Diversonomics takes an in-depth look into the various diversity initiatives shaping the legal industry in Canada, the U.K., and around the world. Presented by Gowling WLG, the podcast features discussion by leading industry figures at the forefront of a push to make the profession of law more welcoming, inclusive and diverse. CPD Accredited EDI LogoMany of these podcasts contain Equality & Inclusion Professionalism (EDI) credits toward the mandatory CPD requirements of the Law Society of Ontario (subject to the overall limit of 6 hours per year for viewing archived video programs). This organization has been approved as an Accredited Provider of Professionalism Content by the Law Society of Ontario.
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Feb 1, 2023

We are excited to share that Diversonomics is back with our hosts Phedely Ariste and Gladys Osien.

In the first episode of this season, Ottawa City Councillor Rawlson King joins our co-hosts for an engaging discussion about the City’s first Anti-Racism Strategy approved by Ottawa City Council in 2022. The conversation focuses on the grassroots efforts to develop and implement the strategy, the importance of civic engagement and the collective ability to advocate for meaningful change.

King is Ottawa’s first Black city councillor and is the liaison for the City’s Anti-Racism and Ethnocultural Relations initiatives. A strong believer in public service, King previously served as president of the Overbrook Community Association and was the first co-chair of the Ottawa Police Service Community Equity Council.

Feb 22, 2022

After a brief hiatus, we’re excited to share that Diversonomics is back . On the premiere episode of season six, Gladys and Phedely are in conversation with Raphael Tachie, current president of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers (CABL) and head of Gowling WLG's Private Client Services team in Vancouver.

On the premiere episode of season six, Gladys and Phedely are in conversation with Raphael Tachie, current president of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers (CABL) and head of Gowling WLG's Private Client Services team in Vancouver. Together, they discuss the importance of claiming one’s agency, the value of legal mentorship/sponsorship, and reflect on what is required to achieve success in the profession – particularly from the perspectives of people of colour.

Dec 21, 2020

Repeatedly, we hear the terms diversity and inclusion (D&I) thrown around within the context of initiatives to be undertaken within organizations to improve work culture and client service. Nevertheless, herein lies the problem: initiatives are only meant to be short-term and D&I requires far more than a short-term fix.

In this episode of Diversonomics, our hosts Roberto Aburto and Cindy Kou have a very insightful discussion with former in-house counsel turned chief legal officer, Naveen Mehta. Together, they delve into the common pitfalls organizations face when trying to prioritize diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and new ways in which employers can think of and approach D&I for long-term, sustainable change.

Dec 3, 2020

Sometimes, doing the right thing is not always easy… and for many people, becoming an ally to a marginalized or systematically oppressed population is just that – the right thing, but far from easy. Many questions can begin to surface, such as: Where do I start? What if I say or do the wrong thing? I don’t have a personal tie to this particular marginalized community, so how can I really help? These are the questions that can keep potential allies up at night.

On this week’s episode of Diversonomics, our co-hosts are joined by Gowling WLG associate lawyer Alyssa Flaherty-Spence. Alyssa shares the pros and pressures of being an Indigenous lawyer in big law, tips on how to effectively create and hold space for meaningful Indigenous representation within the legal space, and what all Canadians can do to dismantle the status quo when it comes to the mistreatment and underrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in Canada.

Nov 26, 2020

How do we achieve a justice system that provides equal and fair representation without discrimination, especially for Black people and people of colour? Some might say that one way to get to a just society is through diverse and dedicated lawyers working at their best.

In this episode, we hear from Charlene Theodore, in-house counsel at the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association, and the Ontario Bar Association’s first Black president (and first “pandemic” president too!). Charlene candidly discusses her experiences as a Black female lawyer in Canada and sheds light on her forward thinking initiatives “Work that Works” and “Not Another Decade,” aimed at reimagining workplaces from an equity and diversity framework.

Nov 26, 2020

Joyce Echaquan. Eishia Hudson. Regis Korchinski-Paquet. With so many traumatic and high profile incidents involving Indigenous peoples occurring across Canada, now more than ever, all eyes are on the legal community to pick up the mantle to address these injustices. However, the reality is that there exists a certain degree of disconnect between what's going on in the legal community and what is happening to Indigenous peoples and other communities of visible minority. So, how do we reconcile this?

On this week’s episode of Diversonomics, we hear from Brad Regehr, the first Indigenous lawyer to hold the office of President of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA). A member of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation in Saskatchewan, Brad is extremely passionate and unapologetic when it comes to Indigenous rights and moving the needle forward on anti-racism in the legal community. Tune in as he discusses his role with the CBA and his plans to advance the work of the Association’s Truth and Reconciliation initiative.

Dec 9, 2019

Established in 2018, and set to conclude at the end of 2020, the WE Empower Program is a joint initiative between UN Women, the International Labour Organization and the European Union.

The program lays out seven Women’s Empowerment Principles that form guidelines for corporate action to promote gender equality and women's economic empowerment. They range from commitments on health and safety and transparency and accountability to supply chain diversity and professional development.

Tune in to episode 6 of Diversonomics season 4 as hosts Roberto Aburto and Cindy Kou speak with Camille Beaudoin, junior consultant and program assistant for the WE Empower Program in Canada, about advancing gender equality in the workplace — and how work environments will change drastically over the next decade.

Dec 2, 2019

Picking up on episode 4’s theme, there are a number of challenges when it comes to how organizations can meaningfully instigate and encourage movement on the equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) front. Insufficient education about the benefits of EDI, misinformation about how to successfully implement EDI initiatives, and lack of accountability tend to sink the majority of even the most well-intended programs.

However, it’s been proven that businesses that share data around the make-up of their workforce and encourage the creation of employee resource groups are more successful at cultivating opportunities for under-represented groups.

Tune in to episode 5 of Diversonomics season 4 as hosts Roberto Aburto and Cindy Kou speak with Adrian Ishak – senior corporate counsel for global labour & employment at Salesforce and vice-chair of the Roundtable of Diversity Associations – about the key barriers to EDI success and the importance of remaining committed to continually moving forward.

Nov 18, 2019

From misunderstood expectations to lack of buy-in on the value of diversity, there are a number of challenges and obstacles facing leaders who want equity, diversity and inclusion to really thrive in their organizations.

Successful businesses tend to have a few things in common – such as evidence-based, data-driven strategies and an understanding that changing hearts and minds takes time and requires policies and processes to be properly addressed.

Tune in to the fourth episode of Diversonomics season 4 as hosts Roberto Aburto and Cindy Kou speak with Dr. Sarah Saska, co-founder and CEO of Feminuity, about what's working, what's not working and how everyone can be a champion for diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Nov 4, 2019

In 2018, Gowling WLG Canada embarked on its three-year Clients First: Strategic Plan. One of the goals of the comprehensive plan is to have a partnership that is one-third female by January 1, 2021.

To help make this happen, Gowling WLG engaged Deloitte as a third-party consultant to conduct a thorough examination of the firm’s existing approach to partnership admission – and make recommendations on how to reduce the impact unconscious gender bias may have on it.

Tune in to season 4, episode 3 of Diversonomics as hosts Roberto Aburto and Cindy Kou speak with Gowling WLG Canada CEO Peter Lukasiewicz about the steps the firm is taking to improve – and ultimately eliminate unconscious bias from – the partnership admission process.

Oct 28, 2019

According to the World Health Organization, “disability” is an umbrella term that covers various physical, medical and mental impairments that may limit one’s ability to participate in daily activities.

Given this classification, there are more than one billion people around the globe who have some form of disability, with 78% acquiring their disability while of working age. This makes it critical for organizations to prepare for the reality that many of their employees are – or will become – disabled.

Tune in to season 4, episode 2 of Diversonomics as hosts Roberto Aburto and Cindy Kou chat with diversity and inclusion consultant Emma Dennis about the challenges of developing an inclusiveness strategy for disabled employees in a world where there is no “one size fits all” solution.

Oct 15, 2019

The restoration of friendly relations – that is how many people would define the term “reconciliation.” However, when it comes to reconciliation in the context of Indigenous people and the legal landscape in Canada, the above-mentioned definition may not exactly apply. Canada’s history with Indigenous people and their rights is a long one fraught with discrimination and racism, which some would say is still is embedded in many aspects of our Federal legislation today.

Tune into the first episode of Diversonomics, Season 4, as our hosts Roberto Aburto and Cindy Kou chat with one of Canada’s top 25 most influential lawyers of 2019, Jaimie Lickers, about what reconciliation really means for Indigenous people in Canada and how to move the legal profession forward when it comes to Indigenous law.

Dec 4, 2018

Allyship isn’t always a walk in the park. Have you ever wanted to be an ally to someone or to a group but feared infringing on or taking up space in that particular marginalized community? How do you find the balance between getting involved and being potentially reduced to a more vulnerable role within an affinity group?

Take a listen to the final episode of Diversonomics season 3. Our host Roberto Aburto sits down with Gowling WLG associate lawyer and future co-host of Diversonomics season 4, Cindy Kou, to discuss the meaning and challenges of allyship, lobbying for Charter rights, and why open conversations surrounding allyship are crucial.

Nov 20, 2018

From unconscious bias to inclusive language, there will always be work to do when it comes to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Are you or your organization looking to start a diversity and inclusion initiative?

Take a listen to this week’s episode of Diversonomics, where our co-hosts speak to Rebecca Bromwich and Asfrah Syed-Emond, members of the County of Carleton Law Association’s diversity committee, about how to create an environment that includes and reflects the diversity of their local legal community.

Nov 6, 2018

When one thinks of traditional roles within a law firm or within other organizations, the role of diversity & inclusion manager is not usually top of mind — but it should be. In fact, Gowling WLG is one of the first law firms in Canada to hire a dedicated D&I manager.

In this episode of Diversonomics, our co-hosts sit down with Gowling WLG diversity and inclusion manager Lina Nadar to discuss affinity networks, her path to D&I management and her vision for the firm.

Oct 23, 2018

What is true inclusion? We all have a general understanding of what it means to us, subjectively — but does treating people how we want to be treated actually equate to being inclusive? The answer may surprise you.

Take a listen as our co-hosts Roberto Aburto and Sarah Willis talk to Michael Bach, founder of the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion, about how law firms and other organizations can objectively work on creating a more inclusive work culture.

Oct 9, 2018

Health isn't really just about your physical health — it encompasses many components. It's how we are doing physically, emotionally, socially and cognitively. The goal of being healthy is to maintain a state of positive well-being that allows you to find balance in your life.

Tune in as host Roberto Aburto and guest Dr. Jennifer Laffier delve into the growing movement of mental health first aid training in the workplace.

Sep 25, 2018

Arguably, one of the big challenges when it comes to the subject of diversity and inclusion, is that men often think D&I doesn’t affect them positively or paint them in a good light. The reality is that D&I is about everyone. It’s about creating a culture where people can bring more of themselves to work. So, why is the topic of D&I often perceived by men as an attack on their personhood when they, themselves, are at the intersection of many marginalized groups?

Tune into the first episode of Diversonomics, Season 3, as our host Sarah Willis sits down with former NFL player turned inclusion consultant, Wade Davis, to get some answers.

Nov 14, 2017

When it comes to transgender employees in the workplace, should we rely on policies to dictate a firm’s culture or vice versa? We sat down with Clare Fielding, a trans-person and partner at Town Legal LLP in the UK, to discuss best practices when it comes to trans-people in the legal profession.


Oct 17, 2017

Sometimes the worst part about sustaining an injury is the recovery process that follows. When an employee becomes concussed, the road to return to work can be incredibly trying and strenuous. Our special guest Jane Clark, a partner at Gowling WLG, knows this all too well. Join us as she shares her journey and learn what employers should do and expect when an employee suffers concussion.



Oct 3, 2017

The glass ceiling is real and many women are finding it hard to fight against the perception that there simply aren’t enough qualified women to fill senior positions and sit on boards. We caught up with Gowling WLG partner Lorraine Mastersmith, who gave us a few great tips on how women can use their connections and champions to break into the boardroom.

Sep 19, 2017

There exists a direct correlation between accessibility and social inequality that often goes unaddressed. In today’s episode, special guest Barry Matthews, Director of Legal Affairs at ITV in the UK, joins us to share how he uses social mobility partnerships to help disadvantaged students gain work experience and access to the legal profession.

Sep 5, 2017

We are very excited about the season ahead — so much so that we couldn't wait to showcase some of the awesome things diversity champions around the world are doing. From corporate social responsibility to concussions, tune in as our hosts Roberto Aburto and Sarah Willis give you an overview of the guests and topics in store for season 2 of Diversonomics.

Dec 14, 2016

For the final episode of Season 1 of Diversonomics, host Roberto Aburto speaks to Carolyn Lawrence, gender leader, inclusion & diversity at Deloitte. She explains why more and more law firms and big businesses are implementing unconscious bias training in their offices, and how understanding the needs of millennials can go a long way in improving employee recruitment and retention.

Episode tip

"Where an organization...can reap the benefits of having diverse people around the table if they have that inclusive culture...Those people that are feeling different and may not be the majority of the people around the table or think differently than the majority of the people around the table, they feel like their difference is valued so they share it and they’re bringing their authentic self to work which means they are able to act at 100 per cent capacity. " — Carolyn Lawrence, gender leader, inclusion & diversity at Deloitte


Episode guest

Carolyn Lawrence

Carloyn is the Gender Leader, Inclusion & Diversity at Deloitte with over 10 years' experience in the field. She is also a frequent speaker on diversity and inclusion as well as on women's leadership.

To learn more about Carolyn, visit her bio or connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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Dec 7, 2016

For episode five of Diversonomics co-hosts Roberto Aberto and Sarah Willis interview Cristie Sutherland, the Director of Student and Associate Programs in Gowling WLG's Calgary office. They discuss the firm's recruitment process and why it's not only important to hire the best candidates, but to put diversity and inclusion at the forefront of these important decisions. Cristie also shares her story of being an immigrant to Canada and how that's shaped her path to following the law and now hiring future lawyers for the firm.

Episode tip

"...above everything be yourself. Life is too short to expend the kind of energy it would take to try to be one person at work and another person outside of work. Frankly, I think you are robbing yourself and you’d be robbing [your workplace]." — Cristie Sutherland, Director of Student and Associate Programs at Gowling WLG, Calgary


Episode guest

Cristie Sutherland

Cristie Sutherland is the Director of Student and Associate Programs for Gowling WLG's Calgary office. She overseas recruitment and mentoring programsn for associates and students, and is a chair of Gowling WLG’s Diversity Council Recruitment and Retention Working Group.

To learn more about Cristie, visit her bio or connect with her on or LinkedIn.

Subscribe on iTunes

Don't want to miss an episode, or want to tell us how we're doing with a rating or review? Visit us on iTunes!

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