Coalition formed to hire and support more diverse talent

By The IJ Staff | June 30 2020 11:30AM

Photo: Freepik

A diverse group of leaders has launched the Coalition of Innovation Leaders Against Racism (CILAR) aimed at connecting Black, Indigenous and people of colour to the innovation sector – a critical part of rebuilding and transitioning to the new economy.

Senior leaders from growing start-ups, local government, institutional investors, national foundations, major banks, insurance companies, academic institutions and multinational organizations with a significant presence in Canada, have joined the coalition. Each has committed as a first priority to help end anti-Black and systemic racism and to hire and support more diverse talent, employees and founders.

McGowan nominated chair

Claudette McGowan, Global Executive Officer at TD Bank - Canada, has been nominated chair of CILAR. McGowan has more than 18 years of success leading digital transformations, and has worked for several organizations, including Deloitte, Metropolitan Police Services, North York General Hospital, Bank of Montreal and TD Bank.

"It's our responsibility as leaders in this space to do more than just express our support," said McGowan. "For real change, we need to steer Canada's innovation economy towards ensuring equal opportunity for every Canadian, regardless of race or socioeconomic status. We must foster perspectives that reflect our community… [and] that will level the playing field and clear pathways to success."

Coalition focused on five priorities

The coalition's approach is focused on five priorities: youth skills development, job opportunities, venture and founder support, investment and funding as well as community leadership. MaRS will incubate the initiative by providing support and ecosystem access.

"Our first priority is to increase representation of Black professionals and founders while taking on systemic racism in all forms,” said Yung Wu, CEO, MaRS. “As a coalition, we will create a new grassroots movement, bringing catalytic change and enabling diverse employees and founders to be leaders in Canada's future economy."

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