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October 4, 2012When Canadian families sit down to Thanksgiving dinner this weekend, most of them will not consist of a mother, father, 2.5 children, and a dog catching the crumbs under the table.

According to Statistics Canada’s recent 2011 Census of Population: Families, Households, Marital Status, Structural Type of Dwelling, Collectives, our families come in all shapes and sizes. They’re blended, same sex, single parent, multi-generational, or skip-generational.

If we needed an argument for greater diversity at senior levels of business and government, we couldn’t have asked for a more powerful one than this.

To be successful in this new nation that we’ve created, businesses and public policy planners must recognize and reflect the way we live today. It isn’t enough to put out a single advertising message and expect that it will be heard by, let alone attract, a majority of Canadians. Government programs must consider ways to accommodate the needs of this new, complex population.

The best way to speak to and serve Canadians is to reflect their reality. And we do that by bringing different perspectives and different voices into the rooms where decisions are made and where policy is developed.

Many successful businesses have recognized that diversity at senior levels isn’t a “nice to do.” It’s a competitive advantage. And this most recent family photo of our nation suggests that it’s becoming a necessity.