

by Michelle King
Originally published: May 23, 2017

“The pace of change in the next three to five years will be unlike anything we have ever seen before. This is a really disruptive time that we live in. Convergence and the blurring of lines across industries creates the opportunity for women to really excel,” says Lynne Doughtie, U.S. Chairman and CEO of professional services firm KPMG.

Doughtie says organizations need nimble, cooperative and diverse teams in place to take advantage of technological changes. This will ultimately mean more opportunities for women. “I have found that women are really in their element in a very collaborative approach. I see it as a great time for women in leadership,” she says.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

University of Ottawa aiming to do better on diversity - METRO NEWS

by  Ryan Tumilty
Originally published: May 22, 2017

A spokesperson for the University of Ottawa said it’s doing all it can to diversify research chairs, but a professor who once held one of the coveted positions said the school's problems runs deep.

The federal government pledged earlier this month to prevent schools that don’t meet diversity targets — including women, visible minorities, Indigenous people and people with disabilities — from applying for future chair positions.  
Recent data showed the University of Ottawa is missing all of those targets, but Isabelle Mailloux Pulkinghorn, said the school has made real progress since last fall.

“We’re confident that the next time the chairs program collects this data, our numbers will show this progress.”

Business is now dominated by white, privately educated 'tech bros' – and that's bad news for the rest of us - INDEPENDENT

by Josie Cox
Originally published: May 22, 2017

Any advocate of diversity in business has excuses to despair galore these days. White, predominately privately educated men run corporate Britain. The gender pay gap is doggedly stuck in double digits and, as of late last year, more than half of FTSE 100 companies did not have any directors of colour. Only nine BME executives held the position of chair or chief executive.

Elsewhere it’s still not unusual for professionals of any seniority level to hide their sexual orientation, fearful that it might sway their image or potential in the workplace. Case in point: it took until 2014 for Britain to have its first openly gay CEO of a FTSE 100 company, courtesy of Burberry’s Christopher Bailey. 

Especially in London, we have a tendency to pinpoint the finance industry as the worst offender when it comes to attracting talent of all genders, skin colours, religions and beliefs. And why wouldn’t we? The Oxbridge-educated bankers and investors, with their double-barrelled surnames and corner offices in Canary Wharf’s ivory towers, are an easy target for our grievances.

Sodexo is One of the World's Best Company for Multicultural Women - HR TECHNOLOGIST

by Pratibha Nanduri 
Originally published: May 22, 2017

The Working Mother magazine has recognized Sodexo, provider of "quality of life" services, as one of the best company for multicultural women to work for in 2017. Since the initiation of the honor 15 years back, Sodexo has been honored seven times, including this year's honor. The honor recognizes US companies that have created and used best practices for hiring, promoting, and retaining women from diverse backgrounds.

At Sodexo, diversity and inclusion are integrated into the culture, and strategic efforts are designed to address any challenges faced by minorities. The 40,000 multicultural women employed by Sodexo in the US make up one-third of its workforce. 

Audible teams up with Joel Creasey and Rhys Nicholson to keep marriage equality conversation alive - MUMBRELLA

by Zoe Samios
Originally published: May 22, 2017

Amazon’s has recruited comedians Joel Creasey and Rhys Nicholson to launch a new audio series, Listen to Love, which tackles love equality.

To mark the launch, content agency Emotive and PR agency Poem have created a Marriage Equality acceptance debate video, with comedians Creasey, Nicholson and actress Rosie Lourde.

The video sees the trio fighting about ‘Who loves marriage more’. 

Commit to employing a million more older workers, says age champion - PERSONNEL TODAY

by Jo Faragher 
Originally published: May 23, 2017

Employers should commit to employing 12% more employees over the age of 50 by 2022, according to Andy Briggs, the Government’s business champion for older workers.

Briggs has called for organisations to publish age data so others can see their progress in meeting this target, and wants employers to sign up to a “Commit & Publish” pledge to secure a million more older staff in the workplace by 2022.

A number of employers have already agreed to the pledge, including Aviva, Atos, Barclays and the Cooperative Group. They have also published the percentage of workers who are over 50.

Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi At Google, An Employee-Run Email List Tracks Harassment and Bias Complaints - BLOOMBERG

by Ellen Huet and Mark Bergen 
Originally published: May 23, 2017

At most companies, if you think you’ve witnessed sexual harassment, sexism, bigotry or racism, there’s one way to get it addressed: going to human resources. At Google, there's another way to air your grievance: submitting your complaint to an employee-run message board that's curated into a weekly email.

The list, called "Yes, at Google," is a grassroots effort to collect anonymous submissions at Google and parent Alphabet Inc. and communicate them across the company, according to five current employees who receive the emails. "Yes, at Google" tracks allegations of unwelcome behavior at work in an attempt to make the company more inclusive, said the employees, who did not want to be named because they were not authorized to speak about internal company matters. Since starting in October, more than 15,000 employees -- 20 percent of the company's workforce -- have subscribed, according to two of those people.

American Express launches new video series empowering next generation of female leaders - CANADA NEWSWIRE

Originally published: May 23, 2017

American Express Canada, in partnership with Women of Influence, is proud to launch a new video series that speaks candidly with female executives about their careers. The executives share insights from their own professional journey and speak about topics like mentorship, sponsorship and finding balance between work and personal life.

The videos, which were developed as part of American Express' Women at Amex initiative, feature the personal perspectives of five successful female leaders.

"It was a wonderful experience to collaborate with such a talented group of women," says Kerri-Ann Santaguida, Vice President & General Manager, Merchant Services, Amex Canada. "By gathering our different perspectives and experiences, we hope these videos will help shape, motivate and inspire the next generation of female leaders in Canada." 

5 Recruiting Tips To Increase Diversity In the Workplace - BUSINESS 2 COMMUNITY

by Ji-A Min
Originally published: May 21, 2017

A new Deloitte survey finds companies’ interest in diversity in the workplace is focused on bias in recruiting and the use of new tools to reduce this bias.

68% of companies they surveyed measure and monitor diversity and inclusion in their recruiting.

The appeal of diversity in the workplace is recognized by both sides of the recruiting equation. A Glassdoor survey found 67% of job seekers believe diversity is an important factor when considering companies and job offers, whereas 57% of recruiters say their talent acquisition strategies are designed to attract diverse candidates.

Companies Must Look To Regulations For Establishing Workplace Diversity Programs - FORBES

by Jessica Miller-Merrell 
Originally published: May 22, 2017

When it comes to the topic of diversity, organizations are applauded or reprimanded for their efforts. However, there is little backstory or information for companies to establish a baseline for what a diverse workplace and work teams look like. Instead, diversity is positioned as a warm and fuzzy activity that is morally just instead of looking to compliance for direction and guidance on what to do.

In the U.S., diversity generally falls into what the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EOEC) defines as a protected class. These protected classes include individual workers who are protected in the employment and hiring process under a number of federal U.S. employment laws and include the following groups:

• Age (over 40)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Does Demanding Gender Balance On Corporate Boards Actually End Up Demeaning Women? - FORBES

Originally published: May 19, 2017

Does demanding/enforcing gender balance in boards end up demeaning women board members rather than shattering the glass ceiling? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Shefaly Yogendra, Board Director, on Quora:

A few days ago, I attended an awards shindig for non-executive board directors in London. I was invited because I was in the long list of nominees although I did not get any awards. There were over 600 invitees in a ritzy ballroom of a Mayfair hotel, and a small percentage, perhaps around 5–10%, were women.

Only one in four people with a long-term mental health issue are in work - INSIGHT

by Neil Franklin 
Originally published: May 19, 2017

Only a quarter of people with a long term mental health issue are in work, according to a report published by the TUC to coincide with its Disabled Workers’ Conference yesterday. The report, Mental health and employment, contains new analysis of official employment statistics, which finds that while 4 in 5 (80.4 percent) non-disabled people are in work, people with mental illness, anxiety or depression have substantially lower employment rates. Only one in four (26.2 percent) people with a mental illness lasting (or expected to last) more than a year are in work. Less than half (45.5 percent) of people with depression or anxiety lasting more than 12 months are in work. The TUC is concerned that this suggests employers are failing to make adequate changes in the workplace to enable people with mental illnesses, anxiety or depression to get a job, or stay in work. Mental health problems can often be ‘invisible’ to others, so a lack of mental health awareness amongst managers and employers is also likely to be a factor.

The employment rate for disabled people is increasing, but too slowly for the government to reach its target of halving the disability employment gap by 2020. The TUC estimates it will take until 2025 for those classified in official figures as having long-term depression and anxiety, and until 2029 for people classified as having long-term mental illness. ”

Court: Transgender people can sue under ADA - WASHINGTON BLADE

by Chris Johnson 
Originally published: May 19, 2017

A federal court for the first time has ruled transgender people can sue under the Americans with Disabilities Act, despite the law’s explicit exclusion of claims based on gender identity.

U.S. District Judge Joseph Gleeson, an Obama-appointed judge in Pennsylvania, determined in a six-page decision a case filed by transgender plaintiff Kate Lynn Blatt filed against Cabela’s Retail, Inc., can proceed because she meets the conditions of the 1990 law.

“[I]t is fairly possible to interpret the term gender identity disorders narrowly to refer to simply the condition of identifying with a different gender, not to exclude from ADA coverage disabling conditions that persons who identify with a different gender may have — such as Blatt’s gender dysphoria, which substantially limits her major life activities of interacting with others, reproducing, and social and occupational functioning,” Gleeson writes.

Minorities Who ‘Whiten’ Résumés More Likely to Get Interview - THE ROOT

by Michael Harriot
Originally published: May 19, 2017

Black and Asian students who find ways to erase evidence of their race from their résumés are more likely to find jobs, according to a new study reported by Harvard Business School Working Knowledge, and a lesser-known report authored by the entirety of black America entitled, “We’ve been saying this shit for years!”

Katherine DeCelles, a professor at Harvard Business School, along with colleagues from the University of Toronto and Stanford University, recently studied this phenomenon in “Whitened Résumés: Race and Self-Presentation in the Labor Market” (pdf). “Discrimination still exists in the workplace,” said DeCelles. “Some applicants were willing to lose what could be seen as valuable pieces of human capital because they were more worried about giving away their race.”

“Whitening” is an all-encompassing term for when prospective employees scrub their résumés of anything that might indicate their race. Applicants with cultural names will sometimes use their initials. Community or professional work with African-American fraternities, sororities or other organizations are deleted. One student omitted a prestigious scholarship he was awarded because he feared it might reveal his race.

Former Uber Employee Says He Was Fired for Reporting Harassment - VANITY FAIR

Originally published: May 19, 2017

In February, a former Uber engineer named Susan Fowler published an essay on her blog, detailing allegations of sexual harassment and sexism at Uber. Fowler alleged that Uber’s human-resources team systematically had ignored her multiple reports of sexism and sexual harassment during the year she worked for the company. She had been propositioned for sex, she wrote, and when she tried to report the manager who did it, she said she was told Uber wouldn’t take action against him because the company didn’t want to ruin the career of a “high performer.” Fowler’s manager allegedly later threatened to fire her if she tried to report his boss again. (“I have just read Susan Fowler's blog,” Uber C.E.O. Travis Kalanick said in response to the blog post. “What she describes is abhorrent and against everything Uber stands for and believes in. It's the first time this has come to my attention so I have instructed Liane Hornsey our new Chief Human Resources Officer to conduct an urgent investigation into these allegations. We seek to make Uber a just workplace and there can be absolutely no place for this kind of behavior at Uber — and anyone who behaves this way or thinks this is OK will be fired.”)

Now, according to public filings reported by investigative news outlet Reveal News, another former Uber employee has come forward with allegations about Uber’s company culture. The unnamed former Uber employee says he was fired in 2016, after he went to Uber’s human-resources department to report the harassment his female colleagues said they were facing. The employee filed a complaint with California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which, according to Reveal News, says his female co-workers “sought his intervention regarding alleged sex-based discrimination and harassment they were suffering at the hands of a male supervisor.” After they approached him for help in 2015, he allegedly went to human resources with their stories. “We get a lot of phone calls from employees that we don’t always act on,” someone in Uber’s human-resources department allegedly told him, and didn’t investigate further. Shortly thereafter, in March 2016, the employee was fired, the complaint says. (Uber did not respond to a request for comment.)

It’s not just the RCMP: Police culture is toxic - THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Originally published: May 19, 2017

The Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP unveiled a damning report on systemic workplace harassment in the RCMP. In a one-two punch, former auditor-general Sheila Fraser also released a second federal report of her review of four harassment lawsuits from female RCMP members. Both reports call for substantial reforms to the operations of the RCMP. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale responded to the reports stating they both contained “similar serious and long-standing concerns.”

While some in the public may see these reports as earth-shattering revelations about the workplace culture of Canadian police forces, their content should not surprise many of the officers who serve. The culture of policing was originally built on white, traditionally masculine, conservative norms, and is based on hyper-masculinity, loyalty and, above all, silence. There have been commissions, gender audits, independent reviews, academic studies, lawsuits, whistle-blowing memoirs, public complaints and media coverage of the ills of the police culture for decades. The internal issues of harassment, discrimination, abuse of power and corruption have been known by police administrations and government bodies in Canada for a long time. Yet, little about the culture has changed in any meaningful way. I say this from my own experiences in policing, but, much more importantly, from the 77 in-depth interviews across 23 police services I have conducted thus far in my current nationwide study on police officers’ experiences of police culture.

How We Closed the Gap Between Men’s and Women’s Retention Rates - HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW

by Michelle Stohlmeyer Russell and Lori Moskowitz Lepler
Originally published: May 19, 2017

Many companies continue to struggle with advancing and retaining women. As we’ve studied our own progress at BCG, we have found that gender disparities in our senior cohorts are not completely explained by traditional workplace concerns, such as work-life balance, maternity leave, unequal pay, and differential ambitions. We have identified a very different explanation, which is just as critical: the quality of the day-to-day apprenticeship experience.

Apprenticeship, the working relationships of junior team members learning alongside experienced colleagues, is critical to mastering the consulting craft and succeeding in professional services. It’s a model that’s increasingly used in companies of all kinds looking to accelerate the development of their high-potential people. Management consulting is a challenging environment in which to cultivate apprenticeship, because staff regularly jump from project to project and manager to manager. As in many fast-paced companies today, consulting staff operate without formal job descriptions or handbooks. So relationships are where employees develop critical skills and leadership capabilities.

What Neurodiversity Is And Why Companies Should Embrace It

Originally published: May 19, 2017

What if we’ve been thinking about our brains in the wrong way? What if traits like ADHD, autism, dyslexia, and others weren’t thought of as “disorders,” but as brain makeups that are not only natural but also contain unique gifts and contributions?

That’s the thinking behind the concept of neurodiversity, a framework that embraces the variety of brain makeups found in the human species. Neurodiversity is also a categorization of identity that is overlooked and underserved in the workplace. From the interview processes to decision making, most of our workplace environments are built around things like eye contact, noisy group work, and generally overstimulating settings–in other words, they are built for more”neurotypical” people.

Battling an ‘invisible’ foe of mental illness in the office - RICHMOND NEWS

by Philip Raphael
Originally published: May 18, 2017

How do you battle an illness that is almost invisible to most people?

When it’s mental health, there also follows with it a stigma that makes dealing with its effects even more complicated. And when it comes to the impact it has on the workplace, statistics show it’s costing Canadian businesses billions in lost productivity.

Those are some of the topics the Richmond Chamber of Commerce’s Company of Young Professionals team sought to  call attention to when they combined their talents to enter a recent Greater Vancouver Board of Trade video competition addressing mental illness in the workplace.

Friday, May 19, 2017

If You're in a Wheelchair, Segregation Lives - New York Times

by Luticha Doucette 
Originally published: May 17

Last year, the former chief of the Santa Fe, N.M., police department, Donald Grady II, said something that stuck with me. “There’s a thing that we call freedom of movement,” he said in an interview with The Atlantic, “which is really revered in this country — that we should have the right to move freely without impingement from the police simply because.” He was speaking as both a black man and a police officer about the ways racial discrimination can limit a basic right. But I related to this on more than one level.

As a black woman with incomplete quadriplegia and chronic pain, and as a full-time manual wheelchair user, my own ability to move freely is frequently restricted. Too often, both the lack of accessibility in public spaces and the ingrained ableism of many nondisabled people bars my way.

Let’s say I want to go out to dinner downtown. Even if I can enter an establishment — which I often can’t — very rarely is the accessible seating in a visible place, if it is there at all. Once inside, I am often relegated to a corner, the aisle, a back room. In brew pubs with high tables and high chairs, trying to have conversations at eye-level with other people’s crotches while nursing my beer leads me to feel less like an adult and more like Oliver Twist. No one wants to try the new hot spot in town and then be seated at the kids’ table. 

Ontario To Extend WSIB Benefits For Chronic Workplace Stress - ROB BOSWELL

by Rob Boswell 
Originally published: May 17, 2017

On April 27, 2017, the Ontario Government introduced Bill 127 - the Stronger, Healthier Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2017.  Among amendments to several other statutes, Bill 127 will result in significant amendments to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 (WSI Act) which are set out in Schedule 33 of the Bill.

The most notable change to the WSI Act will expand the scope of entitlement for mental stress.  It is anticipated that the Bill will be passed quickly.  The mental stress amendments will then be in force on January 1, 2018 without retroactive application.  These amendments will repeal subsections 13(4) and (5) of the WSI Act which currently read as follows (with emphasis added):

Exception, mental stress

(4) Except as provided in subsections (5) and 14 (3), a worker is not entitled to benefits under the insurance plan for mental stress.

The Art of Recycling Retirees and Potential Retirees - ATD

by Annabelle Reitman 
Originally published: May 18, 2017

“The idea of living a longer life appeals to everyone, but the idea of getting older doesn’t appeal to anyone.”
—Andy Rooney

Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) began retiring in 2011 and will continue into 2030, if not beyond. Life and world events give them a different perspective of retirement than prior generations. One critical factor is their life expectancy is higher, due to advances in healthcare. Living longer is no longer unusual.

How will seniors remain engaged, productive, and able to manage the time they now can look forward to? Boomers will remain physically active, have the desire to keep learning, and look for new challenges. This trend means that retirees (and those about to enter this stage) need to reimagine their lives, including their mindset about work. Is working a part of retirement? 

Tracey Spicer on pregnancy discrimination in TV: 'Talitha is a very brave young woman’ - HONEY

by Jessica Rapana  
Originally published: May 18, 2017

If anyone knows what it’s like to spend a day in Talitha Cummins’ shoes - it’s Tracey Spicer.

Like Cummins, the 49-year-old newsreader took on a major television network over pregnancy discrimination in the Federal Court in 2006, claiming she had been unfairly dismissed by Network Ten after having a baby.

This year, Cummins brought similar proceedings against Seven West Media, alleging she had been wrongly demoted nine weeks into her maternity leave. The parties eventually reached a confidential settlement.


California to Investigate Discrimination in Car Insurance Premiums - CONSUMER REPORTS

by  Julia Angwin 
Originally published: May 19, 2017

The California Department of Insurance has launched an investigation into whether eight auto insurers in the state discriminate against drivers in minority neighborhoods.

The investigation was prompted by an April 5 article, co-published by ProPublica and Consumer Reports, which found that the eight California insurers were charging more for auto premiums in minority neighborhoods, on average, than in non-minority areas with similar accident costs. California law prohibits insurers from charging rates that are excessive or unfairly discriminatory.

“We have taken these pricing allegations very seriously,” deputy commissioner Ken Allen wrote on April 28 to an attorney at Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization arm of Consumer Reports. “To investigate this contention, all necessary information to complete a thorough analysis on a file-by-file basis has already been or will be obtained from the eight insurers. The Department’s analysis will determine if there are inequities with respect to the pricing and treatment of any ZIP codes by these insurers.”

Equality in the workplace is lagging behind again. This should not happen in the 21st century - INSIDER

Originally published: May 18, 2017

When I was growing up, my mother was forging a career in human resources that brought her in regular contact with the barriers women encounter in moving up the management ranks.

Though I didn't totally understand all the issues at that time, her frustration on occasions was evident – but it was also clear that she believed these were problems that I wouldn't have to contend with in my working life.

She's now retired, and I'm mid-way through my career as a business journalist where I am still writing regularly about gender balance, pay gaps and the host of networks and initiatives on the go to combat these inequalities.

Average HR professional ‘now looking after 15 employees with a mental health condition’ - HR NEWS

Originally published: May 18, 2017

New analysis from HR and diversity consultancy, the Clear Company, has revealed that HR professionals will, on average, oversee 15 staff with mental health conditions each year.

Furthermore, the UK Workplace Wellbeing Survey identified mental health in the workplace as the second biggest challenge facing employers in the next five years, with respondents stating that 26% of workplace absences were down to psychological conditions.

According to figures from XpertHR, the median number of employees per HR practitioner was 62.5 in 2016. Meanwhile, approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year according to mental health charity, Mind.

Employers are already putting interventions in place to support staff, with 81% offering line manager training (around recognising stress within the workplace), 75% offering occupational health support, 72% offering employee assistance programmes and a further 62% offering separate counselling support.

CBC announces leadership changes at The National following 'appropriation prize' controversy - YAHOO

Originally published: May 17, 2017

CBC News has shuffled the leadership of its flagship program following a controversy on social media this week involving numerous Canadian media figures, including the managing editor of The National.

Steve Ladurantaye will step away from the program's redevelopment, the public broadcaster announced Wednesday. Instead, Ladurantaye will be meeting with Indigenous groups and other diverse communities across Canada and then helping CBC News develop its storytelling strategies, CBC News editor in chief Jennifer McGuire wrote in a note.

"Redeveloping The National needs the full attention and focus of us all, and I believe that is not possible given the current circumstances," McGuire wrote.