Compared to the population it seems London’s visible minorities are underrepresented in the city’s many organizations.
“We’re not represented according to the demographics of the community. I don’t expect it to be exactly the same, but I’d like to see it a little bit better. Our community has 16.1 per cent of visible minorities. I don’t think that we have half of that as staff at this organization,” says Ward 12 Councillor Harold Usher.
London is a very multicultural and diverse community. “I think we can do a better job. We are inclusive to a degree, but I think more improvement can happen. One thing we can do is be intentional about being inclusive with racialized communities,” says LUSO multicultural outreach coordinator Leroy Hibbert.
Hibbert adds institutional racism could be one of the reasons minorities aren’t getting those jobs. “When the culture of an organization—if they’ve been running a certain way— influences how they make decisions. It can be something that’s not intentional, but the affect has a very hurtful way of dealing with individuals.
Kelly O’Callaghan, Inspector at the Human Resources Branch at the London Police Service says they already have a diversity plan in place.
On top of all that, Ward 3 Councillor Mo Salih and Ward 6 Councillor Phil Squire have put forward a motion to have city staff study a way to create a new job at city hall that will attract and keep qualified people who reflect London’s diversity.
“It has been researched and is proven that a workforce that is diverse is more creative. Especially in the new economy—the knowledge economy—even if it’s more challenging to work with a diverse team, at the end of the day these are the teams that are the most resilient and could actually improve the bottom line,” says Executive Director of the London Cross Cultural Learner Centre Valarian Marachko.
Marachko adds diversity is important for more than economic reasons. It helps us make Canada into the kind of country it wants to be—inclusive of everyone.
London City Hall and LPS pictures courtesy of AM980.