Former Director, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion; Current Director, Program Development & Delivery—Community, Sustainability & Social Responsibility, Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation
Tyjondah Kerr is an advocate for equitable representation and opportunities for all and has been a driving force behind the Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) Corporation’s efforts. Tyjondah’s passion for making the world a better and more equitable place, where everyone feels a sense of belonging, has led her to implement numerous initiatives that have driven meaningful change.
How She Made Change
Connecting Through Storytelling
Tyjondah’s approach to fostering inclusivity revolves around leveraging stories of lived experiences and encouraging open dialogue. She creates safe spaces where colleagues can learn from one another, facilitating self-reflection and motivating others to lead more inclusively. Her intentional efforts have not only garnered respect from her colleagues but have also earned her the nickname “Chief Disruption Officer.”
Tyjondah uses her voice as a force against injustice. In response to social and racial justice movements, Tyjondah facilitated courageous conversations with racialized employees and provided support during times of increased anti-Asian hate.
Tyjondah has introduced impactful learning opportunities focused on the experiences of Indigenous and 2SLGBTQI+ communities for the Executive Leadership Team and Board of Directors. Her emphasis on allyship is evident in her creation of Allyship Month at OLG, an annual celebration that offers opportunities for learning how to be an ally.
Leading Impactful Initiatives
Tyjondah has spearheaded key initiatives to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts at OLG, including a company-wide strategy. The strategy aims to dismantle systemic barriers and embed equity within policies and programs across the company, taking a comprehensive intersectional approach.
Under Tyjondah’s leadership, OLG conducted three diversity, equity, and inclusion census surveys to gather impactful and measurable data. The results informed areas of focus for training, identified opportunities for improvement, and contributed to the continuous growth of the company’s inclusion score.
She co-developed and launched a successful mentoring program across OLG with the support of her People and Culture colleagues, focusing on fostering diversity and leadership development. The program’s popularity led to its expansion, with multiple cohorts planned to support more mentors and mentees from equity deserving groups.
Partnering to Accelerate Change
Tyjondah collaborated with OLG’s Talent Acquisition team to develop a new recruitment strategy, aiming to mitigate unconscious bias and increase diversity in representation. She also played a pivotal role in partnering with Black Talent Initiative following the murder of George Floyd. This collaboration resulted in the hiring of interns from Black communities, co-hosting events, and engaging OLGers as mentors in the program.
Outside of her role, Tyjondah continues to make a difference by serving as Board Chair of Boys and Girls Clubs of Peel. The club provides a safe, supportive place where children and youth can experience new opportunities, overcome barriers, build positive relationships and develop confidence and skills for life. Additionally, she plays an essential role on the Black Advisory Panel for Kids Help Phone, ensuring that services provided address the unique needs of Black youth.
Actions You Can Take
- Lean into discomfort to engage in difficult yet impactful dialogue.
- Review your recruitment strategies and assess how you can adjust your approach to achieve more diversity across all stages.
Tyjondah Kerr’s journey as a passionate advocate for equitable representation and opportunities is a testament to her unwavering commitment to driving change. Through her transformative initiatives and inclusive leadership behaviors, she has not only impacted her company but has also contributed to fostering a more inclusive society where everyone’s voice is heard and valued.