Diversity in the Workplace: Elle Bourne

It's finally here. Our event is sold out! Diversity in the Workplace is taking place tonight at Tangerine our gold sponsor.  Tangerine is known as the bank that helps Canadians save money with award winning client service that has helped over 2 million Canadians grow their savings and live better lives!

Elle Bourne, Strategic HR Business Partner shares insight on Diversity in the Workplace at Tangerine.

What does diversity mean to you?

There are strengths in our differences. Diversity is much more than being tolerant. It is embracing those differences and harnessing them to build an inclusive and top performing place of work where all employees and all viewpoints are valued . Diversity drives innovation and this is critical to a bank like Tangerine that prides itself on being a financial catalyst and disrupter in the banking marketplace.

Have you experienced any challenges with diversity in the workplace? How have you overcome them? Yes I have experienced personal challenges in my past professional life. At the time it was invaluable to have a strong mentor to keep me focused at a higher level an continued to challenge me to show up as the best me, while offering insights on how to navigate the ambiguity around some of the issues.

What is your favourite part of your job? Apart from the people I work with, having variety in my role so that no day is the same is one of the things I enjoy most. The Tangerine environment fosters an openness where a diversity of thought is encouraged and I find it really rewarding to partner with the business and influence them by asking questions. I think Tangerine understands that diversity drives innovation.

See you tonight! There might be tickets at the door ;) If you can't make it, follow Young Women in Business on Twitter and join in on the conversation!

Diversity In The Workplace : Ask Afrodite Cruz

According to Statistics Canada, by 2017, the number of visible minorities in Canada is expected to double and account for approximately 20% of Canada’s population. Diversity in the workplace is seen as a major challenge especially for women and minorities. We sat down with Afrodite Cruz, currently the Recruitment, Placement and Employer Relations Officer for the Master of Management of Innovation (MMI) program at the University of Toronto Mississauga Campus and discussed in depth her role and challenges she has overcome in the workplace. 

What are your responsibilities at the University of Toronto?

Currently I work with the Master of Management of Innovation Program at the University of Toronto Mississauga campus.  This is a program that helps science and engineering students bridge the gap between science and business.  I oversee recruitment, employer relations as well as career counseling and professional development in this role.  We have a mandatory internship component in the MMI and part of my job also includes preparing students for this internship and working with companies to create jobs for my students.

What kind of challenges/advances did you see when managing the Diversity & Women's portfolio at Roman? 

During my time at Rotman, I worked on the FT MBA Recruitment and Admissions team.  Women and minorities are extremely underrepresented in business schools and Rotman was active in trying to change this.  On average, only 30% of MBA classrooms are comprised of women – this is a number that top schools worldwide are trying to increase.  While at Rotman, we partnered with the Forte Foundation, which is based in the US.  This organization helps young women learn more about career opportunities pre and post MBA and also offers generous funding and professional development opportunities.

Women very regularly put off doing an MBA and other advanced degrees because of several reasons.  These include but are not limited to high costs of education, fear of heavy studies, family responsibilities and fear of taking time off work  to return to school.  Unless we educate women about the long term benefits of proper training and mentorship and provide better funding opportunities for women to pay for school, we will not see the numbers of women pursuing advanced education rise.

Why did you choose to get into managing the Diversity & Women's portfolio?

I was very lucky to have these portfolios assigned to me.  My boss at the time noticed that these issues were of personal importance to me and asked me to advocate for them in my job.  As an immigrant, as a woman and as a mother to mixed race kids, I felt very connected to issues that relate to diversity and equality.  As someone who works in education, I feel that it is my responsibility to not just speak up about wanting change but to also influence change with my actions.  The work that I continue to do in both of these areas is very personal and plays into my professional life daily.

What's your favourite part of the job? What's your biggest challenge?

I have so many things that I love about my role at UTM!  If I had to narrow it down, I would say that aside from working with an amazingly supportive, innovative and positive team,  my favourite part of my job is seeing the change in my students from the time they apply to the MMI program to the time they graduate from it.  My students often say that what I do in a span of 12 month is magic but the truth is is that when you motivate students to see in themselves the potential that you see in them the magic is just waiting to happen.

My biggest challenge currently is a good one to  have.  This year, the MMI is a much larger program than in past years.  We have 34 students who are all very different and have very different goals.  For me, delivering personalized and meaningful career services and advice to them has been challenging – but doable!  When I get very busy and feel overwhelmed at work, I remind myself of the sacrifices the students are making when they take the time out of a hectic day to come and meet with me.  If they can focus on the big picture and make time to seek help from me, then I can make the time to ensure that they all feel important when they are with me.  In the same way that I motivate and challenge my students, they motivate and challenge me.  I  am so thankful that I have the opportunity to influence such an incredible group and I am humbled by the confidence that my students have in me.

Don't miss out our Diversity in the Workplace Panel happening October 19th and hear more from Afrodite Cruz!

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Partner Spotlight | Henderson Brewing Co

We are less than one week away from our Diversity In the Workplace Panel and can't wait! The networking, the awesome panel lined up, and did we mention beer from Henderson Brewing Co? Henderson Brewing Co, a craft brewery located in the junction was named after Toronto's first brewer Robert Henderson in the 1800s. This brewery is over 9,000 square feet, has a 15,000 hectolitre capacity and is environmental friendly with 80-90% of the steam from the brew kettles recycled! What's unique about Henderson Brewing Co is that the beers brewed are inspired from Toronto's culture and brewery history. Each month a different beer is created to bring a Toronto story to life.

We sat down with Territory Sales Manager, Annie Dingwall and talked about her role and perks at Henderson Brewing Co, and her thoughts and challenges on diversity in the workplace.

What are your responsibilities with Henderson Brewing?

I’m the east end Sales Rep for Henderson Brewing. I work everyday to get our beer into licensees and now LCBOs throughout the city. I’m responsible for new activations and for expanding our brand through new partnerships within the trade. Since we are a small company, I tend to wear many different hats. Depending on the day I can be a keg delivery driver, A/R officer, home brewer, event coordinator or tap room bartender. Essentially, I am an ambassador for our brewery and our brands in every way.

What does it mean to you, to have an employer who supports diversity in the workplace?

It means everything to work for someone who understand and supports workplace equality. I’ve never been treated differently from any of my male colleagues, in fact it has never been a point of discussion. I have felt truly supported and encouraged since day 1 to make decisions and make Henderson my own. I am respected for my experience and given a lot of trust in order to succeed.

What are some setbacks you may have faced in a traditionally male dominated industry?

Especially in the beginning as a new Sales Rep, I was definitely tested and challenged on my knowledge of beer and restaurants by potential customers and industry counterparts. Beer is definitely a male-dominated industry, meaning there is always a bit of an extra hurdle. The key is to persevere through the initial challenges. Remaining confident in your skills will not only prove them wrong, but make a memorable mark.

Why is Henderson Brewing excited to support Young Women in Business?

As a new business, it is essential to have great people. Henderson realized this from the get go. It just so happens that almost half of our team are young women. Henderson made the choice to chose ambitious, driven young women to be a part of our team. We all have different backgrounds and experiences, and bring unique perspectives to the table.

Which is your favourite Henderson beer?

Henderson’s Best. It is our flagship Amber Ale. It’s classic, easy drinking, and pairs so well with food. I spend most of my days talking about our Best, so it helps that it is also my favourite in our portfolio! We just launched it in LCBOs, and it is in bars all across the city. I’m so excited for people across Toronto to be able to try it!

Image from Henderson Brewing Co Facebook

Check out Henderson Brewing Co on  Facebook! Will you be trying Henderson Brewing Co?

Diversity in the Workplace: Ask Kayla Greaves

Diversity in the workplace is an extremely important issue in today’s society. Living and working in Toronto, we find ourselves surrounded by diversity on a daily basis which is something that makes our city so refreshing and unique! So what do I mean by diversity? Individuals coming together from different nationalities, races, and religions to form an organization, most importantly, one that values and respects someone’s background and listens to their ideas and opinions. Diversity is one of the keys to success and should be nurtured in the work place, not fought. We had the pleasure of speaking with Kayla Greaves, Lifestyle Editor at the Huffington Post about her personal experiences with diversity in the workplace and how we can continue to promote the importance of diversity.

Why is diversity and inclusion in the office important to you?

As a woman of colour working in media diversity and inclusion is so essential in my everyday work. We need perspectives from as many groups as we can to produce high quality content that can reach a wide variety of audiences. We want our content to be reflective of the diverse Canadian population. And luckily, I can confidently say we have one of, if not the most, diverse newsrooms in Canada. Also, diversity makes potluck days A1.

What are some initiatives either in your current job or past jobs that you have done to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace?

We are currently working on a new series that will be investigating the experiences of children of immigrant parents in Canada, which I'm really excited about! I'm producing a lot of the video and visual graphic content for the series and also assisting on the editorial side. From day to day I work to attract talent from diverse backgrounds to participate in our videos, or panels etc. and make it my goal to write about underrepresented groups as much as I can.  I'm also a member of the culture club at work where we think ways to celebrate culture and diversity in a way where everyone can enjoy and also learn about other people's heritage.

Do you have a specific experience (that you are comfortable with sharing) that affected your passion for promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace?

Yes. I previously worked for a large company that was not into the idea of diversity at all. The whole office, with the exception of two people (three including me), was primarily white. While I pushed for it, they typically made the excuse that it was too complicated etc. etc. I eventually left and moved on to find a place where I was a better fit.

Grab tickets to Diversity in the Workplace: Panel & Meetup below!

Diversity in the Workplace Panel & Meetup

Why is diversity and inclusion so important? What does diversity mean to you? The definition has so many variations. Diversity is individuals coming together from different nationalities, races, and religions to form an organization. An organization that values individuals, accepts their background, and skill set and respects their ideas is what makes an organization diverse. It is a necessity that creates equal opportunities for everyone, encourages the growth and survival of companies, and brings another mindset and view to our lives driving a high performance culture. With advances in technology and communication, and globalization, diversity is growing the world. According to The Upshot, “Fewer Women Run Big Companies Than Men Named John.” It’s 2016, and while a lot of progress has been to diversity and inclusion in the workplace, there is still a long way to go.

Young Women in Business Toronto (ywibTO) invites you to join us for our “Diversity in the Workplace Panel” where we’ll be discussing the importance of diversity in the workplace, addressing challenges and what steps need to be taken to make a difference.  Speakers include; Arnold Flowers- Director of Account Management at Oracle, James Rubec- Cision, Afrodite Cruz- UofT, Elle Bourne- Tangerine Kayla Greaves-Huffington Post and more. Come join us for a night of networking, snacks and great discussion.

Diversity in the workplace has changed drastically compared to the 1970s with women and minorities playing a much larger part today slowly making it’s way to executive levels on the different boards and CEOs.

Diversity in the Workplace: Panel & Meetup

Wednesday, October 19th from 6:30pm-9:00pm

Location: Tangerine Downtown Cafe, 221 Yonge St, Toronto ON M5B 1M4 Tickets: $15 – Get yours online at (Eventbrite Link).

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About Young Women in Business Toronto

Young Women in Business is a non-profit organization connecting ambitious, like-minded women across educational fields, careers and industries. Our events provide leadership skills, and networking opportunities that allow women to achieve success, reach their full potential and be engaged with members in their communities.

For media inquiries, please contact Nathalie Sehgal, nathaliesehgal@gmail.com. For partnership inquiries, please contact Victoria Stacey, victoria.l.stacey@gmail.com .