Hadiya Roderique tells an audience of international lawyers that when workplaces lack diversity, everyone loses // The Circuit

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“Working with people who are different from you can challenge your brain to overcome its stale ways of thinking”

By Hamzia Bawa-Zeba

On Monday June 11th, 2018

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What: Osgoode’s Internationally Trained Lawyers Day
Where: Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
When: Thursday, May 31, 2018


“No research shows that adding women or minorities or people from different backgrounds leads to worse performance,” said Hadiya Roderique, in her keynote address at Osgoode’s Internationally Trained Lawyers Day. “So why do we have to prove that it leads to better performance?”

The audience of international lawyers had spent the day attending networking and career sessions. And, as they build their careers in Canada, they will spend years making the case that the diversity they bring to the profession is valuable. So Roderique took the time to spell out the latest research on the subject.

“Working with people who are different from you can challenge your brain to overcome its stale ways of thinking and sharpen its performance,” said Roderique, a PhD candidate who also wrote the widely shared Globe and Mail essay “Black on Bay Street.”

At one point, she told the story of her father: a Caribbean immigrant with degrees in physics, chemistry and engineering. Before moving to Canada, he worked as a high-school teacher. But he’s spent the last three decades driving a taxi. “He’s one of the most gifted teachers that I’ve ever met in my entire life,” said Roderique. “His talent has been wasted for 30 years because of bias. And it’s not only a loss for my father, but also a loss for Canada.”


To find out more about Osgoode Professional Development, visit the OPD website.


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