For Immediate Release
Jan. 11, 2021
VANCOUVER, B.C. —The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade is proud to join the Government of Canada’s 50-30 Challenge.
Launched in December by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, the 50 – 30 Challenge is designed to advance and recognize diversity, inclusion and economic prosperity across the country.
At its heart the challenge sets two goals for the boards and senior management of organizations: gender parity (50%) and significant representation (30%) of under-represented groups, two commitments that the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade has pledged itself towards.
Taking up the challenge is just the latest step in GVBOT’s ongoing drive to promote diversity and inclusion in the business community.
In 2020, the board announced the formation of its Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council (DLC), to focus on addressing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion to encourage allyship and enhance business innovation while continuing its efforts in supporting the advancement of women in business.
In recent months the DLC has worked tirelessly towards its goals. Last year GVBOT became the first Chamber of Commerce or Board of Trade to partner with the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI) to deliver instructor-led training to businesses in Greater Vancouver. To date more than 115 individuals have taken part in these essential sessions, with the program on track to deliver courses to another 500 attendees by August.
"In 2015 we became the first chamber or board of trade in North America to achieve gender equity on its board, and now we are continuing our commitment to inclusion by accepting the 50-30 Challenge. Diversity and Inclusion is at the heart of our Purpose: To lead, unite and champion business to ensure Greater Vancouver is thriving and our region is the best place to live and work. By embracing, including and celebrating our differences, we are stronger.” - Bridgitte Anderson, President and CEO of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade.
“This commitment to the 50-30 challenge serves to further highlight that the current discussion on diversity and inclusion is incredibly helpful at raising awareness, but needs to be reinforced by concrete action. I am thrilled that the GVBOT has made this commitment: while gender is just one intersection of diversity, it is a step that will go a long way in ensuring that the Board continues to provide leadership through action to its members at the larger Vancouver business community.” Melissa Polak, Senior Director, Enterprise Risk & Assurance, Aurora, Chair, Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council.
"It is important to remember that inclusion is ongoing action that never ends—we will always be evolving as companies and as a society. The Challenge is another opportunity for the Board to champion diversity and inclusiveness in Vancouver's business community and we look forward to taking it on." - Radha Curpen, Vancouver Managing Partner, Bennett Jones LLP, Board of Directors Representative, Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council.
“Diversity and inclusion starts with our leaders. I’m proud of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade taking the 50 – 30 Challenge and it is an opportunity for all businesses to harness the impact of diverse and inclusive leadership in their organizations.” - Rob Chiarello, Senior Vice President, People & Culture, Pacific Blue Cross, Vice Chair, Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council.
“As I reflect on my own career, I think about the voice I’ve been able to bring to the leadership table and the role I play in supporting and mentoring the diverse experiences of others in the teams I lead. While I know gender diversity only addresses a small part of the overall opportunity around inclusion, I support the 50-30 Challenge and its efforts to pave the way for increased representation and inclusion of diverse groups within our workplaces and to have leadership opportunities that give everyone a voice that is valued at the table.”- Jennifer Ingham, Vice President, University Relations, Capilano University, Advisor, Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council.
About the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade:
Since its inception in 1887, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade has been recognized as Pacific Canada's leading business association, engaging members to impact public policy at all levels of government and to succeed and prosper in the global economy. With a Membership whose employees comprise one-third of B.C.'s workforce, we are the largest business association between Victoria and Toronto. We leverage this collective strength, facilitating networking opportunities, and providing professional development through four unique Signature Programs. In addition, we operate one of the largest events programs in the country, providing a platform for national and international thought leaders to enlighten B.C.'s business leaders.