Using the Diversity Audit Tool to Assess the Status of Women in the Canadian Financial Services Sector: A Case Study

By Wendy Cukier, Shelley Smarz and Margaret Yap.

Published by The Diversity Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

A diversity assessment measures an organization’s progress in increasing diversity and inclusiveness. As part of a larger study, this paper examines and analyses the application of the Diversity Audit Tool (DAT) to the Canadian Financial Services sector to the status of women’s representation within the workforce. The DAT assesses policies and practices to increase diversity and inclusiveness not only on human resource functions but also how diversity can be integrated throughout the organization’s value chain. As an exceptionally adaptable and flexible tool, the DAT has been previously applied to education, health care, police services, and information and communications technology (ICT) sectors; it is generalizable enough to examine diversity initiatives across a number of groups as well as to focus on a single one, as it does in this study.
This paper begins with a discussion of the current status of female workers within this sector and identifies a number of barriers that prevent full workforce participation and inclusiveness. The DAT is systematically applied to the financial services sector (reproduced in Appendix 1) and the findings are discussed, examining six key areas: leadership and governance, human resource practices; quality of life and organizational culture; measuring and tracking diversity; integrating or mainstreaming diversity across the value chain; and developing the pipeline. Finally, these findings will be discussed and conclusions will be made.

Keywords: Diversity, Leading Practices, Diversity Audit Tool (DAT), Inclusiveness, Canada

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp.15-36. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 9.686MB).

Dr. Wendy Cukier

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Shelley Smarz

Research Analyst, Diversity Institute, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Shelley Smarz is a Research Analyst with the Diversity Institute at Ryerson University. After completing her undergraduate education at McMaster University in Sociology and English/Cultural Studies, she attended Brock University to complete a MA in Popular Culture. Her major research paper was a feminist analysis of the representation of comic book super heroines in both comic book texts and their movie adaptations. During her time at Brock, she also attended a number of conferences, presenting on a number of different topics. After a brief period, during which time she managed a comic book store, she attended Ryerson’s Ted Rogers School of Management to complete a MBA. For her major research paper she analysed and evaluated the Diversity Audit Tool (DAT) that was developed by Dr. Cukier, applying it to two different sectors (police and financial services) than the one it had been developed for (information and communications technology). Since that time, she has helped to evaluate its use in several other sectors. She graduated with a specialization in Human Resources Management in the fall of 2010. In addition to her work at the Diversity Institute, Shelley is a columnist for the website Comic Book Daily.

Dr. Margaret Yap

Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada


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