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Canada

Toronto’s chief people officer seeks funds for gender equity unit

The City of Toronto’s “chief people officer” is asking for $283,132 to hire two permanent full-time staffers for a gender equity unit.

Another $50,000 is needed to do community consultation on gender equity for a total of $333,132, a report to next week’s executive committee says.

“Women, girls, trans and non-binary individuals make up more than 52% of Toronto’s population,” Chief People Officer Omo Akintan says in a report. “Yet they face disproportionately higher rates of violence, greater poverty including more precarious employment, lower wages, religious discrimination based on attire, and are underrepresented in political and professional leadership positions.

“Addressing intersectional gender inequities in City of Toronto programs, service delivery, outcomes and workforce initiatives will help to decrease inequities experienced by diverse women, girls, trans and non-binary people in the City of Toronto.”

In a separate report to the same committee, a voluntary survey of the city’s workforce found that 50.4% are women.

Just over half of city staffers did not respond to the request to disclose how they self-identify for “indigenous identity, black heritage, gender, racial/ethnicity, sexual orientation and … disability.”

Akintan’s report requests city council direct her to develop a gender equity strategy and report back to council in the fourth quarter of 2021, and that it also support the establishment of a gender equity unit in 2020.

The establishment of a gender equity unit will ensure that “city staff leading work on mobility, housing and other strategic priorities will have access to expertise on applying an intersectional gender analysis to their work,” the report says. “In addition, key provisions of the multi-year workforce diversity plan will address gender inequities experienced by the city’s workforce.”

aartuso@postmedia.com

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