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As Canadians we continuously strive for a barrier free society built on equity and fairness. While steps have been taken towards this admirable goal, more can still be done. This is the central belief for “A Seat at the Table”, a group focused on promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities on Canadian corporate boards. (A Seat at the Table). It is estimated that approximately 6.2 million Canadians live with some form of disability, and while many companies have begun to ensure diverse hiring practices there is a glaring lack of representation at the corporate-board level (A Seat at the Table).
“A Seat at the Table” has set out to rectify this inequity through two key campaigns. The first is an awareness campaign, focusing on shining a light on the lack of diversity at the top levels of Canadian businesses. To accomplish this, “A Seat at the Table” will be running a full-page advertisement in the Globe and Mail, as well as conducting a comprehensive social media campaign. The goal of this campaign is to build on Canadians central values of fairness and equal opportunity. “A Seat at the Table” believes that if Canadians become aware of the inequity, they will be driven to action, causing an increase in equitable hiring practises.
The second key campaign is creating a candidate recruitment service. This service’s purpose is to match corporate board recruiters with qualified corporate-board candidates with disabilities. This free tool, the first of its kind in Canada, provides an easy way for both groups to reach out and form networks, in the hopes of creating opportunities for people with disabilities, as well as providing qualified candidates for businesses. This service is a proactive way in which “A Seat at the Table” is helping Canadian corporate boards become more inclusive and therefore more robust and nuanced in their viewpoints.
Canada is a country that prides itself on its values of equity and inclusion. These values are held central by “A Seat at the Table”. This organization not only preaches this message of equity and inclusion, but actively makes a difference in the fabric of Canadian business boards. “A Seat at the Table” is furthering our country towards reaching its admirable goal one board member at a time.