Diversity in Leadership and Media: A Multi-perspective Analysis of the Greater Toronto Area, 2010

By Wendy Cukier, John Miller, Kristen Aspevig and Dale Carl.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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

The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is one of the most diverse regions in the world; 42.86% of its 5,113,149 citizens are visible minorities. However, discrimination, underemployment and wage gaps persist. Organizations that promote diversity support social inclusion, while the “business case” is that diversity enables competitive advantage in the global marketplace via improved performance and access to new markets. Diverse leaders can influence the aspirations and advancement of under-represented groups, but the media largely creates society’s images of leaders.
This multi-layered 2010 study examined the representation of visible minorities in senior roles in the GTA as well as in media content, to determine whether the population’s diversity was reflected in its leadership and media images. It counted the number of visible minorities among 3,348 elected officials, government agencies, boards and commissions (ABCs), educational institutions, foundations and private sector organizations. It counted visible minorities among 289 media sector leaders, qualitatively assessed who constituted the media decision-makers, and counted who was represented as leaders in local news coverage. It supplemented the counts with interviews and surveys and also assessed the diversity strategies of different organizations.
Data showed that visible minorities were significantly under-represented in leadership positions, accounting for only 14% of leaders, compared to 49.5% of the general population under study. Representation ranged by sector from 22.3% (ABCs) to 4.1% (corporate) and varied by organization. In media organizations, only 4.8% of board members and executives were visible minori- ties. Visible minorities were also under-represented among newspaper columnists and as hosts and experts on supper time broadcasts.
The study’s original contributions are its multi-perspective analysis and its recommendations for more diverse leadership including the adoption of metrics, targets, integrated policies and communication of diversity goals. News coverage also provides an opportunity for media to diversify with the identification of experts from diverse backgrounds.

Keywords: Diversity, Leadership, Representation, Media, Multi-sector, Quantative, Qualitative, Canada

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 11, Issue 6, pp.63-78. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 864.021KB).

Dr. Wendy Cukier

Founder, Diversity Institute, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Wendy Cukier, MA, MBA, Ph.D., DU (hon), LLD (hon), M.S.C. (civilian) is the founder of the Diversity Insitute in Management and Technology. She has a record of leadership in academic, government, non-profit and industry settings. Wendy Cukier is recognized as one of Canada’s leading authorities on emerging technologies and has over 20 years of experience as a consultant to industry and government. She led the design and development of the MBA programs and the Joint Graduate Program in Communication and Culture. Professor Cukier has presented and published over 200 papers and articles and is the holder of several large research grants. She is the coauthor of Innovation Nation: From Java to Jurassic Park (2002). She is also the founder of the Diversity Institute and has worked on a range of projects aimed at increasing the participation of underrepresented groups in organizations. She sits on the Expert Panel of the Information Communications Technology Council and is a judge with the Canadian Information Productivity Awards. She holds a Ph.D. in Management Science from York University (2002) and has honorary doctorates from Laval and Concordia University. She was also named one of the “100 Alumni who shaped the Century” by the University of Toronto. In 1999, she received the Governor General’s Meritorious Service Cross, one of Canada’s highest Civilian Honours.

Prof. John Miller

Professor, School of Journalism, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Professor of journalism at Ryerson University and author of Yesterday’s News, a critique about daily newspaper journalism. He is one of Canada’s leading researchers on media and minorities, having published a 10-year census of daily newsrooms (1994–2004) and several content analyses. His research helped him develop a course that has been mandatory for Ryerson journalism students for eight years, Covering Diversity. It won for Ryerson the prestigious Award of Excellence from the Canadian Race Relations Foundation. Miller is a former newspaper executive with the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest daily paper.

Dr. Kristen Aspevig

Researcher, Diversity Institute, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Kristen Aspevig has a Ph.D. in Communication and Culture Program from Ryerson and York Universities. She has a B.A. from McGill University and an M.A. from Ryerson and York Universities. She has taught courses in Professional Communication and Cultural Studies at Ryerson University. She has also worked as a Media analyst in the private sector, and in various capacities in the independent film industry. She has co-authored a paper on accessible technology in The International Journal of the Arts in Society.

Dr. Dale Carl

Associate Professor, International Marketing, Ted Rogers School of Business Management, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Dale Carl has been Associate Professor of International Marketing at the Ted Rogers School of Business Management since 2000 and also held the position of Director of Research (2001–2002). He is currently the Director of Graduate Students. Carl is also the Coordinator of International Programs for the Ted Rogers School of Management. His research concerns cross-cultural issues in leadership, and he is coauthor of Culture, Leadership and Organizations: The Global Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness Study (GLOBE) of 62 Societies (2004). Carl earned his BA at the Royal Military College, his MBA from Queens, a certificate in International Oil and Gas from the LSE, and a Ph.D. from the University of Calgary. Carl also had a distinguished career with the Canadian Foreign Service, in the US, Norway, Pakistan, East Africa, and the Middle East and was Chargé D’Affaires of the Canadian Embassy in Baghdad during the last Gulf crisis and has worked on a variety of international projects.

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