Josephine V. Yam

AI Lawyer & AI Ethicist.
Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Specialist.
Climate Change Advocate.

Human Rights & Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Canada is a world leader in human rights protection. However, the COVID pandemic, AI revolution and the #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo movements have exposed existing social inequalities and structural and discrimination that violate human rights.

As a Human Rights & Equity, Diversity & Inclusion specialist, I leverage my expertise by helping companies develop empathetic leaders and responsible AI through Skills4Good’s Upskilling Talent and AI & Data Audits programs. Using a Human Rights By Design approach, I believe that AI should protect, not abuse, individual rights to privacy, equality and non-discrimination.

Josephine is the course instructor of Skills4Good's Leaders On Board nonprofit board governance program. The online course is accredited as part of the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for Canadian lawyers by the Law Societies of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Saskatchewan. It’s based on the accredited Continuing Professional Development course that was produced for the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), the largest professional association representing the 30,000 lawyers across Canada.

Josephine was the featured speaker in the The Conference Board of Canada's "How to Succeed as a Non-Profit Board Director"

Josephine was interviewed at Imagine Canada’s 2019 Summit. Imagine Canada is a national charity that envisions a stronger Canada where charities work together alongside business and government to build vibrant and prosperous communities.

Josephine was interviewed by the University of British Columbia (UBC) Centre for Intercultural Communication: How Diversity & Inclusion Skills Can Make You a Better Leader

Accenture engaged Josephine and her team to conduct a leadership development workshop at their Toronto office.

Josephine Victoria Yam donates RBC Award to Ancop

Josephine was featured by the Canadian government's Canadian Heritage Department as one of Canada's successful immigrants in celebration of Asian Heritage Month. Being female, a visible minority and immigrant, Josephine is a passionate advocate for diversity, inclusion and belonging.


The International Women’s Forum Toronto Chapter invited Josephine to be its guest speaker for its iconic Defining Moments event. The event was facilitated by Pauline Couture, IWF Membership Chair.

Josephine Victoria Yam featured in the CCCA / CBA

Josephine was interviewed in the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association (CCCA) Magazine. The CCCA is a section of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), the advocate of the 35,000 lawyers in Canada.

Toronto CREWS

Josephine was a panelist in the panel of the Toronto Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Board Readiness Program.

How to Create an Equal Gender Boardroom

As we celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) 2020 with its #EachForEqual campaign, it is discouraging to realize that progress on gender equality on boards has been painfully slow. What actions can we take to move the needle faster on gender equal boardrooms?

How Volunteering Builds Workplace Empathy

Empathy is necessary for an inclusive workplace culture. How do you build empathy? By supporting employee volunteering. Learn why there’s a direct correlation between volunteering and workplace empathy.

How to Stop Women from Leaving Your Workplace

According to HR leaders, women are leaving their workplaces because of family demands. But women give a different reason for why they leave. What should workplaces do to stop them from leaving?

Why Employee Covering Destroys a Culture of Inclusion

When employees cover at work, they downplay their uniqueness. They feel they don’t belong. When a company helps its employees express their authentic selves, they focus their attention on work, rather than hiding parts of themselves. A company’s uncovering efforts create a strong culture of inclusion.

Is Diversity Training Enough?

Companies around the world require their employees to take diversity training. Unfortunately, many employees resent being “coerced” into taking such training. Ironically, instead of reducing bias, diversity training has activated their bias against under-represented groups like women and people of colour.

3 Ways Diversity Increases Board Engagement

A nonprofit board is the collective brain trust of every nonprofit. It should be comprised of individuals who bring the whole spectrum of perspectives of the beneficiaries that the nonprofit serves. Otherwise, how will board decisions respond to the needs of beneficiaries if their voices are absent in the board room?

Putting Diversity In Action

According to McKinsey, companies with strong D&I cultures perform better than their competitors. They're better in attracting top talent. Better in customer understanding. Better in employee engagement and retention.

Mission Possible: Companies Achieve Sustainability via Nonprofit Boards

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.

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.As the New York Times reported, “both men and women almost always draw men” when asked to draw an effective leader. What’s going on here?

3 Ways Nonprofit Boards Can Mind The Diversity Gap

Unfortunately, many nonprofit boards still lack diversity in its various forms. This diversity gap is dangerous because boards may succumb to groupthink, a barrier to effective leadership and decision-making. So how do you diversify your board?

Want More Women in Top Management? Engage More Men.

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.

How To Succeed As A Nonprofit Board Director

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 webinar.

Why CEOs Must Prioritize Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion has become a CEO-level issue around the world. So what happens when a CEO does not prioritize diversity and inclusion?

Be Curious: How to Be A Successful Nonprofit Board Director

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

BoardSource is the leading organization in the U.S. focused on strengthening and supporting nonprofit board leadership. It tracks and analyzes trends in nonprofit board leadership. Here are highlights of yesterday’s 64-page report, “Leading with Intent: 2017 National Index of Nonprofit Board Practices”.

Wanted: Millennials on Nonprofit Boards

Nonprofit boards should reflect the society that their nonprofits serve. By recruiting millennials to serve on your board, your nonprofit can greatly benefit from the millennials’ unique perspectives and experiences that consequently enrich your board’s strategic decisions in achieving your nonprofit’s mission.

How to Avoid Conflict of Interest In Your Nonprofit Board

Every board director has a fiduciary duty to avoid a conflict of interest. Each board director is required to fulfill her paramount legal duty to “act honestly and in good faith, with a view to the best interests of the organization”.** This legal duty is crucial to good board governance that every nonprofit deserves from its board of directors.

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. 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.

Wanted: Women on Canadian Boards

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. In fact, the Canadian government knows that having more women on boards is a strategic competitive advantage for Canada nationally and internationally.

Doing Well By Doing Good: The Business Case for Purpose

The recent Companies & Causes Canada Conference in Toronto showcased how many Canadian corporations are steadfastly doing well by doing good. Both the corporate and nonprofit sectors gathered together to explore how purposeful business-nonprofit collaboration.

Why Board Leadership Matters

Board leadership defines its culture. And if a board’s culture is more focused on creating meaningful social impact over mere compliance, that paves the way for inspired leadership to create a high performing nonprofit.

Three Pointers to Remember When Serving on Nonprofit Boards

3 Pointers to Remember When Serving on Nonprofit Boards

When highly skilled professionals cross the divide from the for-profit world to serve on nonprofit boards, many of them are taken aback. They realize that they have grossly underestimated how tough it is to run a nonprofit organization.

5 Questions to Ask Before You Join a Nonprofit Board

Answering these questions will have a better idea of whether you are ready, willing and able to join a nonprofit board. Serving on a nonprofit board is an experience that can enrich your life as you work with highly skilled and experienced philanthropists committed to make a difference in the world.

3 Features of High-Performing Nonprofit Boards

Nonprofits are a force for good in society. And it is through high-performing boards, together with the Executive Director, that nonprofits can successfully address society’s most complex challenges and positively change the 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. Businesses 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

The diversity gap in nonprofit boards is undoubtedly a wasted opportunity. Why? Because a nonprofit board is the brains behind every nonprofit organization. This team of volunteer leaders wields the authority and influence to drive a nonprofit’s strategic direction, effective performance and social impacts.