18-Feb-2008 : Consulting-Times E-zine
Deloitte in Canada has named partner Jane Allen as its first Chief Diversity Officer. The first role of its kind in the country, Allen's appointment highlights Deloitte's commitment to diversity and puts Deloitte at the forefront of Canadian businesses who are dedicated to building a more inclusive, safe work environment where people can succeed to their fullest potential.
A recent Catalyst Canada study, Career Advancement in Corporate Canada: A Focus on Visible Minorities, found that while the Canadian workforce is diverse, workplaces are not inclusive. Creating work environments where everyone is included and valued is critical to the future competitiveness of all Canadian businesses.
"We all have parts to play in creating more diverse workplaces in corporate Canada," explains Allen. "With predictions of an increasingly limited talent pool, it is of utmost importance that organizations like Deloitte make managing diversity a business imperative."
Working with the firm's National Diversity Council and senior leadership, Allen will develop and implement Deloitte's diversity strategy. The firm defines diversity as recognizing, affirming and celebrating difference in age, education, ethnicity, race, family status, gender, national origin, physical abilities or qualities, religion, sexual orientation, thought processes, personalities and lifestyles and any other characteristic that makes a person an individual.
Allen brings a long history of tackling diversity issues to her new role. While at Ontario's Ministry of Energy, she was seconded to the Ontario Women's Directorate, a group established by the Premier to focus on women's issues. In 1992, as Assistant Dean for Executive Education at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Management, Allen co-founded of the Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award now run by the Rotman School of Management.
Joining Deloitte's Consulting practice in 1996, she became a partner in 2001 and National Leader for the firm's Power & Utilities segment in 2004. Allen will retain this role in addition to her new duties as CDO.
Deloitte supports community organizations including ALLIES (a joint initiative of McConnell and the Maytree Foundations), the Aga Khan Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Centre for Diversity, Goodwill, the Canadian Museum of Human Rights and the YWCA Women of Distinction awards as part of Deloitte's commitment to recognizing, affirming and celebrating diversity.