Starting from the top: How leaders can advance equity

Join us on ​Tuesday, September 28, 2021
​@ 12 PM PST

Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) are indivisible parts of conversations about how to build a successful team and culture. Creating an environment that is inclusive to employees of all genders, backgrounds, and identities is important not just because it’s the right thing to do but also because it’s the only thing to do.

In times of crisis, such as the ones we are currently living in, D&I is one of the critical differentiators in how companies weather this storm. Studies and research show that those that have invested in developing inclusive leaders and cultures and building balanced leadership teams across their businesses will fare better than others. And the many companies that have had mixed success with D&I efforts may benefit even more from keeping it on their leadership agenda.

Samra Zafar is an award-winning, internationally renowned speaker, bestselling author, and educator for equity, mental health, and human rights. She has been recognized among the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada, Top 25 Inspirational Women in Canada, and Top 25 Canadian Immigrants. Her book, A Good Wife: Escaping The Life I Never Chose, based on her journey of escaping an abusive child marriage to pursue her education and shed light on gender-based oppression, is a national bestseller, was one of CBC’s Best Books of 2019, and is being adapted to a premium TV series. She serves as a Governor at the University of Toronto, a Celebrated Ambassador for Plan International, and a board member for Women’s College Hospital Foundation. Her work has impacted millions and has been extensively featured in global media. Samra’s speaking portfolio includes three successful TED Talks, and many leading corporations, universities, and nonprofits around the world.

Best Practices & Learning Outcomes
  • Going beyond quotas numbers - it is not enough to just have diverse people in the boardroom. Companies must go beyond the numbers to create an inclusive culture to empower their diverse employees to bring their authentic voices and views
  • Building Intersectionality & Equity - ensuring that people from all communities are represented and empowered wholistically, e.g. BIPOC, LGBTQ+, Immigrants & Refugees, non-binary, indigenous and differently abled.
  • Promoting Authentic Leadership and Vulnerability in the workplace so employees are encouraged to bring their whole selves to work - promotes teamwork, human connection and collaboration
  • Promoting mental health and emotional well-being - building resilience, navigating change, finding opportunity in adversity.
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