The 50 – 30 Challenge

The 50 – 30 Challenge

< Back to Articles | Topics: Working for you | Contributors: Diversity Institute, Ted Rogers School of Management at Toronto Metropolitan University | Published: June 1, 2023

Discover your diversity advantage

A diverse workforce helps organizations to tap into new markets, attract the best and the brightest talent, and drive innovation and performance. Many of Canada’s entrepreneurs and businesses understand this and are striving to increase diversity within their organizations, but need help to do so.

Recognizing this need, the Canadian government created the 50 – 30 Challenge, which encourages organizations to increase representation at the senior leadership and board levels to 50% for women and nonbinary people, and to 30% for other equity-deserving groups. As one of the five founding partners of the 50 – 30 Challenge, the Diversity Institute (DI) helped to create the Challenge and hosts the WhatWorksToolkit, which provides resources to organizations that want to adopt or improve diversity practices.

When it comes to advancing diversity and inclusion in Canadian workplaces, good intentions are not enough, said Dr. Wendy Cukier, founder and academic director of the Diversity Institute (DI). “We need to move from good intentions to action. While representation in leadership is not the only thing that matters, it signals who belongs and can help an organization better respond to the changing world,” said Cukier.

“We have definitely made progress, but it's glacial. This year there were only four women among the 100 top-paid CEOs in Canada. And DI research has found that white women outnumber racialized women 12 to one on corporate boards in Toronto, even though women make up 50% of the population. Of 1,600 corporate board members across Canada, there were nine Black men and four Black women. Improving representation in leadership requires action at many levels,” she said.

Equity-deserving groups for the purposes of the Challenge include Indigenous Peoples; racialized, Black and people of colour; persons with disabilities and those in the 2SLGBTQ+ community. The 50 – 30 Challenge is grounded in the evidence that better representation can drive organizational performance including access to talent, access to markets, and innovation. Along with Colleges and Institutes Canada, Global Compact Network Canada, Women’s Economic Council and Egale Canada, DI is working to promote the 50 – 30 Challenge and support organizations, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, in improving representation in leadership.

Organizations of all sizes and from all sectors can sign up. There are many benefits. Organizations that are more diverse:

• are more likely to outperform their peers

• are twice as likely to meet or exceed financial targets

• are eight times more likely to achieve better business outcomes

• foster fresh insights, new ideas and creative solutions

• draw on the full talents of their people.

Signatories of The 50 – 30 Challenge gain access to tools and expert guidance to reach these goals. One, the What Works Toolkit, is an online suite of resources and best practices designed to help organizations meet their diversity and inclusion goals.

The Diversity Institute has been promoting equity, diversity and inclusion as essential to Canada’s competitiveness for more than two decades. Drawing on the expertise of 130 full-time staff, more than 100 research collaborators and 200 partner organizations, DI has extensive experience working with businesses, nonprofits and equity-seeking groups across Canada in both official languages. The Diversity Institute leads the government of Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub and is the research lead for the Future Skills Centre.

To support 50 – 30 Challenge partners, DI is providing training programs, including the Diversity Assessment Tool, best practices and access to specialized tools such as the Micropedia of Microaggressions. It also has one of the largest databases in the country of women and diverse leaders; along with DI’s See It. Be It. database, it offers an unmatched pool of women and diverse people to help Challenge participants access talent.

While achieving the goals of the 50 – 30 Challenge will not happen overnight, transformation starts with taking the first step. Join DI and the more than 1,800 organizations who have already pledged to increase the representation and inclusion of diverse groups within Canada’s workplaces.

Sign up today by visiting:

< Back to Articles | Topics: Working for you

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