Diversity of the Black population in Canada: An overview

A really good an in-depth of the diversity in the Canadian Black population. Look forward to the next in the series, contrasting socio-economic outcomes. Important work:

There were almost 1.2 million Black people living in Canada in 2016. The Black population is diverse and has a long and rich history in the country. More than 4 in 10 Black people were born in Canada.

Among the Black population born outside of Canada, the source countries of immigration have changed over time. More than half of this population who immigrated before 1981 were born in Jamaica and Haiti. Black newcomers now come from about 125 different countries, mainly from Africa.

The vast majority of the Black population live in large urban areas. In 2016, 94.3% of Black people lived in Canada’s census metropolitan areas, compared with 71.2% of the country’s total population. Toronto had the largest Black population in the country, with 442,015 people or 36.9% of Canada’s Black population. It was followed by Montréal, Ottawa–Gatineau, Edmonton and Calgary, each home to at least 50,000 Black people.

To illustrate the growth and the diversity of the Black population, a first infographic was released on February 6, 2019. A booklet is now available to provide more information about the richness of diversity among the Black population in Canada. A number of topics are covered in this booklet including population growth, age and sex structure, place of birth, generation status, immigration, ethnic and cultural origins, languages and a few geographical highlights.

….

Conclusion

This portrait of Canada’s Black population from the Centre for Gender, Diversity and Inclusion Statistics is based mainly on 2016 Census data. It provides a demographic overview of the Black population, as well as key statistics related to their ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity and a few geographical highlights. However, this portrait is not meant to be exhaustive.

Although it highlights the great diversity within the Black population, it does not present any result related to the several challenges and issues faced by many members of Black communities in Canada.

Challenges and issues such as those related to labour market integration, income inequalities, differential access to resources, health conditions, discrimination, school dropout, etc., may impact differently various groups within the Black population. Moreover, although the Black population generally has similar characteristics compared to the overall population, they often present different socio-economic outcomes. For example, the unemployment rate for the Black population is higher than for Canada’s total population.

Disaggregated 2016 Census data tables with selected demographic, cultural, labour market and income characteristics are available on Statistics Canada’s Census program website which can provide insights on similarities and differences within the Black population as well as between the Black population and other populations in Canada.

New analytical products will be released later which will describe in more detail the characteristics of Canada’s Black population, as well as their socio-economic outcomes.

Source: Diversity of the Black population in Canada: An overview 

Hollywood Diversity Report Finds Progress, But Much Left To Gain

While I always find these annual reports interesting and important, particularly enjoying sharing it this year from LA:

Gains have been made for women and people of color who work in movies and TV, but the numbers remain a long way from proportionately reflecting the U.S. population, according to a new study from UCLA.

The annual Hollywood Diversity Report looks at diversity both in front of and behind the camera. It also looks at box office and ratings.

The report states that evidence continues to suggest “America’s increasingly diverse audiences prefer diverse film and television content,” and that “diversity is essential for Hollywood’s bottom line.”

The report found that many top-rated, scripted broadcast TV shows have diverse casts. However, the report also notes that while people of color make up nearly 40 percent of the U.S. population, just a fraction of that number work as film writers (12.6 percent) or directors (7.8 percent).

The report also shows the number of female film directors nearly doubled from 2016 to 2017 — but only to about 12.6 percent of all directors.

Darnell Hunt is a professor of sociology and African-American studies at UCLA and co-authored the study. He notes how industry attitudes toward diversity have changed since his group’s first study, published in 2014.

“When we started to study diversity … it was kind of seen as a luxury, as something that you’d get around to but it’s not what’s driving day-to-day business practices,” Hunt says. “Over time, as it became clear that audiences were becoming more diverse and that they were demanding diverse content, diversity itself was seen as a business imperative. Like, ‘We have to figure out ways to create more diverse products because that’s what today’s increasingly diverse audiences are demanding.’ That’s a relatively new phenomenon that … most people would not have been talking about that, you know, five, 10 years ago. Today, everyone’s talking about it.”

[Multicultural Korea] Military changing to embrace diversity

Interesting (Canada still has challenges with respect to women and visible minority representation in the Canadian Forces):

In a country where the phrase “homogenous nation” was once chanted with pride not long ago, there was nothing strange about a provision within the military law that exempted men of mixed heritage from military service if they were “clearly biracial” in appearance, despite being South Korean nationals.

But the presence in Korea of more foreigners and more international couples is slowly leading the country to a change of attitude. Within the past decade, the military law was amended requiring all men of Korean nationality to serve in the military, regardless of race or ethnicity. (Naturalized South Koreans and North Korean defectors can also enlist, but they are not subject to conscription and can still opt out.) The fact that the number of soldiers had decreased due to low birth rates and the aging population also played a part.

The Ministry of National Defense has proposed measures to encourage the rigid military culture to adapt to the increasingly diverse population, but concerns remain over its capacity to do so.

All able-bodied men of Korean nationality between the ages of 18 and 38 are obligated to serve in the military for about two years. An amendment to the law in 2010 also imposed mandatory military service on Korean men from multicultural households.

When the amended act came into force in 2011, the military enlisted 100 multicultural soldiers in the first year, according to the Defense Ministry. While annual counts of soldiers from multicultural households are not available for privacy reasons, the Defense Ministry estimates that more than 8,500 will enlist annually from 2025 to 2031.

In a step toward embracing diversity within the military, one of the first moves the Defense Ministry took in 2011 was to replace the term “minjok,” or ethnic group, with “gungmin,” or citizen, in the oaths that soldiers take when they enlist or become commissioned officers.

In 2016 the ministry also introduced the Framework Act on Military Status and Service to protect the rights of individual soldiers and prevent discrimination among them. Article 37 of the act states that soldiers have to respect “multicultural values” and that the Defense Minister needs to educate soldiers so that they understand and respect multiculturalism.

The ministry said it is careful not to overemphasize differences between the multicultural soldiers and their peers.

“While life in the barracks is basically a corporate life, the commissioned officers and commanders in the military units will consider the different needs of the soldiers,” an official from the Defense Ministry said.

“We have not been informed of soldiers having difficulties with the diet, or religion.”

In a further step, the five-year immigration reform plan announced in 2018 included a proposal to review compulsory military service for naturalized Koreans.

While the discussion arose in the context of fairness, it also encompassed concerns about security, with some arguing that there would be “Chinese troops,” considering that many naturalized Koreans come from China.

While the inclusion of soldiers from diverse cultural backgrounds represents great progress, said Seol Dong-hoon, a sociology professor at Chonbuk National University, it may be premature to discuss conscription for naturalized Koreans.

“While soldiers from multicultural households are born as Koreans and are naturally imposed with the mandatory military service, the situation is different for naturalized Koreans. Besides, it may not be best to make their duty mandatory, because many of them become naturalized Koreans to pursue their professional careers here — like athletes.”

A year has passed since the proposal was announced, but not much has been discussed. The Defense Ministry said it is reviewing the matter and will comprehensively consider what is fair and what influence such a step might have on society.

More efforts are being made, but society’s fundamental perspective needs to change, Navy Lt. Rhee Keun said. Lt. Rhee, who gave up his US citizenship and came to Korea to enlist as a commissioned officer here, said he had endured numerous discriminatory remarks in his eight years of service.

“When I first joined the Navy here, I had regrets. The senior soldiers would often call me ‘Yankee’ and tell me to go back to my country,” he said. Rhee graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in the United States in 2007.

“They bully you when you come from another country. I did not speak Korean well, did not know much about the Korean culture and I was clumsy at first. So it was very stressful,” he said, adding that the closed military culture revolving around regionalism and school ties should be rejected.

A survey of 131 early-career commissioned officers, undertaken for a doctoral dissertation published last year, hinted that contradictory sentiments about soldiers with multicultural backgrounds have not disappeared.

When asked about the pros and cons of having soldiers from different cultural backgrounds, the officers said their presence could lead to more creative thinking and flexibility in the currently rigid, conservative military and could also reduce discrimination against multicultural families, according to “Officers’ Awareness of Multiculturalism in the Military and Implications for Policy Direction” by Youngsan University researcher Lee Yun-soo.

But they also projected doubts about whether soldiers from different backgrounds could have the same loyalty and devotion to the country, with some saying it would be hard to trust those soldiers in the event of war. Respondents raised concerns that there might be a greater risk of military secrets being leaked, or of Korea making “internal enemies.”

They also said cultural and language barriers could cause trouble inside the military.

“Korea is a country that has a relatively ‘high border’ inside the minds (of our people),” Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon said in announcing the five-year immigration reform plan in February 2018.

Still, Lt. Rhee said, it is important that that more people like him, people from different cultural backgrounds, join the military so that social attitudes can change.

“With more exposure, the sentiments will naturally change. I also believe it is important for everyone to contribute to the society they are in, in any way,” he said.

When it made headlines here that former lawmaker Jasmine Lee, a naturalized citizen from the Philippines, had sent her son to the military in 2016, Lee stressed that equal treatment of multicultural families was important to reduce discrimination.

“While the caring treatment (of multicultural children, by extending military exemptions) is appreciated, making such distinctions could also create a sense of alienation and trigger controversies,” Lee said in a media interview around that time.

For Jung Yeom, a naturalized Korean from China, it is important for her children to fulfill their social duty, even if it is worrying for her as a mother.

“I do worry, but I believe it is always difficult in the beginning, for everything. The country operates (its military system) as it should, and those who do not like it will have to leave,” Jung told The Korea Herald. Jung came to Korea in 1997 to marry her Korean husband and has two sons.

Source: [Multicultural Korea] Military changing to embrace diversity

Mississauga’s population is 57% visible minorities. So why does its city council look like this?

In general, diversity is significantly greater at the federal and provincial levels than municipal.

I look forward to comparing the results of the upcoming Toronto election: thanks to the (disruptive) change to electoral boundaries, it will be possible to compare federal, provincial and municipal results given identical boundaries:

According to the 2016 census, 57 per cent of Mississauga, Ont., residents identified as visible minorities. However, not one of them was elected to the city’s 11 council seats in 2014. (Mississauga)

As a rookie politician taking on an incumbent city councillor, Safeeya Faruqui is already staring down long odds in the upcoming Mississauga, Ont., municipal election.

But if the 24-year-old succeeds in her bid for Ward 4 on Oct. 22, she’ll have made history too — becoming the first woman of colour elected to city council in the mostly suburban city west of Toronto.

“That would be another glass ceiling broken,” Faruqui told CBC Toronto at her campaign office. “We need to make sure that all voices are being heard to create the best society that we can.”

Faruqui’s campaign is bringing new attention to the glaring disparity between the general population in southern Ontario’s Peel Region and the makeup of its city councils.

According to the 2016 census, 57 per cent of Mississauga residents identified as visible minorities. However, not one of them was elected to the city’s 11 council seats in 2014.

In neighbouring Brampton, where 73 per cent of residents identify as visible minorities, just one of the city’s 10 councillors is a person of colour.

Neither city has ever had a non-white mayor.

Why it matters

Faruqui says lack of diversity on council has resulted in some policy decisions that don’t fully account for the city’s diverse population.

“The decisions aren’t reflecting everybody,” she said.

Gurpreet Singh Dhillon, the lone visible minority on Brampton’s council, points to an ongoing struggle in the city to build a shade shelter for seniors to explain why diversity can be helpful.

He said older residents in his community have been seeking to recreate the tradition of gathering and socializing under a large willow tree, which began in India, with an artificial shade as a replacement.

Singh, 38, said the project has been stalled because some elected officials and city staff did not understand the request, since they were not familiar with the tradition.

“It’s really important that we have people in our staffing, and our council who understand,” he said. After serving one term as a city councillor, Singh is now running as the regional councillor for Wards 9 and 10.

“It’s even more important going forward that we do have a council that does reflect the community,” he added.

There are also concerns that the lack of accurate representation has also stalled civic engagement and created distrust in local governments among visible minority communities.

“Our community has not been doing a good enough job to remedy that,” said Faruqui, who added that “real, frank, open discussions” are needed to restore faith in local politics.

If elected, Dhillon says he will advocate for the creation of a diversity officer at Brampton city hall, who would review everything passed by city council to ensure no minority communities — whether by ethnicity, gender, age or sexual orientation — are negatively affected.

He said similar initiatives have been successful in other cities around the world.

‘Overwhelming but… exciting’

During her first term in office, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, who is running for re-election, helped introduce a diversity and inclusion advisory committee. The group provides strategic advice to council in an effort to better serve the city’s diverse population.

Still, Crombie said she would welcome more variety among the city’s elected officials.

“It would be wonderful if we could have a very diverse council that reflects the diversity that is our city,” Crombie told CBC Toronto.

As to why so few visible minorities have been elected, Crombie pointed to a slew of long-serving incumbent councillors, who are notoriously difficult to unseat in municipal elections.

“Some of them have been in office a long period of time,” she said. “And the city has changed over the years.”

Due to a death and a retirement, two of the city’s council seats will be open races this election. She said that has opened up an opportunity for a number of “wonderful diverse candidates” running this fall.​

Faruqui, however, is competing against incumbent John Kovac.

“Going through this for the first time, not really having any role models who look like me doing this, it’s something that is overwhelming but also very exciting,” she said.

Source: Mississauga’s population is 57% visible minorities. So why does its city council look like this?

Silicon Valley needs to figure out how to promote women and people of color. Andreessen Horowitz is doing that by changing one of its founding rules.

Interesting illustration of how criteria developed for valid corporate reasons led to the realization of who they excluded, with the criteria being changed:

The high-profile venture capital firm has elevated Connie Chan to general partner — and scrapped a rule that the firm candidly admits was outdated.

During its first decade of existence, Andreessen Horowitz — one of Silicon Valley’s premier venture capital firms — held fast to a seemingly minor rule about the types of people who comprised its top investors: To become a general partner, you had to have founded or led a company as CEO. No exceptions.

But amid the broader conversation nationally — and in Silicon Valley specifically — about gender diversity, the firm earlier this year quietly scrapped a rule that its critics said, unintentionally or not, made front-of-the-pack partnerships like Andreessen Horowitz’s just a collection of (mostly white) guys.

The firm said today it was elevating Connie Chan, a well-regarded expert on the intersection of Chinese and American tech trends, to general partner. It’s the first time the firm has internally promoted someone to that post, or the level when an investor leads their own deals and splits the firm’s profits.

“When I first started at the firm, I didn’t think this was a path,” Chan said in an interview with Recode.

The rule change amounts to some inside baseball, but it also speaks to how venture capital firms — powerful institutions that control which types of people and ideas get funded and which don’t — are changing. Due to Andreessen Horowitz’s big profile, the rule has been frequently criticized in hushed tones in Silicon Valley by diversity advocates as an example of the types of hurdles that women and minorities face professionally.

The firm isn’t saying the change was a reaction to those concerns, though Chan did say the change was a “testament” to how Andreessen Horowitz managed to move with the times. Last month, the firm announced it had hired Katie Haun — also not a founder or a CEO — as its first female general partner.

Jeff Jordan, a longtime Andreessen Horowitz general partner, described the rule to Recodeas initially useful for the firm — which was only founded in 2009 — as it battled the existing, dominant venture capital players in its early days.

But now? It limits their pool of talent, he said.

“When we were out there looking for [general partner] candidates, I found myself comparing them to Connie,” Jordan said. “Frankly, Connie’s abilities and track record compelled us to do this.”

The firm is being pretty candid and forthcoming about how the rule grew to be outdated. For more, here’s two excerpts from firm co-founder Ben Horowitz’s blog post on Chan’s promotion:

“I felt an immediate conflict with where she was going and the way we had constructed the firm. When we founded the firm, we made a brand promise that if you raised money from us, we would put a Founder or CEO of a significant technology company on your board. That was our General Partner requirement, because we were determined to be the best place for technical founders to learn how to be CEO. To make good on the promise, we built the most powerful platform for giving founders a big time CEO-like network from capital markets to talent to big company customers to the press. On top of that, we committed to putting someone on the board who could help develop the CEO skill set. Finally, we wanted everyone in the firm to culturally understand the struggle of building a company. These were great ideas, but it meant that we did not promote General Partners from within. And in my heart, I knew that one day we would have to promote Connie or miss out. The thought was making me a little insane.”

“Fortunately, as things evolved, our culture became stronger than the GP no-promotion rule. Everyone in the firm became all about the entrepreneurial struggle and helping founders grow into CEOs. Founders didn’t just get a person; they got a platform. The old rule started to seem dated and out of place. So, four months ago we dropped the criteria and the promotion rule.”

Source: Silicon Valley needs to figure out how to promote women and people of color. Andreessen Horowitz is doing that by changing one of its founding rules.

Improve, then use, name-blind recruitment to boost Senate staff diversity: committee – The Hill Times

Ironically, the Senate staffer numbers are not too bad — out of 354 employees, there were 54 people who identify as visible minorities (15.3 per cent, about the same percentage who are also Canadian citizens), 20 people with disabilities (5.6 per cent), 12 Aboriginal people (3.4 per cent), and 209 women (59 per cent) as of March 31, 2016. However, the point on under-representation of Indigenous staff at more senior levels is of note:

A name-blind recruitment project could help improve Senate staff diversity, but only if done properly, according to the head of a Senate group studying employment equity in the Upper Chamber’s administration.

In a report tabled June 21 with the Senate’s Internal Economy, Budgets, and Administration Committee—a powerful group of Senators that handles the Chamber’s legal and financial matters—its Subcommittee on Diversity said the administration should “consider implementing a name-blind recruitment pilot project and evaluate whether name-blind recruitment could be expanded for hiring by the Senate administration and potentially by individual Senators’ offices.”

The recommendation was one of 10 made by the subcommittee chaired by Liberal Senator Mobina Jaffer (British Columbia) following a study of a 2016 report on diversity among the 354 members of the Senate administrative staff—authored by high-ranking officials in the Senate bureaucracy—and diversity in the Senate workforce more generally, including in Senators’ offices.

The subcommittee—which also includes Conservative Senator Elizabeth Marshall (Newfoundland and Labrador) and Independent Senator Raymonde Saint-Germain (De la Vallière, Que.)—was struck in late 2016and began its study the following spring, holding five meetings between March 1, 2017 and May 8, 2018.

But there should be major improvements to the name-blind recruitment project tried out in the federal public service before it gets used in the Senate, said Sen. Jaffer, who told The Hill Times she first wants Senate staff to study where the public service pilot project went wrong.

Run between April and October 2017, the goal of the name-blind recruitment pilot run by the Public Service Commission and Treasury Board Secretariat was to “determine whether concealing personal information…which could lead to the identification of a candidate’s origin from job applications, had an impact on the screening decisions made by reviewers when compared to the traditional assessment method where all personal information was presented.” The idea was to see if a hiring manager is biased by the name they see on the resume, or other such personal information about the potential new recruit.

The analysis, limited to those who self-declared as visible minorities, ultimately concluded that there was “no net benefit or disadvantage with the NBR assessment method for visible minorities,” though there were some problems identified with the method itself.

During a March 20 appearance by Treasury Board President Scott Brison (Kings-Hants, N.S.) at the Senate’s Question Period, Independent Senator Ratna Omidvar (Ontario) raised the methodology issues with him.

“First, the hiring managers who were recruited for this project volunteered. I would suggest that creates a certain lack of purity, if I can use that word. The second is that the hiring managers made their decisions knowing that their decisions and the comparative results would be subject to review,” she said.

Mr. Brison acknowledged there were problems with the pilot project’s method, and said he has told Treasury Board, a central agency that acts as the employer of the public service, that he wants “to actually continue to apply the name-blind hiring pilot and to potentially apply it in departments or agencies wherein there is less diversity, to apply it in certain departments and agencies and in regions, to actually continue to work to this.”

Of the results themselves, Mr. Brison said: “The good news is that the pilot came back and said that they did not find, necessarily, a bias or discriminatory hiring practices within the government of Canada.”

Sen. Jaffer said Mr. Brison’s response was disappointing.

“So to say there is no bias, he was happy to see there is no bias, that’s stretching it. There is,” she said, pointing to her years as chair of the Senate’s Human Rights Committee where she used to hear about people not wanting to voluntarily self-identify as belonging to a minority or marginalized group because they didn’t want to be seen as different.

“I am concerned that the public service has not done a good job [with the project], and I’m hoping that the Senate will show the way.”

Setting the tone and setting the example is a key tenet for Sen. Jaffer in her work to improve diversity in the Senate, after experiences in the halls of Parliament that she describes as “soul destroying.”

Sen. Jaffer is the first South Asian woman to be appointed to the Senate and, among other incidents, said she has been stopped from using entrances to Parliamentary Precinct buildings, even while wearing her Senate pin showing that she is a Senator.

And if these things can happen to her, as a Senator, she said it worries her what those lower in the pecking order experience.

“If it happens to me, what is happening to people who work here? I represent them too. If I don’t speak up, then I let them down, too, [and] they have much more to lose.”

Despite it not being in her nature to rock the boat, she said it’s important that she speak out and do things to make changes, drawing on experiences dating back to being the first South Asian woman to practise law in Canada.

“It’s not because I think that’s my role in life. I don’t go looking for it, because I don’t have time for it. It destroys you, it kills a part of me every time,” she said. “Anyone working in the Senate or in the House who feels that they have not been treated fairly, they should know they’re no longer alone. There are services, there are structures that can help and they shouldn’t suffer in silence.”

Senate needs to reflect Canada, says Sen. Jaffer

Sen. Jaffer said the Senate administration has been putting in a genuine effort to improve the diversity of its staff over the years.

Back in 2005, then-Conservative Senator Donald Oliver called the Senate out for “glaring” and  “problematic” systemic racism after a report foundthat there had been no visible minorities appointed to senior and middle management positions between 2000 and 2004 and that visible minorities made up only 6.8 per cent of the Senate’s 425 employees.

Throughout years of upheaval and change in the Senate, it’s remained an administrative priority to act on recommendations Senators have made in response to subsequent diversity reports, Sen. Jaffer said.

In 2014, the Senate’s Internal Economy Committee adopted a two-year Diversity and Accessibility Action Plan for the administration to act on, which included measures to ensure that representation of designated group members was monitored, along with the Senate’s “employment systems to identify systemic barriers and eliminate adverse impacts on the designated groups.”

According to the fifth report of the Senate’s Advisory Committee on Diversity and Accessibility, as of March 31, 2016, among the Senate’s 354 employees (which doesn’t include staff in Senators’ individual offices) there were 54 people who identify as visible minorities (15.3 per cent), 20 people with disabilities (5.6 per cent), 12 Aboriginal people (3.4 per cent), and 209 women (59 per cent).

“We had the auditors here, we had huge changeover, we had independent Senators—those all cause issues for the staff, the administration. Even then they were loyal in implementing, so I have lots of gratitude for that,” she said.

In the House of Commons, as of June 2017, 48 per cent of the House administration’s 2,234 employees were women, two per cent were Aboriginal persons, 10 per cent were visible minorities, and four per cent were people with disabilities.

The most recent report on employment equity in the core public service, covering the 2016-17 fiscal year, said that of the 181,674 employees tallied in March 2016, 54.4 per cent were women (compared to an estimated workforce availability of 52.5 per cent), 5.2 per cent were Aboriginal persons (against an estimated workforce availability of 3.4 per cent), 5.6 per cent were people with disabilities (compared to 4.4 per cent workforce availability), and 14.5 per cent were visible minorities (compared to 13 per cent).

But more work needs to be done, especially in encouraging and emphasizing the hiring of Aboriginal Canadians and veterans, the Senate subcommittee said.

It recommended that the Senate create an Aboriginal Young Interns program, expand its efforts to recruit staff from outside of the National Capital Region, and explore ways to target veterans in its recruitment efforts.

As of March 31, 2016, there were no Aboriginal people in the Senate’s manager occupational category and their representation in the professionals occupational category was below their national workforce availability.

The Senate, and all of the country’s institutions, need to reflect Canada, Sen. Jaffer said, or risk becoming irrelevant, and hitting the benchmark of workforce availability—the estimated availability in designated groups as a percentage of the entire workforce population—is not good enough.

“We’ve got to have people from different groups in management,” she said. “And until people get into management, we will not arrive at a proper goal because it’s the management that makes the decisions for hiring; it’s the management that sets the tone.”

The Senate administration has until June 13, 2019 to report back to the Senate Internal Economy Committee on steps it has taken to put in place the subcommittee’s recommendations.

via Improve, then use, name-blind recruitment to boost Senate staff diversity: committee – The Hill Times

Why Brands Must Get Cross-Cultural Marketing Right

Always relevant to appreciate marketing strategies and approaches:

In the last few years, top brands like Pepsi, H&M and Dove have faced backlash for their tone-deaf advertisements that offended multicultural communities across the world. With many racial and ethnic minority groups in the United States growing faster than whites, brands must be cognizant of the messages targeting various demographics. Recognizing that “multiculturalism” is here to stay, brands should think of cross-cultural marketing not as an option but as a must.

Brands that wish to survive and thrive for years to come should consider cross-cultural marketing as fundamental to a successful marketing campaign. Brands like H&M and Pepsi that don’t fully understand cross-cultural marketing can face backlash. The truth lies in the numbers: the combined buying power of Hispanics, African-Americans and Asians is in the trillions.

According to Nielsen, 21 of the 25 most populated counties in the United States are already majority multicultural, meaning that they include “numerically significant pluralities of traditionally minority populations, or are already majority-minority.”

So how do brands tap into this spending power and reach multicultural communities?

Brands need to shift their focus from multicultural marketing to cross-cultural marketing. We define cross-cultural marketing as “the ability for one brand to cross over from one culture to another.” Essentially, brands are moving away from traditional, siloed multicultural marketing to “marketing that simulates across ethnic groups, leveraging ethnic insights to reach across multiple ethnic markets, including the general market.”

Here are two brands that got cross cultural marketing right:

Fenty Beauty

Rihanna is a cross-cultural icon. The Barbadian pop star embraces her Caribbean roots while successfully crossing over and embracing American culture. With the release of her “Beauty for All” collection, Rihanna offered products for every skin tone with a range of 40 foundation shades, even including a shade for people with albinism.

The release of the brand was well received by consumers who previously felt ignored by major beauty brands. The marketing for the launch included a variety of models of every ethnicity. Fenty Beauty embraced the differences of various ethnicities but recognized that all women want quality beauty products. It avoided siloed multicultural marketing and created an inclusive beauty line that considered beauty preferences across cultures.

Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola’s “Share A Coke” campaign was one of the most successful campaigns of the decade. The campaign has made its way to over 70 countries, and its bottles are still on shelves today. The “Share A Coke” campaign enticed customers to search for their names on bottles and share on social media.

Coke made sure the campaign was inclusive, including names that ranged from Jose to Laura to Maya. And if someone’s name could not be found in stores, customers could personalize their own bottle online. Instead of doing siloed multicultural campaigns, Coke was able to target myriad cultures with one campaign.

What other brands have successfully utilized cross-cultural marketing? Let’s continue the conversation in the comments.

via Why Brands Must Get Cross-Cultural Marketing Right 06/06/2018

Canadian military falling well short of its target for recruiting women

Endemic problem but recruitment and culture change takes time and premature to evaluate success or failure with the new plan. Need to wait 3-5 years before assessing properly:

The Canadian military has barely moved the needle on its ambitious plan to recruit more women, just over a year after the Liberal government introduced its gender-focused defence policy, new figures reveal.

The stated intention of Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Jonathan Vance was to have women make up 25 per cent of the Armed Forces by 2025-26.

Statistics released by the Office of the Chief of Military Personnel show that while the number of female recruits coming through the door has increased slightly, it has not been enough to boost overall representation.

As of the end of April, women made up only 15.4 per cent of both the combined regular and reserve forces.

The story is the same for Indigenous Canadians and visible minorities — those recruitment numbers remain just as anemic as they have been for several years.

Indigenous Canadians make up about 2.8 per cent of the Armed Forces; DND has set a goal of getting that share up to 3.5 per cent. Visible minorities make up 8.2 per cent; the target percentage is 11.8.

But the military and the Liberal government have more political capital invested in the effort to get more women into uniform. It’s central to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s mantra of gender equality. and to Canada’s desire to put women at the heart of a reformed international peacekeeping system.

The drive to recruit more women comes as the military attempts to overhaul its culture in the wake of a damning report in 2015 by retired supreme court justice Marie Deschamps, who said a “sexualized culture” within the military was behind an endemic problem with sexual harassment and misconduct.

Female recruitment picking up — but slowly

There were 860 women enrolled in the military in the last fiscal year, which ended on March 31 — an increase of eight per cent over the previous year.

It’s not enough, said the chief of military personnel.

“Those are still not meeting the number we need to have in order to meet the 25 per cent target and we’re conscious of that,” Lt.-Gen. Chuck Lamarre told CBC News in an interview.

The slow pace of female recruitment has forced senior brass to take more direct control, he added.

“We recognize it’s going to take a much more disciplined approach, a much more targeted approach to go get more women, more visible minority and more Aboriginal folks to come join the Canadian Armed Forces,” said Lamarre, who insisted the Armed Forces can still hit the target, which was first established in early 2016.

Military looks at foreign recruits to boost ranks

The direction from Vance back then had been to increase the representation of women in the forces by one per cent per year over a decade. The new statistics show the military has seen healthy increases in the number of women applying to be officers, or to join the navy or air force.

But National Defence is having a harder time convincing women to join the army, and to become non-commissioned members of the rank and file.

Lamarre said he believes the military is fighting against perceptions about the kind of career being offered.

“People have a tendency to self-select out before they give it a shot, and I think that’s a mistake,” he said, pointing to the military’s struggle to get women to consider signing up for trades such as aircraft, vehicle and maritime mechanics.

“We are attracting more women into the officer corps, but I think we need to broaden that even more. Part of it is demystifying some of those occupations. Some of them look to be hard and exclusively centred towards men. That’s not the case at all. We have some great examples of women who are operating in every occupation.”

Military’s image problem persists

Others — DesChamps among them — argue that the perception of the military as a tough place to be a woman hasn’t gone away.

Despite the military’s high-profile campaign to stamp out misconduct — known as Operation Honour — and the increasing number of sexual assault cases being tried in the military justice system, many say that little has changed when it comes to the macho nature of military culture.

“In the last three years, in my opinion, more could have been done” to stop harassment and make the military a more welcoming career choice for women, Deschamps told the Senate defence committee last week.

“What I have seen is, not a lot of progress has been made.”

The federal government has faced two class-action lawsuits launched by survivors of sexual assault and misconduct in the military.

The cases entered settlement discussions last winter after it was revealed government lawyers filed a statement of defence that said National Defence “does not owe members of the Canadian Armed Forces any duty to protect them from sexual harassment and assault.”

via Canadian military falling well short of its target for recruiting women | CBC News

Bagnall: Is Shopify’s board of directors too male, too white?

Good for Meriel Bradford, who I worked with in the 90s, for calling them out:

It wasn’t the question most of Shopify’s board of directors had been expecting.

The six individuals — all white, five of them male — had just concluded the business portion of the annual shareholders’ meeting Wednesday morning and had opened the proceedings to queries from ordinary shareholders.

Given what a spectacular year Shopify had just concluded — revenue in 2017 had jumped 73 per cent, pushing the share price to record levels — the directors, the stewards of the company, were anticipating a gentle time of it.

Meriel Bradford, a shareholder and retiree, was the first to grasp the microphone. She had warned Shopify’s CEO and co-founder Tobias Lütke privately what was coming, but didn’t know if he had shared this with his fellow directors.

Bradford, a former vice-president of Teleglobe and senior bureaucrat at Global Affairs and other federal departments, spoke with authority. She told the directors diversity was important for any company aspiring to be global.

“This board doesn’t have it,” she said.

Bradford had their attention. “What’s the problem and how can we help you fix it?”

Responsibility for the answer fell to John Phillips, head of the board committee responsible for finding candidates to serve as director. Phillips acknowledged the preponderance of white males on Shopify’s board before adding, “We’re constantly searching for great talent.”

It was a weak response. Bradford pressed the point. “I suggest your search technique is poor,” she said before taking her seat.

It’s difficult to deny the boardrooms of many high-tech firms lack diversity, whether it involves gender, colour or sexual orientation. But was Bradford’s assertion fair?

This newspaper examined the makeup of the boards that guide 15 companies that Shopify considers its peers, at least when it comes to the important matter of compensation for executives and directors. (These included firms such as HubSpot, Zendesk, Cornerstone OnDemand, Atlassian and Etsy, which were listed in the circular distributed in advance of Wednesday’s meeting of shareholders.)

Most of the peer firms have eight or nine directors, more than Shopify’s six, and do exhibit more diversity, especially when it comes to gender. Half of Zendesk’s eight directors are women, for instance, as is the case at Etsy.

Given that high-tech firms tend to draw heavily from the male-dominated worlds of engineering and finance for their board talent, this is all the more notable.

Just two of Atlassian’s nine board members are women but one, Shona Brown, runs the show as chair.

As for colour, well, let’s just say visible minorities in this group are generally the exception. Nevertheless, the companies do appear to be making some strides diversifying in general.

For instance, Cornerstone OnDemand, a California software firm, has nominated former Jiva Software CEO Elisa Steele to serve as chair of the board. Steele is expected to be confirmed in this role June 14.

Boston-based Wayfair, another software firm that Shopify counts among its peers, last month named Andrea Jung to its board. Jung, the former CEO of Avon Products, is a well-known pioneer for businesswomen and also serves on the board of Apple.

Five weeks ago, another Boston-based software peer, HubSpot, revealed that India-born, Brazilian-raised entrepreneur Avanish Sahai had joined the firm’s directors.

At the conclusion of Shopify’s shareholders’ meeting at the firm’s Elgin Street headquarters, Bradford chatted amiably with fellow shareholders. A couple of Shopify employees came by to introduce themselves, but none from management or the board. “It surprises me that no one is reaching out,” she said referring to the top guns.

It’s perhaps less puzzling if you examine the detail of the management circular distributed in advance of the meeting.  In it, there’s a section that deals with the company’s policy on diversity. It notes the board of directors “values diversity of abilities, experience, perspective, education, gender, background, race and national origin.”  When considering nominees for the board, the policy reads, “diversity is taken into consideration. Currently, one of our six directors (Gail Goodman) is a woman.”

Bradford’s point was simply that Shopify can do better than that.

Source: Bagnall: Is Shopify’s board of directors too male, too white?

Google Is Trying Too Hard (or Not Hard Enough) to Diversify – The New York Times

Interesting internal debates and struggles within Google (and likely not unique to Google):

In 2014, Google became one of the first technology companies to release a race and gender breakdown of its work force. It revealed — to no one’s surprise — that its staff was largely white or Asian and decidedly male.

The company explained that it disclosed the figures, in part, because it wanted to be held accountable publicly for not looking “the way we wanted to.

Since then, Google has made modest progress in its plan to create a more diverse work force, with the percentage of women at the company ticking up a bit. But a spate of recent incidents and lawsuits highlight the challenges the company has faced as it has been dragged into a national discussion regarding politics, race and gender in the workplace.

Google is being sued by former employees for going too far with its diversity effort. It is also being sued for not going far enough.

“My impression is that Google is not sure what to do,” said Michelle Miller, a co-executive director at Coworker.org, a workers’ rights organization that has been working with some Google employees. “It prevents the ability of a company to function when one group of workers is obstinately focused on defeating their co-workers with whatever it takes.”

The division within Google spilled into the open last year when James Damore, a software engineer, wrote a memo critical of its diversity programs. He argued that biological differences and not a lack of opportunity explained the shortage of women in leadership and technical positions.

Google fired Mr. Damore. He filed a lawsuit in January with another former employee, claiming that the company discriminates against white men with conservative views. In a separate lawsuit, a former recruiter for YouTube sued Google because, he said, he was fired for resisting a mandate to hire only diverse — female or black and Latino — candidates.

Google’s handling of the issue was also upsetting to Mr. Damore’s critics. In another lawsuit filed last month, a former Google employee said he was fired because he was too outspoken in advocating diversity and for spending too much time on “social activism.”

Inside Google, vocal diversity proponents say they are the targets of a small group of employees who are sympathetic to Mr. Damore. In some cases, screenshots of comments made on an internal social network were leaked to online forums frequented by right-wing groups, which searched for and published personal information like home addresses and phone numbers of the Google employees, they said.

In 2015, Google started an internal program called Respect@, which includes a way for employees to anonymously report complaints of inappropriate behavior by co-workers. Some diversity supporters say other employees are taking advantage of this program to accuse them of harassment for out-of-context statements.

“Some people feel threatened by movements that promote diversity and inclusion. They think it means people are going to come for their jobs,” said Liz Fong-Jones, a Google engineer who is a vocal supporter of diversity.

Many big tech companies are struggling with the challenge of creating a more diverse work force. In 2015, Facebook adopted the so-called Rooney Rule. Originally used by the National Football League to prod teams to consider coaching prospects who are black, the rule requires managers to interview candidates from underrepresented backgrounds for open positions. But last year, Facebook’s female engineers said that gender bias was still a problem and that their work received more scrutiny than men’s work.

Even executives tasked with promoting diversity have had difficulties. In October, Denise Young Smith, who was Apple’s vice president of inclusion and diversity, came under fire when she said that there was diversity even among 12 white, blue-eyed, blond men because they had different backgrounds and experiences. She later apologized, saying she did not intend to play down the importance of a non-homogenous work force. She left Apple in December.

The tension is elevated at Google, at least in part, by its workplace culture. Google has encouraged employees to express themselves and challenge one another. It provides many communication systems for people to discuss work and nonwork related issues. Even topics considered out of bounds at other workplaces — like sharp criticism of its own products — are discussed openly and celebrated.

In January, on one of Google’s 90,000 “groups” — internal email lists around a discussion topic — an employee urged colleagues to donate money to help pay Mr. Damore’s legal fees from his lawsuit against Google to promote “viewpoint diversity,” according to a person who saw the posting but is not permitted to share the information publicly.

Last month, Tim Chevalier, who had worked at Google as an engineer until November, sued for wrongful termination, claiming that he was fired “because of his political statements in opposition to the discrimination, harassment and white supremacy he saw being expressed on Google’s internal messaging systems.” He said one employee had suggested that there was a shortage of black and Latino employees at Google because they were “not as good.”

Mr. Chevalier said he had been fired shortly after saying that Republicans were “welcome to leave” if they did not feel comfortable with Google’s policies. He said he had meant that being a Republican did not exempt Google employees from following the company’s code of conduct.

A Google spokeswoman said in a statement that the company encouraged lively debate. But there are limits.

“Creating a more diverse workplace is a big challenge and a priority we’ve been working to address. Some people won’t agree with our approach, and they’re free to express their disagreement,” said the spokeswoman, Gina Scigliano. “But some conduct and discussion in the workplace crosses a line, and we don’t tolerate it. We enforce strong policies, and work with affected employees, to ensure everyone can do their work free of harassment, discrimination and bullying.”

In the past, discussions about diversity in Google’s online chat groups would encounter skeptical but subtle comments or questions. The debate turned openly antagonistic after Mr. Damore’s memo, which was titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber.”

“The James Damore thing brought everything to a head,” said Vicki Holland, a linguist who has worked at Google for seven years. “It brought everything to the surface where everyone could see it.”

Mr. Damore said he began to question Google’s diversity policies at a weekly company meeting last March. At the meeting, Ruth Porat, the chief financial officer of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, and Eileen Naughton, Google’s vice president of people operations, “pointed out and shamed” departments in which women accounted for less than half the staff, according to Mr. Damore’s lawsuit.

The two female executives — who are among the company’s highest-ranking women — said Google’s “racial and gender preferences were not up for debate,” according to the lawsuit. Mr. Damore subsequently attended a “Diversity and Inclusion Summit,” where it reinforced his view that Google was “elevating political correctness over merit” with its diversity measures.

Mr. Damore said he had written his memo afterward in response.

Ms. Scigliano, the Google spokeswoman, said the company looked forward to fighting Mr. Damore’s lawsuit in court. Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive, said in an August blog post that he had fired Mr. Damore because his memo advanced “harmful gender stereotypes” but that “much of the memo is fair to debate.”

Some employees said they were abstaining from internal debate on sensitive issues because they worried that their comments might be misconstrued or used against them. Like the broader internet, the conversations tend to be dominated by the loudest voices, they said.

Google’s diversity advocates said they would like to see more moderation on internal forums with officials stepping in to defuse tensions before conversations get out of hand. Ms. Miller, the Coworker.org co-director, said Google employees had expressed concern about how this would affect an internal culture rooted in transparency and free expression.

“What’s on everyone’s mind is: Has the culture been inextricably damaged by this environment?” she said.

via Google Is Trying Too Hard (or Not Hard Enough) to Diversify – The New York Times