André Goh is a leader in diversity and inclusion and has led transformational change at the Toronto Police Service.
Proactively identify barriers to inclusion.
Develop practical and innovative solutions to address challenges and gaps.
Have open and honest conversations and don’t shy away from difficult issues.
By the numbers:
- The January 2013 recruiting class is nearly 40% visible minorities and speaks 22 different languages
- Every year, a dozen police services from around the globe visit Toronto to learn what the Toronto Police Service is doing around diversity and immigrant integration
“My ideal future is one in which I would be out of a job. Inclusion of skilled immigrants would be a non-issue. But, society is constantly evolving and we need to be constantly adapting to meet the challenges of the future. Just when you think you’re there, you realize you’re not.”
– André Goh, Manager, Diversity Management Unit, Toronto Police Service
André Goh immigrated to Canada from Malaysia in 1980 and found himself in a new country and a new city without a solid community base. That experience set the course for his professional career. Now the Manager of the Diversity Management Unit with Toronto Police Service, André is committed to fostering inclusion and integration of skilled immigrants and diverse communities into the police service and the city.
“We’re all different and we’re all unique. In a city like Toronto, it is important we reflect the community we serve,” says André. “At the Toronto Police Service (Service), my team and I are trying to proactively identify and remove barriers that might limit skilled immigrants from fully integrating into the Service.”
André has contributed to transformational change within the Toronto Police Service. Where ten years ago, ninety percent of the recruiting class was white, the January 2013 recruiting class was almost forty per cent visible minorities and spoke twenty-two different languages. A similar increase in diversity is seen throughout the Service from top to bottom.
In driving this type of change, André has adopted an approach that combines innovation with practicality and has a philosophy that can be summarized as ‘never stop’. Using this approach he has led an amazing number of initiatives over his eight years with the Service. From engaging diverse communities, implementing individual mentors during the recruitment process, to incorporating diversity throughout the Service’s learning and training program, André has made the Service a more inclusive environment for immigrants.
One initiative that stands out is the establishment of internal support networks. Commonly known as affinity groups, these networks, which are based on a variety of common needs, were initially met with considerable resistance. However, they are now a successful resource for sharing, learning and building understanding across diverse groups within the Service. In other words, André’s trademark persistence paid off.
“My ideal future would have me out of a job. Inclusion of skilled immigrants would be a non-issue,” say André. “But, society is constantly evolving and we need to be constantly adapting to meet the challenges of the future. Just when you think you’re there, you realize you’re not.”