The Nigerian Canadian News


Diversity Leadership Alliance (DLA), a newly launched organization, aims to promote diversity in leadership and business among Canadian professionals and entrepreneurs. The organization’s goal is to facilitate professional development opportunities for business leaders and “leaders to be” coming from a wide spectrum of backgrounds. The exclusive launch of DLA took place at the VIP Members Lounge at Toronto City Hall on Wednesday September 14th, 2016, and was well attended by numerous Canadian leaders including Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation, and City Councilor Joe Mihevc. DLA knows that minorities are one of the fastest-growing segments of the labour force both locally and globally, and that shining the spotlight on diversity results in top business and economic performance. Not only is inclusiveness in the business world the right thing to do from a humanistic standpoint, it is also a strategy that delivers measurable and tangible results to organizations as they are able to reach and sell to all segments of society through having a workforce that truly gets how to connect with the masses. A diverse workforce prevents organizations from becoming too insular, and out of touch with its customer base. DLA’s President and visionary Founder Roberto Hausman truly believes in “cooperation, understanding, and the enhancement of our existing people and resources to be of the utmost importance”. His goal in founding DLA was to help people succeed professionally at the highest levels. Roberto and the other board members of DLA believe there is no doubt that today’s businesses should learn the value of diversity at all levels. Diversity can and should be a critical component of the business strategy that today’s leaders are seeking to implement, and should be recognized as a distinct competitive advantage. While research clearly demonstrates that diverse groups highly outperform non-diverse ones, current statistics demonstrate a lack of diversity in the C-suite. A key factor in this is exclusion from opportunities, networks and conversations that open doors to further development and promotion. DLA’s mission seeks to encourage and leverage the talent of current and future leaders, while fostering a sense of connectedness amongst peers. DLA feels that it’s no surprise that diversity at the top promotes diversity throughout the business, economic, and societal landscape. A diverse array of prominent leaders provides emerging leaders with role models that they can identify with. This creates an environment that helps those with diverse ethnic backgrounds to say, ‘If they can, I can’, which is a very important feeling that needs to be embedded in the next generation of leaders to help their success. The organization wants to make sure that our youth understand that they have support from the top. They want to set the tone for Canadian business culture by demonstrating their commitment and dedicating their personal time to working on inclusion for all. Samer Bishay, CEO of Iristel and SugarMobile, is one of DLA’s high profile board members and says that DLA’s vision is personally important to him as “the group helps to build a multi-ethnic community that bridges the gaps in business.” Mr.Bishay who was born in Cairo and moved to Nigeria as an infant where he spent much of his childhood, then eventually moved to Canada, credits much of his business success to his diverse cultural experiences. He says that “these experiences have directly strengthened his creativity, innovation, and imagination.” Furthermore he believes that his, “extensive cultural exposure has given him the ability to quickly adapt to various business situations, and seize opportunities.” As with President Roberto Hausman, Mr.Bishay strongly embraces the opportunity to contribute back to the community, and to share his experiences with the next generation. DLA’s next event is January 24th, 2017, and will focus on mentoring “young leaders to be”. Applicants who are between 20-30 years old, and aspiring to strengthen their professional or entrepreneurial skills are encouraged to apply at Selected applicants will receive free of charge a full day of mentorship from leading business executives and entrepreneurs. Readers of the Nigerian Canadian Newspaper are invited to a 6 month free membership to DLA, which can be accessed through