The BC Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce that it has committed to the 50 – 30 Challenge, an initiative between the Government of Canada, business and diversity organizations, that asks organizations to aspire to two goals:
- Gender parity (“50%”) on Canadian board(s) and senior management; and
- Significant representation (“30%”) on Canadian board(s) and senior management of other under-represented groups: racialized persons including Black Canadians, persons living with disabilities (including invisible and episodic disabilities), Canadians who identify as LGBTQ2, and First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples as founding peoples of Canada, all of whom are under-represented in positions of economic influence and leadership.
“It is excellent news that the BC Chamber of Commerce has elected to sign up for the 50 – 30 Challenge. As one of the province’s largest business organizations, the BC Chamber of Commerce is leading by example; inviting its thousands of member companies of all sizes to embrace diversity and inclusion,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “When companies embrace diverse leadership, they invite new perspectives into their business models and create a more equitable, inclusive Canada for everyone. I look forward to watching this program grow and become the new standard for organizations across Canada.”
The 2021-22 Board of Directors of the BC Chamber of Commerce is already ahead of the curve with 63% of its director roles held by women. However, its commitment to the 50 – 30 Challenge is not simply a “tick the box” exercise, but a sincere pledge to continue to improve within the organization itself and to champion the Chamber’s work as it seeks to increase the representation and inclusion of diverse groups within the provincial network of more than 120 Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade, more than 65% of which are led by female executives.
“The Board is committed to representing the voice of business in BC,” said Michaela Bjorseth, Board director and lead of the Diversity and Equity Taskforce at the BC Chamber of Commerce. “While our Board is composed of Directors from across the province to facilitate insight and perspectives from all regions, we also need to ensure that it comprises individuals who differ in identity and thought – diversity that matters. Collectively we can then work to ensure equity in opportunities by removing barriers, addressing imbalances, and creating an inclusive business network.”
“We are a proud champion of the 50 – 30 Challenge, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it is also good for business,” said Fiona Famulak, president and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce. “Effective diversity and inclusion strategies can help attract and retain talent, increase employee engagement and satisfaction, promote innovation and open new markets. We therefore invite all business and industry organizations to join us in this initiative, and to take steps within their organizations to accelerate diversity, improve equity and help pave the way for a more inclusive future.”