Webinar: From the Boardroom to the Decision Table: Training Diverse Leadership

September 24, 2014


If visible minorities and immigrants make up a growing share of the urban population, why are they still largely absent from the city’s boardrooms and corridors of power? Programs like DiverseCity onBoard (Toronto, Canada), and West Midlands Civic leadership (Birmingham, United Kingdom) aim to close the diversity gap through practical strategies to engage and promote diverse leadership. Join Cities of Migration for an online discussion about what it takes to change the faces of civic and political leadership and connect public institutions to the talent they need for competitive growth.

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Featured Good Ideas

  • In Birmingham, United Kingdom, award-winning Operation Black Vote (OBV) launched the West Midlands Civic Leadership to launched the West Midlands Civic Leadership program to support democratic leadership among ethnic minorities through shadowing and mentoring schemes that help prepare emerging leaders for political office. Local community awareness initiatives double up as recruitment campaigns.
  •  In Toronto, Canada, the internationally recognized DiverseCity onBoard uses practical and direct initiatives to ensure that the governance bodies of public agencies, boards and commissions as well as voluntary organizations reflect the diversity of the city. It does this by identifying and training qualified pre-screened candidates from visible minorities and immigrant communities for professional appointments on boards and committees.


Simon WoolleySimon Woolley, Director, Operation Black Vote (Birmingham, United Kingdom)

Simon Woolley is the co–founder and Director for Operation Black Vote, the first comprehensive campaign to focus exclusively on the Black and minority democratic deficit. He is the the Chair of At Home in Europe at the Open Society Foundation and the former commissioner at Equality and Human Rights Commission-with responsibility for race. Simon has recently joined the board of the Children’s Commission and has been special advisor on the pane looking at school expulsions. He has sat on two successful Government task forces: REACH which looks at why some Black youths are alienated, and Harriet Harman’s BME gender committee looking at ways to improve political representation for BME women. Simon is a visiting lecture at Nottingham University in their Social Sciences Department for the past three years. In 2012 he received a honorary Doctrate for his work in equality and Human Rights by the University of Westminster.

 CathyCathy Winter, Project Leader, DiverseCity onBoard (Toronto, Canada)

Cathy is the Project Leader, DiverseCity onBoard at the Maytree Foundation where she leads the DiverseCity onBoard program and its replication and adaptation both nationally and internationally. The objective of the program is to change the face of leadership by connecting qualified visible minorities and under-represented immigrants to governance positions in the non profit and public sectors. Cathy is a National Board Member, YMCA Canada and Member of its Governance Committee; a Member of the Board of Directors of the Anne Johnston Health Station, where she chairs the Nominations Committee and is a Member of the Strategic Planning and Quality Committee. She is a former Member of the Allocations and Agency Services Committee of the United Way of Toronto Board of Trustees, a Member of United Way of Toronto’s Agency Review Committee, and serves on United Way of Toronto committees.

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