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University of Toronto answers President Obama's call to increase gender diversity in engineering

On the same day that President Barack Obama hosted the White House's first ever startup demo day, the world's most powerful political leader also announced the start of new initiative aimed at increasing diversity within the field of engineering. 

Over 90 North American universities, including two Canadian schools—the University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo—have agreed to work toward recruiting more women and underrepresented minorities into their engineering programs. 

Each of the 92 schools taking part in the initiative has agreed to a four part action plan that, among other things, calls for the participants to work closer with schools that work with underrepresented populations. 

"Engineers are working hard to find solutions to some of the most critical challenges of our time, including environmental degradation, urban issues, health care and more. We know that including diverse perspectives in the field increases creativity, which in turns drives better, more innovative ideas and approaches for the future," says Michelle Beaton, the associate director of the University of Toronto's Engineering Student Recruitment and Retention Office. 

"U of T is a trailblazer in fostering diversity within the engineering field, and under the leadership of our dean Cristina Amon, we continually seek opportunities nationally and internationally to ensure women and underrepresented minorities are attracted to and thrive in the profession."

According to Beaton, the University of Toronto is well on its way to answering President Obama's call for greater gender diversity. In 2014, 30.6 per cent of the students starting first year classes at the university's Faculty of Engineering were women. Beaton says this the best ratio among engineering schools in Canada.  

Ryerson University launches new study of the analytics talent gap

You've likely heard of the gender gap in tech. It's something that, if allowed to continue, will have a significant effect on the North American economy.

But what about the talent gap that exists when it comes to advanced analytics and big data?

According to recent studies, companies and organizations in both the United States and Canada are finding it extremely difficult to fill positions that require a deep analytical skill set. Should those positions go unfilled in the long term, Canada may find it difficult to compete with rising superpowers like India and China.

On October 31, Ryerson University, in partnership with several other universities across Canada, launched a new study to find out the extent of the analytics talent gap in Canada and to see what the country could do to alleviate it.

The study involves two distinct parts.

During the first part of the project, the university is surveying Canadian organizations on whether they believe an analytics talent gap exists in Canada. In an effort to be as comprehensive as possible, Ryerson is asking that all organizations take part in the study.

Once the information from that survey is collected and examined, the university is planning to hold a summit that will gather some of the best minds on the subject. Their stated goal is to create a set of recommendations that organizations across the country can implement, which will be published in a white paper after the event.

Big data and its effect on Toronto is something that Yonge Street has written about extensively in the past.

Source: Ryerson University

CivicAction recruiting for next cohort of DiverseCity fellows

In a city like Toronto—one which prides itself, defines itself—in terms of its diverse population, what does diversity actually mean, and how deep does it actually run?

"We have one of, if not the most, diverse cities on the planet," says Sevaun Palvetzian, CEO of CivicAction, the non-partisan community engagement organization. But that diversity doesn't necessarily extend to all sectors, and to all levels of leadership. True diversity, she says, would mean that leadership "looks like the city that we are."

That's why CivicAction (in collaboration with the Maytree Foundation) created a program called DiverseCity Fellows six years ago. It's a leadership training program for up-and-coming civic leaders that includes 100 hours of programming over the course of a year. Right now, CivicAction is recruiting for its next cohort of DiverseCity fellows.

Previous fellows reflect diversity of sector, diversity of gender, diversity of age (ranging from 27 to 56), and three-quarters have identified as visible minorities—"an important reason we run this program," Palvetzian says.

The program isn't meant to be a cure-all: for all that we do identify as a diverse city, we have a long way to go on many fronts before that is truly reflected everywhere. Leadership capacity is just one piece of a much larger puzzle, she goes on to say.

"Leadership development can target our challenges," especially by developing capacity in younger generations, and by serving as role models.

What they are looking for most in an applicant is someone who is "passionate and results-oriented, someone who has a clear understanding of what they want to do"—a project in the pipeline, and some mentors already who can help them achieve their goals.

The DiverseCity program is designed to help those people, with 5-15 years of experience already, take their ideas and give them the skills, networks, and other resources to realize those ideas, to "pack these folks with experience and access" that can help them champion a real project.

Applicants are being accepted until July 8, 2014.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Sevaun Palvetzian, CEO, CivicAction

Photo: CivicAction

TRIEC celebrates 10 years of helping skilled immigrants

More than a decade ago, the Toronto City Summit Alliance (now CivicAction) and the Maytree Foundation conducted some community outreach, asking what the most compelling issues facing Toronto were—including which issues were being neglected and required more attention.

One key issue that came up in that survey: integrating immigrants effectively into the city's labour market. And so those consultations led to the creation of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC).

This week, the organization is celebrating its 10th anniversary at an awards ceremony that will also honour individuals and organizations for their leadership in this sector.

When that initial survey was conducted, community groups said that while there were many immigrant settlement organizations, "there weren't a lot of organizations that were focused on this issue of opportunities for skilled immigrant labour," says TRIEC's executive director, Margaret Eaton.

And the resources that were being devoted to the issue were scattered. "Mentoring had been done in different organizations," she goes on, but once the new organization was formed "they came together under that umbrella," allowing for a better distribution of talent and increased scale of activity. The core of TRIEC'S activities is a one-to-one mentorship program that currently has 1,300 pairings; Eaton says that those who go through the program see an average increase in earnings of 62 per cent.

Reflecting on the past decade, Eaton says that "one of the big things we've seen is that some things have stayed very much the same: skilled immigrant unemployment is still double what it is for university-education Toronto-born population. if anything, it has gotten worse through the recession."

When asked why she said that, one key factor is that "the economy has changed so much. we're now seeing secondary migration—[people] coming to Toronto first, then moving elsewhere in Ontario or out west," where there are more plentiful job opportunities.

On the positive side, there is now an Ontario commission looking at regulated professions to try to make their requirements much more transparent to the applicants, easing the process for new immigrants who want to transfer their credentials from elsewhere so they can pursue their professions here.

As part of its 10-year anniversary, TRIEC is also looking to the future, and expanding its strategic objectives. "One of those," says Eaton, "is employer culture—looking at the glass ceiling that immigrants experience."

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Margaret Eaton, executive director, TRIEC

Federal government announces $11.4M in job support for those with autism

"People with developmental disabilities have much to contribute in the Canadian labour market. Yet, existing research suggests that the rate of employment among this population is much lower than it needs to be."

That was the comment from Dr. David Nicholas, associate professor of social work at the University of Calgary, upon hearing the news that the federal government will be investing in new job support for youth with autism spectrum disorders.

Announced as part of the federal budget, the government is investing $11.4 million over four years in a program called CommunityWorks Canada.

The program is modelled on one that is currently available in Calgary. The funding will go to developing a national network of cities that offer similar services. Program participants, who range in age from 12 to 24, will work on developing key social, communications, and problem-solving skills that are essential in any employment environment. The program is delivered via one-on-one peer mentoring, and the ultimate goal is to equip participants with the capacity to pursue work successfully, and live more independent lives.

Some details are still in the works, but a representative from the Etobicoke-based
Autism Speaks Canada—which will be operating the program in partnership with the Calgary-based Sinneave Family Foundation—told us that the plan is to have two or three of the new centres open within the next two years, and a total of six centres (including the original Calgary location) open in four years. Organizers are hoping to ramp up to 1,200 participants per year, across all of the locations.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Carrie Habert, Marketing Director, Autism Speaks Canada

Ryerson prof finds that gender-diverse groups produce better science

Trying to improve gender diversity in organizations started out as a question of equity and justice—it was just the right thing to do. But there's been a growing body of anecdotal evidence that it actually may lead to not just different but better decsion-making. A Ryerson professor, along with some colleagues at Rice University in Houston, decided to research that issue more formally. They've just issued  the results of a study they conducted looking at the impact of gender diversity in the conduct of science, specifically.

The upshot: "Here we present the first empirical evidence," the authors write, "to support the hypothesis that a gender-heterogeneous problem-solving team generally produced journal articles perceived to be higher quality by peers than a team comprised of highly-performing individuals of the same gender."

In short: scientific investigations conducted by gender-diverse teams tend to produce work that is independently assessed to be better than work produced by teams that aren't diverse.

Lesley Campbell is a professor in Ryerson's department of chemistry and biology. "Gender diversity, at a minimum, improves the likelihood that you are going to be doing effective science," she said in a statement explaining her work. "Gender diverse groups and groups that are diverse in a variety of ways might actually be more effective ways to do team science and team work.  We now have scientific evidence to back that suggestion up."

Her study analyzed work produced by 157 research groups from a California-based ecological institution, spanning 1997-2006. Work produced by gender-diverse teams were cited 34 per cent more than homogenous teams; that work was also deemed to be better quality during the peer assessment process.

"We all come to the table with different ways of problem solving," Campbell says. "It’s not just about the facts that we know but the way that we do things really does differ between men and women…There are very different ways that groups with gender diversity complete things."

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Gender-Heterogeneous Working Groups Produce Higher Quality Science (Study)

TRIEC celebrates skilled immigrant mentors

Immigration isn't just a matter of navigating clearly defined legal and employment constraints: getting your paperwork in order, re-credentialling, and so on. There is also a host of soft skills—cultural conventions and communication best practices, social insight and networking capacity—that anyone needs to successfully make a transition to a new country.

Helping skilled immigrants do just that: the mentors of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC), who assisted 1,000 immigrants this past year via a program called The Mentoring Partnership. Mentors offer sector-specific advice (mentees and mentors are matched by occupation), but also help with the ephemeral, essential task of getting settled in a new work environment.

Those mentors and their successes were celebrated recently, at an annual reception.

Indra Maharjan was a mentee with the program in 2010; he returned in 2013 to act as a mentor to two new skilled immigrants; he was one of the program participants honoured at TRIEC's reception. Like many new immigrants Maharjan had done a lot of research and planning when it came to logistical issues, but it was the Mentoring Partnership, he says, that "helped me to get lots of other information which is not publicly available: how to deal with people, how to make sure your boss is happy," and other similar matters.

The Partnership helped him learn about Canadian work culture and communication styles, which allowed him to find and flourish in new work more quickly. "The crux of success lies in how you communicate with people," Maharjan says, and there's is no better guide to that than another person who can answer real-life questions about it, and help you work through situations as they arise. Years later he and his mentor are still in touch.

This year Maharjan's two mentees each found jobs within two months, he says with pride. "Most people are hardworking, but if they can't express themselves that creates a bottleneck."

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Indra Maharjan, The Mentoring Partnership
Photo: Camilla Pucholt

Design charette at Scadding Court envisions city's first container mall

A trip to Ghana in 2009 by a few self-funded Scadding Court-area teens is paying off, and in the process offering an excellent example of how rich countries can learn from poor ones.

"What we saw there were all kinds of rusted out containers where people were selling chicken, cutting hair," says Scadding Court Community Centre head Kevin Lee. "We came back to Toronto, there's so much under-utilized public space, like sidewalks that are three times the size they need to be, and on Dundas Street, economically depressed, with no eyes on the street…."

So now, there are 19 containers on Dundas just west of Bathurst, and a charette at the Scadding Court Community Centre on Tuesday brought together architects, designers, city planners, public health workers and community members to show and tell how that might be expanded into the city's first container mall.

The first container went up three years ago, very shortly after the group, of which Lee was a part, got back from Ghana. At first, it was just food, but it soon morphed into retail, including Stin Can, a bike repair shop run by two 19-year-olds, graduates of the Biz Start program who, according to Lee, were able to start up with just $2,000. (You may want to think about stopping by their container instead of your usual local.)

"What we're trying to do," Lee says, "is establish a template for the city of Toronto in terms of economic development at the grassroots level. Economic development doesn’t just mean trying to attract Google to move their head office to Toronto."

The city just found $80,000 to buy two or three new containers, according to Councillor Adam Vaughan, in whose ward the containers sit. Now they’re just waiting for a council vote on approvals, which could come as early as this week.

"You put 10 bureaucrats around a table, all it takes is one to say no to scrap things," Vaughan says from the floor of the charette. He says the original idea came from a private company who wanted to set up some containers on Queen West. Heritage Toronto nixed it, according to Vaughan, saying the only spot they could use was the parking lot at Queen and Phoebe, so the company dropped the idea.

The charette, and the community centre's central involvement, is a way, Vaughan hopes, to circumvent the usual impediments to Toronto ever having nice things. "What we're looking for here is a way to say yes."

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Kevin Lee, Adam Vaughan

A portrait of minimum wage workers in Ontario

In order to help combat the increasing wage gap in Ontario, the Wellesley Institute is joining in calls for a $4 increase in the minimum wage.

We've heard it for years, both anecdotally and through a growing body of research: the middle class is shrinking and the gap between rich and poor widening.

A new study
just released by the Wellesley Institute explores one particular element of this development: the status of minimum wage workers in Ontario.

The study is animated by two key ideas, says its author, Sheila Block. "One is that the minimum wage is just for kids…however, 40 per cent [of minimum wage workers are over the age of 25."

The second, she says, is that "minimum wage work isn't distributed equally." There are some demographic groups with a much higher proportion of minimum wage work than others—specifically women, young workers, racialized workers, and recent immigrants (defined as those here less than 10 years). Crucially, this state of affairs is worsening: the proportion of Ontario employees earning the minimum wage has more than doubled in the eight year span between 2003 and 2011, and the proportion of minimum wage workers is increasing more rapidly among racialized employees than in the population at large. In short, more of us are working for less money, and the distribution of minimum wage work is increasingly unequal.

Some of Block's findings:

  • In 2003, 4.3 per cent of Ontario's workforce earned the minimum wage; in 2011 it was 9 per cent.
  • Among racialized workers the rate went from 4.5 per cent (2003-2005) to 12.5 per cent (2009-2011).
  • A greater proportion of women are minimum wage workers: in 2003 5.1 per cent (vs 3.5 per cent for men), and in 2011 10.5 per cent (vs 7.6 per cent for men). The rate of increase in minimum wage work has been roughly equal between genders.
  • The demographic group with the highest proportion of minimum wage workers are recent immigrants who are women: 26.5 per cent of this group are working for minimum wage.
Increasing minimum wage would, Block says, "have a disproportionately positive impact on those groups [that currently have the greatest proportion of minimum wage workers]" in addition to raising the floor for all workers in the province.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Sheila Block, director of economic analysis, Wellesley Institute

SheEO graduates first cohort of program participants

In a city with an ever-increasing number of incubators, accelerators, and other support programs, it can be surprising to realize how many unmet needs our aspiring entrepreneurs actually have. It's still a developing community though, and there are many gaps to be filled in. Addressing one very specific gap is SheEO (pronounced SHE-E-O), a program for women entrepreneurs in the social sector, which has just graduated its first cohort of program participants.

"I've been a mentor to young entrepreneurs for almost 20 years, and one of the things that I'd noticed the women mentees were asking very different questions…around boldness, and confidence, and buildings networks," explains the program's co-founder, Vicki Saunders.

Anyone can pick up the hard skills of running a business, she went on: you can learn basic bookkeeping and how to build a pitch deck online quite easily. It's the soft skills—communication and management and wooing investors—that are trickier to develop, and "which we're now realizing are the most important." In our current business environment, Saunders says, women in particular can face challenges because their sense of what leadership looks like can differ from the prevailing models.

One thing in particular that Saunders points to is the need for any entrepreneur to be self-aware, to understand how she is most naturally comfortable acting as a leader. This isn't just a nice form of self-development, she maintains, but essential to the business itself: "You can't be a leader and not be yourself. You can't fake it and have people follow you. To really be a leader you need to understand who you are and what motivates you." That's why the opening days of SheEO's month-long program are devoted helping participants flesh out an individualized concept of leadership.

After that, the question is: leadership for what? Like a growing number of entrepreneurs, Saunders isn't interested in launching businesses just to capitalize on money-making opportunities. That's why SheEO is aimed not just at women, but at women who want to create ventures with social or environmental benefits.

Plans are already underway for future cohorts, and Saunders says that the program will continue "…as long as there are people out there who think that they need this, but the goal is that we never need to run any kind of program."

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Vicki Saunders, co-founder, SheEO

New report published on immigrant entrepreneur challenges and opportunities

We know, broadly speaking, the key factors that help create the conditions for success for would-be entrepreneurs. They include access to capital, mentorship, and a very practical knowledge of day-to-day business operations. However, though Canada--and especially Toronto--have very high rates of immigration, we tend to spend less time thinking and talking about the challenges that are specific to immigrant entrepreneurs, and the conditions for success that are particularly pertinent to newer Canadians.

Stepping in to the breach is North York Community House, which recently released a study (conducted with the help of Public Interest) examining precisely those issues.

The report, DIY: Immigrant Entrepreneurs are Doing it for Themselves, looks at the specific challenges immigrant entrepreneurs face, and in the process outlines some major opportunities for offering more and better support to this community.

Among the report's key findings: English language skills, and knowledge about the mechanics of opening a business--the rules and regulations and procedures and nitty-gritty details--are two of the biggest determinants of success of failure for immigrant entrepreneurs. Mentorship and entrepreneurial experience (either directly, or within one's family) are also crucial--and all of these can be particular challenges for new immigrants, who may not have ready access to many of these supports in the way that Canadian-born entrepreneurs might.

"There are some really good programs going in Toronto for newcomer entrepreneurs," says Shelley Zuckerman, executive director of North York Community House, "but there aren't a lot."

She goes on to explain that there are some very targeted supports in place, for particular demographics or providing very specific services, but there simply isn't a sufficient number or variety of programs to meet the demand. "There's definitely a need for more mentorship programs," she says, especially for people without a family history of entrepreneurship, and especially aimed at those who are trying to get started with very small businesses.

At the most general level, the report finds that immigrant entrepreneurs fall into two main groups: those who are "pulled" towards entrepreneurship, who are attracted to it and choose it and arrive in Canada with that course of action in mind, and those who are "pushed" towards it, who don't find satisfactory or sufficient employment elsewhere and turn to entrepreneurship to close their income gap, or provide more flexibility in their scheduling and family life.

It's the latter group in particular that needs the most support, since it generally consists of people who have fewer resources (both financially and in terms of a pre-existing knowledge base), and aren't quite ready to hit the ground running. Even simple things like how language classes are structured can make a significant difference, explains Zuckerman.

"One of the difficulties around language for immigrants is that a lot of the language classes are during the day, or quite intense, so if you're running a business [at the same time] it can be quite challenging to attend," she says.

NYCH convened a roundtable of groups offering services to immigrant entrepreneurs in the course of putting together the study; that group will continue meeting now that the results have been released, to share more information and examine how they might coordinate their services more effectively.

They'll also be discussing the "need for government and funders to look at different ways of supporting small entrepreneurs" and, in particular, try to learn more about how services can be best structured to be of greatest value.

DIY: Immigrant Entrepreneurs are Doing it for Themselves is available online [PDF].

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Shelley Zuckerman, Executive Director, North York Community House

Who's Hiring in Toronto? Diaspora Dialogues, Toronto Botanical Garden, and more

As befits the season, there are many seasonal job posting right now, especially in the areas of gardening, urban agriculture, and the environment.

Evergreen, based out of the Brick Works, is hiring an urban agriculture program assistant for the summer. Applicants must be under 30 years of age and returning to full-time post-secondary studies in the fall, and will work both on the green spaces at the Brick Works and in delivering programs across the Toronto region.

Green Thumb Growing Kids, a charity that helps urban children learn about how to grow, cook, and enjoy fresh food, is also hiring summer students: they are looking for two garden program leaders to help maintain school gardens and develop children's garden programs. Applicants can be younger in this case—the age range is 15-30—but must be returning to some kind of full-time study in the fall.

Also in this area, Central Toronto Community Health Centres is looking for a garden and program support worker to run weekly programs, maintain a community kitchen, and provide other assistance as needed. This too is a program for students under 30 returning to studies at the end of the summer. Another community organization, the Agincourt Community Services Association, is on the hunt for some similar help: they are trying to find two urban agriculture facilitators for the summer to promote youth engagement in gardening and healthy eating.

Finally in this sector, the Toronto Botanical Garden is seeking a teaching assistant for their children's programs. The assistant will be working with children aged 3-11 enrolled in the Gardens' summer camp programs, as well as help with maintaining the teaching gardens.

Also for students, but in another area of environmental work: TREC Renewable Energy Co-operative, which focuses on energy conservation, has a summer opening for a communications and research assistant to help with their ongoing outreach and marketing efforts.

Moving on to the cultural sector, FACTOR, the Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings, is hiring a full-time project coordinator to manage an artists' client base. Also looking for a project coordinator is ArtReach Toronto, which focuses on engaging youth who typically have a hard time accessing arts programming. It's a six-month, part-time contract, and the coordinator's primary responsibility will be to develop a series of cultural career workshops.

One last, and particularly noteworthy opportunity: Diaspora Dialogues, which supports diversity in the creation of new literature in Canada, is seeking a new artistic director. The position is part time, and the successful candidate will play the lead role in shaping the overall direction programming takes in future.

Do you know of a great job opportunity? Let us know by emailing [email protected] 

New Start-Up Visa program aims to attract foreign entrepreneurs to Canada

Innovation requires, first of all, innovators: people with the creativity and talent to come up with plans and projects, products and services, that hadn't quite occured to anyone else before. And innovation in the globalizing world requires increased flexibility, knowledge of foreign markets, and the capacity to adapt to changing technologies and circumstances.

Enter a new immigration initiative from the federal government. Announced last week, the Start-Up Visa Program is a pilot project that will run for five years, with 2,750 visas available each year for immigrant entrepreneurs and their family members.  The goal is to attract entrepreneurs and entice them to start new businesses -- and by extension creating new jobs -- here in Canada. To be eligible, applicants must have some funding from Canadian backers lined up: a minimum of $75,000 from an angel investor or $200,000 from a venture capital firm. If accepted, applicants will become permanent residents. The Start-Up Visa Program is the successor to the defunct Federal Entrepreneur Program, a previous immigration stream that the government halted in 2011.

"Recruiting dynamic entrepreneurs from around the world will help Canada remain competitive in the global economy," said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney when announcing the program. In order to help support the program, the government will be working with Canada’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (CVCA) and the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO), who will help line up potential investors.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism

Oncology startup Segasist prepares to unveil 'revolutionary' technology, has grown from 3 to 5 staff

Toronto medical software startup Segasist Technologies plans to launch its new cancer diagnostic tool Reconcillio at the American Society for Radiation Oncology conference in Florida early next week. Founder and CEO Dr. Hamid Tizhoosh says the product represents the culmination of his company's work and could eventually "revolutionize oncology."

Reconcillio is an automated "contouring" tool that learns from doctors as they outline tumors for diagnostic, treatment planning and monitoring purposes. Each oncologist will have his or her own style of contouring, and often several doctors will need to spend hours separately performing the process to reach consensus. The software learns different doctors' styles and can then apply them to new medical images. It can provide "consensus contours" showing how multiple doctors in a hospital would contour the image. And Tizhoosh says eventually, it could provide a cloud-based tool containing the consensus of all 5,000 or so oncologists in North America.

The company's history, Tizhoosh says, goes back to when his grandfather died of lung cancer. Then an engineer, Tizhoosh vowed to fight cancer. "I had young children at that point, so it was a risky move, but I decided to do a PhD in medical imaging." Originally born in Iran, Tizhoosh was based in Germany, but moved to Canada in 2000 and took a job as a professor at Waterloo University. It was there he set up a research team to develop his software, and by 2007, he had a prototype.

Tizhoosh says the company established itself with grants and venture capital financing in downtown Toronto because the access to world-class cancer hospitals was too good an asset to ignore (though the commute to Waterloo where he continues to teach is sometimes difficult). In the past year, the company, based at the MaRS incubator, has growing from to five from three staff, and expects to relocate to its own offices early next year. Reconcillio will be the third product the company has launched--its second, the engine that will eventually drive Reconcillio, is awaiting FDA approvals. Tizhoosh expects to receive those next month. From there, more financing will be made available and the company will begin the approvals process for Reconcillio.

Writer: Edward Keenan
Source: Dr. Hamid Tizhoosh, CEO, Segasist Technologies

York University researcher gets $1 million to study global gender identity discrimination

Toronto helped lead the world in its embrace of diversity when the first same-sex couple to be legally married in North America was wed here in 2003. That local tradition of re-examining legal attitudes to gender issues will carry on as York University professor Nancy Nicol has received $1 million in funding to study the criminalization of sexual orientation and gender issues across the globe.

The funding, to be delivered over five years, comes courtesy of the federal government's Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. According to the announcement of the award, Nicol will lead a 22-member team to "explore how LGBT and human rights groups resist criminalization of sexual orientation and gender identity," especially in the developing world of the global south.

"Our work will combine documentary and participatory video with qualitative interviewing, focus groups, legal data research and analysis, and a limited use of surveys," Nicol says in a release. "We plan to make a unique contribution to documenting and analyzing criminalization, asylum and resistance to criminalization within and beyond regions."

Writer: Edward Keenan
Sources: Trevor Lynn, SSHRC; York University
47 Diversity Articles | Page: | Show All
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