Ontario’s Teacher Diversity Gap

Interesting study on the gap between visible minority representation among teachers and the student population in Ontario and Toronto, including comparisons with the USA:

  • The demographic divide between teachers and students in Ontario and the Toronto CMA is large. In Ontario, racial minorities represent 26% of the population, yet make up only 10% of the 70,520 secondary school teachers and 9% of the 117,905 elementary school and kindergarten teachers. In the Toronto CMA, racial minorities represent 47% of the population, yet make up 20% of secondary school teachers and 18% of elementary school and kindergarten teachers.
  • The Teacher Diversity Gap is worse in Ontario and the Toronto CMA than for the United States overall. While Ontario and the Toronto CMA are doing a slightly better job of reflecting the diversity of the student population than states such as Ohio, we are also doing worse than other states, including New York, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. The Teacher Diversity Gap for the United States as a whole is slightly smaller than the gap for Ontario and the Toronto CMA.
  • The Teacher Diversity Gap is no better for the Toronto CMA than it is for Ontario. The Teacher Diversity Gap in the Toronto CMA is .40, while the gap for Ontario is .38. This means that the demographic divide between teachers and students is just about the same for students in the Toronto CMA as it is for students in the rest of the province.
  • The gap could get worse as the population becomes more diverse. While we currently face a large Teacher Diversity Gap, the province is rapidly becoming more diverse. Statistics Canada data shows that racial minorities currently represent 26% of the Ontario population and 47% of the Toronto CMA population. Statistics Canada projects that by 2031 racial minorities could make up 63% of the Toronto CMA population. As such, without significant changes to the composition of the teaching population, the Teacher Diversity Gap may widen.

Previous  employment equity reporting provided much more detail (e.g, 2006 reports cited) compared to today’s high level overview limited to the Canadian public service and federally regulated sectors (banking, communications, transportation).

Combination of budget cuts and change in government priorities.

Ontarios Teacher Diversity Gap – TURNER CONSULTING GROUP INC..

Racial Diversity Gap in the Courtroom

Judicial DiversityFurther to recent news articles on the lack of diversity among federal judicial appointments, largely focused on Minister MacKay’s comments regarding women, good commentary by Tana Turner:

Without the data on how racial minorities and women fare in the hiring process, the argument often is that there is no evidence that there is a problem. Some also argue that low representation reflects the lack of qualified people or the lack of interest in the position.  Without an examination of the diversity gap, it is easy to hide behind the argument that “the problem is them, not us.”

When we look at the data we do have, as reported in the Toronto Star, the analysis does show that there is a racial diversity gap when we compare the representation of racial minorities among judges to their representation among lawyers, at least in Ontario.

Using the federal governments own method for analyzing whether this is an equity-related problem, this gives us a Racial Diversity Gap or severity ratio of .15 for federally appointed judges and .73 for provincially appointed judges. The governments own documents suggest that anything less than .80 is significant and requires that further analysis be conducted to investigate where the problem exists and goals be established to address the underlying issues and close the gap in representation.

Sometimes this investigation does find that applications from certain groups of people are low. But the Canadian Human Rights Commission says that this doesn’t let the employer off the hook. The perception that the workplace is hostile or unwelcoming, or that the process is unfair, are issues that the employer needs to address.

But to get to the point of collecting and analyzing diversity data among federally appointed judges, the Government of Canada, specifically the Minister of Justice, Peter McKay – needs to answer one fundamental question: does diversity among the country’s judiciary matter?

If Peter MacKay doesn’t think that having the best and brightest judges or having a judiciary that reflects and understands the diversity of the Canadian population are important, he should say so. If he thinks either of these are important, he should collect and release the data.

Racial Diversity Gap in the Courtroom – TURNER CONSULTING GROUP INC..