Ontario Lottery & Gaming: Building Systemic Impact in Government

Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, known mostly as OLG since 2006, is a Canadian Crown Corporation, owned by the Government of Ontario. OLG is responsible for the province’s gaming, casinos, lotteries, and slot machines.

The DEI Journey Begins for the OLG

In 2014, World Pride had just come to Toronto, prompting a discussion about how OLG was showing up. After all, Toronto, Canada, with a population of nearly 3 million, is one of the most diverse cities in the world. About 52% of residents identify as a minority and just under half are immigrants. 

To better reflect the community, the OLG introduced a diversity and inclusion committee in 2014 to formally recognize that there needed to be a diverse and inclusive lens for the Crown Corporation.

Partnering with the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion, a national charitable organization, the OLG found the most significant gap was among LGBTQIA+ team members who did not feel comfortable being out at work at the OLG. In response, the OLG created its first Pride Network, then realized there was more work to be done. While the Pride Network gave a voice to some of the OLG team, would it be enough to make LGBTQIA+ team members feel truly included? In addition to having an LGBTQIA+ diverse team, what could the OLG do to make the workplace inclusive so workers wanted to stay? What about minority team members, women, and others at the company?

In 2015, to address these issues, the OLG hired its first Diversity and Inclusion Lead and created a strategy through 2017 to build employee resource groups (ERGs) and hold events to promote inclusion. Since gaming is traditionally a male-dominated industry, the OLG also created a women’s network.

DEI Pain & Opportunities

Before Diversio, the OLG was making changes and launching initiatives, but their early efforts felt “performative,” where they were making shifts that felt like actions made for the sake of change without an underlying strategy. No throughline made individual efforts part of a greater vision for inclusion and diversity. 

The OLG was also contending with the nature of the Crown Corporation and government agencies, where change is slow. It made inclusion all the more important, since, as Tyjondah Kerr, OLG’s Director of Equity Diversity and Inclusion points out “We could hire for diversity,” but if team members didn’t want to stay because they didn’t feel included, hiring for diversity didn’t matter. For Kerr and the OLG, inclusion was important for recruitment, organization growth, and retention.

The concerns about the slow changes at government agencies also came with an opportunity. The OLG realized that making changes in government entities can help create systemic change across communities. After all, government is one industry where systemic inequality happens, so addressing it at the source can have a ripple effect. This realization made Tyjondah Kerr and her team even more focused on creating a better DEI approach.

What Working With Diversio Was Like

By 2018, the OLG was focused on creating a more robust DEI strategy, but they realized they needed measurements that would be important to realize such a strategy. For the OLG, this is where Diversio came in. Diversio could accurately gather data anonymously and they were focused on both inclusion and diversity metrics, just like the OLG. And Tyjondah Kerr found that the OLG was able to create a relationship with Diversio right away —  a relationship where Diversio wasn’t just a DEI platform but a solution that helped the OLG be accountable to each other, their partners, and their clients as they moved forward.

In 2020, the OLG conducted the first formal DEI survey with Diversio. This was the first time the OLG measured inclusivity. As a result, the OLG included diversity and inclusion in the organization’s language and revised its strategy to include equity.

The start of the OLG’s work with Diversio in 2020 coincided with new conversations about racial equity that were happening in Canada and the U.S. Working with Diversio in this context allowed the OLG to step back and start asking big questions. Was the organization making genuine changes? What did DEI really mean? What might an inclusive OLG look like? Were there blind spots? With Diversio as a partner, these conversations were happening with DEI experts available to help.

ROI, Results, & Looking Into the Future

The OLG started seeing results with Diversio fast. Diversio uses a proprietary “Inclusion Score™,” to provide a one-number snapshot of how companies are doing compared to other organizations in their industry. By 2021, the OLG’s Inclusion Score™  had jumped 5.8 points to 62. Although the benchmark in the sector is 65, most organizations see only a four-point increase year over year, but the OLG saw almost a six-point increase, the largest we at Diversio have on record in our history of doing work.

Best of all, the survey results drove the conversation on how to increase representation and how to become more inclusive. As part of that, the OLG established a mentoring program to address access to networks. Mentorship had been on the OLG’s radar for a while, as Tyjondah Kerr points out: “We always knew we needed mentoring and the data shows employees from diverse backgrounds get more out of mentorships than white, able-bodied males.” With data from Diversio, however, it was easier to quantify the need for mentorship and move that initiative forward.

What the OLG Has to Say About Diversio

“We had a relationship with Diversio right away. [The team was] very responsive and I have my own person to go to. I feel taken care of; I get responded to within hours. I have not yet had a negative experience in our relationship since 2018.”

Are you interested in getting results like the OLG? Book a demo today.

The Bottom Line

Studies about the importance of DEI strategies are clear about the absolute necessity of diverse workplaces.

Did you know?

One study of 171 companies in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria found a strong, positive correlation between the diversity of company management teams and business revenue.  

A study of 1,000 companies found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on their leadership teams were 21% more likely to see higher profits when compared with businesses in the quartile below them. For racial diversity, there was a 33% probability of outperformance when compared with less diverse teams.

While most leaders understand the importance of a good DEI strategy, finding the time and resources to gather data, analyze the data, and create a strong plan moving forward can be a challenge. How much time can you devote to your strategy? What should you be asking your employees about diversity? How can you come to a consensus about what to do next? How can you be sure you’re interpreting data correctly?

Without data about your demographics and your employees’ impressions of your company, any initiatives are just a shot in the dark. Diversio shines a light on your company by helping you gather data with full anonymity for your team and minimal disruption to operations. Our team of experts ensures you get data you can trust and read easily.

  • Founder & CEO, Laura McGee.
  • Co-founder & COO, Anya Klimbovskaia
  • Client Success, Adam Evers
  • DEI Specialist Nicholas Zikpi

Are you ready to start making sense of DEI, adding a framework and a system that’s been shown to work across industries? Book a demo today!

Your Benefits

When you work on your DEI strategy with Diversio, we work hard to create a system that works for you so you enjoy all the benefits of diversity and inclusion, which may include:

  • Higher revenues
  • Better company culture
  • The ability to show partners & stakeholders your DEI commitment
  • Better retention
  • Lower turnover & the ability to attract more talent
  • Mitigating the risk of discrimination lawsuits & other adverse events
  • Increased engagement
  • Innovation & creation
  • Customers a&nd clients who see you “get it” a&nd are eager to work with you

Ready to get started? Book your demo today.

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