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Newcomers on Board: Baseline Data Survey Results

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Title: Newcomers on Board: Baseline Data Survey Results
Author: Cowper-Smith, Yuriko; Duvieusart-Dery, Caroline
Abstract: Boards of directors that reflect a high degree of diversity are often more effective and innovative. In early 2016, the University of Guelph’s Community Engaged Scholarship Institute conducted research to assess the demographic composition of boards and committees in Guelph and Wellington, and understand which strategies and obstacles currently facilitate or limit the participation of immigrants on boards. Information from 74 local not-for-profits, city committees, and businesses was gathered through an online survey. Results show that on average, immigrants make up 14% of board members. Most organizations reported having only 1 or 2 immigrant board members; and 17 boards had no immigrant representation at all. On the other hand, 7 of the boards surveyed were composed of 40% or more of immigrants. This research revealed that most organizations have adopted some strategies to increase diversity on their boards, such as providing intercultural awareness or diversity training to their members. That said, 39% lacked any formal engagement strategies. A number of obstacles to immigrant participation were also identified – such as citizenship or language requirements. These findings were used to inform the development and implementation of “Newcomers on Board”, a pilot project aimed to increase the presence of newcomers in leadership roles in Guelph and Wellington.
Description: Poster was part of 'What We Know' display, held on March 1, 2017 at the Quebec Street Mall in Downtown Guelph. At 'What We Know,' the Community Engaged Scholarship Institute brought together 50 posters featuring diverse research on Guelph and Wellington from community organizations, municipal staff, faculty and students. Topics included feral cats, farmland loss, food waste, the wellbeing of children and more - all specific to Guelph and Wellington.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/10385
Date: 2017-03-01


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