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The Power of Diversity
Finally, a major league baseball team has hired a woman as general manager. When Kim Ng was appointed head of the Miami Marlins, another glass ceiling finally broke. What is remarkable is that she was not named because she is a woman or that we thought it was time to give them a place. She was hired because she has all the skills and talent to fill the duties. And that's all that matters.
Men's professional sport is an extremely closed environment where men (usually white) rule and set the rules. However, this certainly does not represent the image of our societies. The world of hockey is perhaps even more reserved for boys. In reality, it is not only women who are generally excluded, but all minority representatives, which is certainly not normal. Is there a good reason for this? If it exists, very few people grasp the concepts.
I read recently that there would be only 14 women in hockey operations management positions out of more than 1,400 employees on the 31 National Hockey League teams. Mr. Molson is to be commended for the appointment of Ms. France-Margaret Bélanger as Executive Vice President, Commercial and Corporate Affairs of the Canadian Hockey Club.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, because it is not just about women's struggles. How many representatives of cultural diversity are there?
And while we are on this path, how many representatives of sexual diversity are there? When we know full well that many homosexuals are hesitant to show their orientations for fear of reprisals, we understand that there is still a long way to go.
So the appointment of Kim Ng is deeply innovative and paves the way for new trends. Indeed, although she has been in the field for years, she will likely bring a very different vision to how to lead a baseball team.
Of course, there are precedents at other levels. The work of Chantal Vallée, coach and CEO of a men's pro basketball team, is noteworthy; of Florence Schelling who was the general manager of a professional hockey team in Switzerland and there are probably other precedents. But they are far too rare and virtually non-existent in men's professional sport in North America.
When will a woman with Danièle Sauvageau's qualities be entrusted with the leadership of an NHL team? And there are many others, regardless of the league, who also have the qualifications to lead a men's team.
I rarely promote my books in my reviews, but I will make an exception this time because the opportunity is too good. I have just published a book on the power of our differences where I address all these issues of diversity. We need each other to create a better world. This is the recipe for a total well in excess of the sum of the items taken individually. In fact, here we are no longer talking about addition, but of multiplying forces!
That is why I welcome Ms. Ng's appointment in the hope that she will succeed and pave the way for many more women.