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Catalyst Canada and Ernst & Young host Creating an Award-Winning Diversity Initiative: Understanding the Criteria Necessary to Make Change

On Thursday, April 26, 2007, 40 diversity and inclusion executives attended a Catalyst Canada workshop to learn about the seven criteria against which initiatives nominated for the prestigious Catalyst Award are measured. The half-day workshop, sponsored by Ernst & Young and held in the firm’s downtown Toronto office, was titled Creating an Award-Winning Diversity Initiative: Understanding the Criteria Necessary to Make Change. It combined presentations and a small group brainstorm session to provide participants with the knowledge and tools to drive their diversity and inclusion initiatives forward.

Deborah Gillis, Executive Director, Catalyst Canada, laid the foundation for the workshop with a presentation on the seven key components to a Catalyst Award-winning diversity and inclusion initiative: measurable results; accountability; business rationale; senior leadership support; communication; replicability; and originality. She completed her introduction with several examples from Catalyst Award-winning initiatives.

Next, Janan Youshia, Director, Talent Management Strategies, Scotiabank, provided the audience with details of Scotiabank’s 2007 Catalyst Award-winning initiative, Unlocking Potential, Delivering Results: The Advancement of Women Initiative. Launched in 2003, Scotiabank’s strategy has had tremendous results due to the interconnection of all seven Catalyst Award criteria, including an unwavering commitment from the most senior levels of the company.

Because Catalyst members appreciate and benefit from opportunities to share ideas and network with one another, Sylvia Apostolidis, Director, Member Services, facilitated a breakout session and discussion on significant challenges facing the participants. After identifying the most difficult challenges, participants broke out into small groups to brainstorm solutions, which they then shared with the larger group. As one participant stated, “The interactive session was great—it gave me new ideas for addressing some key challenges within my organization.”

For more information about this event, please contact Sylvia Apostolidis at 416-815-7600, ext 632 or [email protected].