Deborah Newman

Deborah Newman
Deputy Minister, Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

Headquarters: Toronto, Ontario
Primary Business: Government
Employees: 1,229

We Are The Change We Seek

I am proud to lead the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) and, more broadly, to be a Deputy Minister in the Ontario Public Service, an organization that actively promotes diversity and inclusion.

I believe that creating a culture of belonging that accepts, values, and acknowledges the contributions of all employees is vital. I also strongly believe that our workplace benefits from attracting talented employees who represent the diverse society in Ontario.

As leaders, we set the tone for the work environment, policy development, and service delivery. Through more than thirty years in public service, my personal and professional commitment has been reflected in a track record of advocacy and leadership in diversity and inclusion, supported by actions to remove barriers, create fair HR practices, and develop and implement diversity and inclusion strategies.

Moving from diversity to inclusion requires a deliberate approach. At MTCU I have personally advocated for and supported sustained diversity mentoring programs, integrated diversity and inclusion messages in my communications, required that diversity commitments be in all managers’ performance contracts, and championed the development and implementation of a Mental Health and Addictions Strategy.

Most recently, I established an executive committee to ensure senior-level oversight of fair and inclusive human resources practices. The key objectives of the MTCU Leadership Development Team are to build an organizational culture that attracts, motivates, develops, and retains senior managers, including applying a diversity and inclusiveness lens to human resources discussions and strategies.

Our commitment to diversity is influencing change within Ontario’s postsecondary education and training systems as well. Ministry staff oversee the delivery of many employment and training programs and services through hundreds of service delivery organizations. We also work with Ontario’s colleges and universities to help a broader range of students access and succeed in postsecondary education, including Aboriginal students, Crown wards, students with disabilities, first-generation college and university students, and Francophone students.

Building a healthy and respectful workplace and modeling the behaviors needed to create a diverse and inclusive organization continue to be two long-standing priorities of mine. We have moved towards full diversity and inclusion but there is more to accomplish. To quote President Barack Obama, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

Education: BA, MA, The University of Ottawa; Queen’s University Public Executive Program
First Job: Probation and Parole Officer
What I’m Reading: The Museum of Innocence, by Orhan Pamuk
My Philosophy: Leave things better than you found them. Progress is possible with vision, hard work, a sense of optimism, and a great team. Take things in stride and stay positive.
Best Advice: Always pursue new skills and knowledge. There is no greater tool for empowerment and success than education. It is the path to a bright future.
Interests: Spending time with family and friends, reading, physical fitness