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DiverseCity onBoard

  • DiverseCity onBoard

The following blog post was written by Christine Burke, Business Development Officer at the Centre for Excellence in Immigrant and Intercultural Advancement.

DiverseCity onBoard is a new and exciting initiative offered by the Centre for Excellence in Immigrant and Intercultural Advancement at Bow Valley College.

As part of a national and global initiative, DiverseCity onBoard is the ‘go-to’ program that connects qualified, pre-screened candidates from visible minority and underrepresented communities to volunteer board positions. It is well known throughout the non-profit and corporate sectors that boards that reflect the diversity of the people they serve are more authentic and responsive to the community and the mission of an organization.

Board governance offers an opportunity to give back to community in areas of passion and interest. It can also open doors otherwise thought far-fetched or even closed by offering professionals opportunity to cultivate a business network, volunteer in activities that impact Canadians and to participate in community events.  This is especially important for internationally educated professionals who are trying to break into traditional corporate Canada.

Speaking to Leah Eichler (2015) of the Globe and Mail, business woman Odette Uy discusses board governance from a Canadian newcomer's perspective,

“I recognize that getting a board role will be quite challenging for me, absent the proverbial ‘Canadian experience’ and a solid network in the local business community. The struggle is admittedly more pronounced among us immigrants who are basically starting over in Canada. Many newcomers have much to contribute to Canadian boards in terms of their business experience and deep understanding of a board’s role and responsibilities" (as cited in Eichler, 2015).

DiverseCity onBoard offers an online training series on board governance and a ‘matching’ program to support not-for-profit boards looking for a diverse and broad pool of talented, board-ready candidates. DiverseCity onBoard’s online training is easy-to-access and easy-to-use. The series of eight courses covers everything from Legal Roles and Responsibilities and Strategic Planning to Resource Development and Risk Management. The training prepares candidates for board governance positions prior to being matched with boards looking for talent. In addition, a DiverseCity onBoard membership offers webinars, in-person networking events, research, and much, much more.

If you are interested in volunteering on a board, or you are a board looking for qualified board-ready candidates, please visit the DiverseCity onBoard website. 


Eichler, L. (2015, August 22). How sitting on a board can lead to success. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved from