Spotlight on leadership bootcamp for racialized lawyers

  • April 02, 2019

CBA activities this year have put a strong emphasis on diversity and inclusion, and nowhere is that more apparent than in a PD session coming up next month.

Leading Change: Leadership Development Bootcamp for Racialized Lawyers is open to all, but as the title says it is particularly aimed at racialized lawyers and others who face different hurdles when it comes to developing their leadership skills and executive presence in today’s law-firm environment.

The CBA’s own bylaws call for diversity in leadership but this is the first time racialized lawyers have been singled out for attention.

“The conference is a very small way in inching the dial forward for racialized and non-racialized lawyers, in a globally challenging year,” says CBA Vice-President Vivene Salmon, the conference Chair.

The bootcamp, a one-day event being held May 16 in Toronto, promises to “offer lawyers of all backgrounds and at all stages in their careers, the tools needed to advance their career, build and leverage their support network and hone their executive presence.”

Panellists include retired Ontario Court of Appeal judge Harry LaForme who, when he was appointed in 2004, was the first aboriginal person to sit on an appellate court in Canada; inclusivity expert Ritu Bhasin; and Hadiyah Roderique, who made a splash with her article Black on Bay Street, and is now a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto in the field of organizational behaviour.

These presenters and many others will take on topics such as developing executive presence – because body language and how you carry yourself speak volumes about your confidence and readiness to advance; adapting to change; developing resilience; and how to delegate. A panel of leaders in the profession will share their stories – challenges, triumphs and life lessons learned.

 “No matter where you want to go in your career, as a young, new or racialized lawyer, you’ll be able to pick up just real nuggets of wisdom and knowledge from everybody’s stories,” says Charlene Theodore, who’s on the bootcamp’s organizing team.

“I think you walk away with a toolkit of how you can develop your own legal career to get on the path to be a leader and an influencer in the legal profession.

Please visit the website to register.

For more on diversity and inclusion, be sure to check out CBA President Ray Adlington’s podcast series Conversations with the President: Raising the bar on inclusion.