Ryerson holds event advocating diversity in leadership
The Toronto Raptors are still in first in the east but the team leads the NBA in hiring women for its front office, said vice-president of team’s basketball operations Teresa Resch.
She told a crowded auditorium of about 500 students, faculty, and guests at the Ted Rogers School of Management on Feb. 27 that she blazed the way for women by first taking a senior post in NBA, and later “three women were hired by the league office after my hiring in Toronto.”
The event hosted by Ryerson University’s Women in Leadership Association (WILA) was organized to discuss the Toronto Raptors league leading commitment to women in business.
The Raptors employee 11 women in its front office, the highest number in the NBA.
“We hire the best candidates for the position, and that’s it,” said Raptors’ president Masai Ujiri.
Ujiri and Resch answered questions from host Marci Ien, of CTV’s The Social. The questions ranged from how Resch was able to become the Raptors VP of basketball operations to how society can empower women in business and ultimately leadership.
Resch, who is from Minnesota, spoke of her background in marketing to a job with the NBA’s Miami Heat before moving to a position in the NBA’s head office and finally landing with the Raptors .
“There haven’t been many women who have been handed the reigns like me,” Resch said.
This speaks to the culture the Raptors and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment is trying to build in Toronto, she said.
“I didn’t realize the impact that had on people,” said Resch, referring to her hiring by the Raptors which has lead to more women being hired by NBA front offices.
“Were building winning ways, winning culture, and winning habits,” Uijiri said.
The two say they believe the Raptors organization is a representation of what Toronto is all about.
By building the team and the front office it has, the team has the ability to look at candidates with no bias and hire the best for every position, Resch said.
This past summer three positions in multiple departments were filled by women because they were the best candidates for the job, she said.
Although the Toronto Raptors are first place in the Eastern Conference right now, Ujiri said the rest of the league hasn’t noticed what has been built here yet, but that will come, by continuing to win on and off the court.