It is estimated that by 2017, Aboriginal people will account for roughly 4.1% of Canada’s total estimated population (Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, 2010). Of this population approximately half reside in urban areas and with an overall median age of 27 (Statistics Canada, 2006).
The Aboriginal population is expected to account for 7.4% of the Canadian working age population grow, 12.7% of labour force growth, and 11.3% of employment growth between 2006 and 2026 (Lapointe et al, 2009).
Although the population is growing there is a large gap and underrepresentation of Aboriginal professionals and leaders across all sectors. In the Canadian Board Diversity Council (CBDC)’s 2010 Annual Report card, only 0.8% of FP500 companies self reported having Aboriginal peoples on their Boards. Many studies have linked diversity in leadership to better financial performance, productivity and positive work environments.
In a recent survey of Aboriginal Professionals working within the GTA:
- 100% stated they would see value in joining an Aboriginal Professional Association
- 100% stated they would welcome some or additional career growth training and opportunities
Leaders shape our society and the institutions that guide us into the future. They make decisions which affect a significant number of people. Leaders also symbolize who belongs and who does not. With an inclusive society, where everyone has the opportunity to lead, only then can we truly realize our full potential.Ratna Omidvar & John Tory, Co-chairs, DiverseCity
In light of a shrinking labour force, the First Nations population represents an untapped talent pool that will help companies meet future business goals.Clint Davis, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business