The organizing committee for the Pan Am Games and Parapan Am Games in 2015 in Toronto has developed a diversity policy covering procurement, governance, employment and volunteerism.
"What 'green' was to the Vancouver Games, multiculturalism will be to TO2015," said Ian Troop, CEO of T02015. "Toronto 2015 will be the first Pan/Parapan American Games to mandate a comprehensive and inclusive diversity policy providing business opportunities to our many multicultural communities."
The diversity policy harnesses the economic impact of the Games to create a platform for segments of the population who have typically been under-represented in projects of this magnitude, said TO2015. Opportunities in the areas of procurement, governance, employment, volunteerism and others will be accessible to Southern Ontario's diverse communities.
TO2015 is working with Infrastructure Ontario, where diversity has been determined to be an important principle during the procurement and construction of Games venues.
Applicants responding to requests for quotations or proposals will be requested to identify or provide evidence as to how they plan to involve and support diverse community businesses to increase the supplier pool and improve their ability to deliver on time and on budget. Through the procurement process, applicants will also be encouraged to be innovative and creative and demonstrate a willingness to include diversity candidate groups on their teams. Successful proponents will also be expected to provide regular reporting of such initiatives during the construction phase.
This is a big step forward in creating an inclusive business practice, said Courtney Betty, founder of the Diversity Business Network.
"This will be remembered as one of the great legacies of the Games as we use the power of sport to forge economic relationships creating a win/win for all,” he said. "We've never had, in my view, a policy that takes the first step in addressing the economic challenges faced by marginalized and diverse communities in the business model.”
TO2015 is also working to ensure diversity is embedded in every aspect of the business, including human resources policies and recruiting for staff and volunteers. Currently, one-third of the TO2015 staff are comprised of visible minorities and more than 65 per cent of executive level staff are female.
"We have adopted diversity as a standard practice in our day-to-day business. All of our procedures and decision-making criteria will embrace diversity — from how we purchase goods and services to how we hire employees and recruit volunteers," said Troop.
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