• Josephine V. Yam
  • Josephine V. Yam
  • The World We Want

Diversity + Inclusion + Social Innovation

All articles written by Josephine Victoria Yam.

Note: Links will redirect to the complete articles in the B3 Canada website.

Mission Possible: Companies Achieve Sustainability via Nonprofit Boards

In these troubled times, businesses continue to be a shining force for good.

Many large companies are tackling the world's big, hairy and audacious social and economic development goals. These global goals are outlined in the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations as the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They include ending extreme poverty, protecting our planet and eliminating gender inequality.

The private sector's active participation is crucial to …

Greating She-roes

Creating She-roes: Sponsoring Women Leaders Through Board Service

What does an effective leader look like in your mind? Whether you are male or female, it is likely that you saw a male person in your mind’s eye.

Tina Kiefer, a UK professor, discovered this while conducting a business executives workshop. As the New York Times reported, Kiefer realized that “both men and women almost always draw men” when asked to draw an effective leader. The drawings of men showed them in different shapes, sizes and moods. But they were still undeniably men.

Mind The Diversity Gap

3 Ways Nonprofit Boards Can Mind The Diversity Gap

We’re honoured to partner with CanadaHelps in supporting corporate social responsibility and strengthening nonprofit board leadership throughout Canada. Here’s our blog post that was originally published in the CanadaHelps newsletter.

It was iconic, even memorable, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded: “Because it’s 2015!” to the question as to why his new cabinet was half-female. But fast-forward a couple of years later and take a look around …

Why CEOs Must Prioritize Diversity & Inclusion

Want More Women in Top Management? Engage More Men.

International Women's Day

Many companies have gender parity in middle management. But this gender parity disappears because only a few women move up to senior leadership roles. These companies know that it goes against well-documented evidence that more women in senior leadership roles correlates to better corporate performance.

Men are promoted more often than women - but it's not because women have opted out of the career advancement track for family reasons. Moreover, women ask for promotions and …

Why CEOs Must Prioritize Diversity & Inclusion

How To Succeed As A Nonprofit Board Director

The Conference Board of Canada

Serving on a nonprofit board involves a serious commitment of time and talent. To be successful as a board director, you need to know the principles of nonprofit governance, the role of the board, the responsibilities of board directors and how an effective board operates.

Join us for this one-hour session (including 15 minutes for Q&A), as lawyer Josephine Victoria Yam walks us through the fundamentals on how to succeed as a nonprofit board director.

Why CEOs Must Prioritize Diversity & Inclusion

Why CEOs Must Prioritize Diversity & Inclusion

"Diversity and inclusion has become a CEO-level issue around the world," observed Deloitte in its 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report. "The era of diversity as a 'check the box' initiative owned by HR is over. CEOs must take ownership and drive accountability among leaders at all levels to close the gap between what is said and actual impact".

So what happens when a CEO does not prioritize diversity and inclusion?

Let's take the story of global retailer H&M as an example.

Be Curious: How to Be A Successful Nonprofit Board Director

Be Curious: How to Be A Successful Nonprofit Board Director

A CEO of a large nonprofit asked: “Can B3 match our nonprofit board with business people who don’t come in thinking that nonprofits are inefficient"?

This is a question that many nonprofit CEOs ask us. Some nonprofit board directors apparently believe their business experiences alone can "fix a nonprofit’s inefficiencies”.

Why? This stems from the erroneous notion that businesses are more efficient than nonprofits.

Why There’s Still A Lack of Board Diversity: Boardsource 2017 Report

Why There’s Still a Lack of Board Diversity: Boardsource 2017 Report

Trudeau’s ‘Because it’s 2015!’ response to why his new cabinet was half-female was iconic and memorable, even hopeful and encouraging.

So it was deeply disappointing to read the BoardSource 2017 Report released yesterday on its particular findings on nonprofit board diversity. Yes, it’s 2017 and there’s still no diversity in nonprofit boards. After two years since its last national survey, nonprofit boards are still painfully lacking in diversity.

How to Avoid Conflict of Interest In Your Nonprofit Board

Wanted: Millennials on Nonprofit Boards

Do you have a Millennial on your nonprofit board? This is one of the first questions we ask the nonprofit boards we work with for board matching and recruitment at B3 Canada. And most often, the answer we receive is a sheepish no.

“Well, we always talk about how urgent it is to engage Millennials by recruiting them as board directors”, explained one grey-haired 63-year old board chair of a large charity, “but none of us in the board is a Millennial so we don’t know how to best reach out to them.”

How to Avoid Conflict of Interest In Your Nonprofit Board

How to Avoid Conflict of Interest In Your Nonprofit Board

Last week, B3 Canada and the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) jointly hosted the webinar “Lawyers On Board: What You Need To Know Before Serving on a Non-Profit Board”. I was thrilled to have governance legal experts, Angela Weaver and Patricia McLeod, join me as fellow panelists. We were so pleased to have more than 300 lawyers from across Canada participate in our webinar.

One important question raised during the Q&A was: How do you avoid a conflict of interest when you serve on a nonprofit board?

It is without doubt a very important question. After all, every board director has a fiduciary duty to avoid a conflict of interest…

Lawyers On Board: What You Need To Know Before Serving on a Non-Profit Board

B3 + CBA: Lawyers On Board Webinar

The Canadian Bar Association (CBA) and B3 Canada invite you to an accredited Continuing Professional Development (CPD) webinar entitled:

Lawyers On Board:
What You Need To Know Before Serving on a Non-Profit Board

Save the date!

Wednesday, 26 April 2017
12:00pm (Eastern) / 9:00 (Pacific)

Want Leadership Experience? Serve on a Nonprofit Board

Want Leadership Experience? Serve on a Nonprofit Board

Serving on a nonprofit board is not only a meaningful way to give back to the community, it is also a powerful way to build valuable leadership experience. This is one of the most compelling reasons why our corporate clients have implemented our B3 Board Matching and Training Programs in their organizations.

While enhancing their Corporate Social Responsibility and Brand strategies, many large corporations and law firms consider our programs as solidly supporting their HR talent strategy to develop their high-potential employees. After all, talent development is a top priority in most leading organizations in Canada. So they view our programs as a strategic way of developing their top talent to drive business growth and gain a competitive advantage.

B3 Canada Co-Founders Learn Marketing from Terry O'Reilly

B3 Canada - Women Get On Board Partnership: Advocates for Board Gender Diversity

We are pleased to announce B3 Canada’s new partnership with Women Get On Board (WGOB). WGOB is a leading member-based company based in Toronto that connects, promotes and empowers women to serve on corporate boards.

I was so happy to personally meet Deborah Rosati, WGOB CEO and Co-Founder when I was in Toronto two weeks ago. Deborah is an accomplished corporate director and entrepreneur, having been recognized as one of WXN’s Top 100 Canada’s Most Powerful Women. Deborah and I have excitedly discussed how our organizations share the common goal of advancing gender diversity in boards. Particularly WGOB advances gender diversity in corporate boards while B3 Canada advances the same in nonprofit boards.

Wanted: Women on Canadian Boards

Wanted: Women on Canadian Boards

International Women's Day

In Canada, we have so much to celebrate with the world today, International Women's Day 2017. After all, Canadian women have achieved impressive strides in the political, economic, academic, cultural and social domains of our society.

According to a 2014 Government of Canada report, women: comprise 47% of the Canadian workforce; earn more than 50% of all Canadian university degrees; represented 47% of students in business and management programs at the master’s level in 2010; and received 34.5% of the Masters of Business Administration (MBAs) given in 2011.

So let’s raise our glasses twice or even thrice, right? No, not just yet.

Doing Well By Doing Good

Doing Well By Doing Good: The Business Case for Purpose

In these increasingly volatile times, I found it quite exhilarating to attend the recent Companies & Causes Canada Conference in Toronto. The super-successful “On Purpose” conference showcased how so many Canadian corporations are steadfastly doing well by doing good. Folks from both the corporate and nonprofit sectors gathered together to explore how purposeful business-nonprofit collaboration can be leveraged to build a better world.

Why Board Leadership Matters

Why Board Leadership Matters

Despite the heavy downpour of rain a few weeks ago in downtown Vancouver, I encountered a lot of sunny smiles and spirits at Vantage Point (VP)’s 2nd Annual BOSS Conference held at the Marriott Hotel. “BOSS” is the acronym for Building Organizational & Sector Sustainability. There was a happy buzz as more than 200 people from the nonprofit, corporate and academic sectors attended to learn, share and network at what is touted as B.C.’s premier nonprofit leadership conference.

Three Pointers to Remember When Serving on Nonprofit Boards

3 Pointers to Remember When Serving on Nonprofit Boards

Hundreds of thousands of highly-skilled professionals volunteer their time, talents and treasures in nonprofit boards around the country . And rightly so. They want to give back to society. They are passionate about the mission and vision of the nonprofits they serve. They are keen to contribute their strategic expertise to help nonprofits achieve their goals - whether their expertise is law, accounting, IT, human resources, strategic planning, marketing and communications. Through volunteering, they develop a strong sense of personal gratification for doing good.

5 Questions to Ask Before You Join a Nonprofit Board

5 Questions to Ask Before You Join a Nonprofit Board

Have you ever thought of volunteering as a board member of a nonprofit board? Maybe you now have more time to volunteer over and above lending “extra hands” in a soup kitchen twice a year. Or maybe you now want to share your skills and expertise in an impactful way by joining other like-minded professionals providing governance and leadership to a nonprofit.

And why not? Volunteering to serve on a nonprofit board provides you with so many long-term personal and professional benefits.

3 Features of High-Performing Nonprofit Boards

3 Features of High-Performing Nonprofit Boards

According to Imagine Canada, there are about 170,000 charities and nonprofits in the country, which makes Canada’s nonprofit sector the second largest in the world. This number translates to some 170,000 nonprofit boards providing governance over this $106 billion sector. As in any sector, while many nonprofit boards are high-performing, many are unfortunately lackluster.

David Simms, in his Harvard Business Review article, articulates the following 3 distinct features of high-performing nonprofit boards:

First is Leadership.

The maxim “Everything rises and falls on leadership” rings ever so true in nonprofit boards...

Employer-Supported Volunteering: A Triple Win for a Sustainable World

Employer-Supported Volunteering: A Triple Win for a Sustainable World

After a decade from its inception, employer-supported volunteering (ESV) is now widely recognized as a way for Corporate Canada to meaningfully engage in local communities. Volunteer Canada heralds this significant development in its newly-released report, “Leading With Intention: Employer-Supported Volunteering in Canada”.

Through the Corporate Council on Volunteering (CCOV), Volunteer Canada and its corporate partners encourage businesses, regardless of their industry sector or size, to support the volunteer efforts of their employees. They believe that ESV strategically enables businesses, their employees and nonprofits to work together to achieve positive societal impacts in the world.

Board Diversity: Why It Really Matters

Board Diversity: Why It Really Matters

As a female lawyer who is Asian and a visible minority, I have always been an active advocate for diversity in the workplace. As I practiced law and held leadership positions in various sectors, I often observed that I was either the only woman, the only Asian or even the only visible minority — whether in a boardroom, a business lunch meeting or a workshop. From where I stood, leadership positions in the private, government and nonprofit sectors were more often held by more males than females, more older people than younger ones, more white people than people of colour.




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