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Michael Bach is the finest example of people who lives most of the time of his life in an effort to help others and advocate for their happiness. Bach is well known nationally and internationally as a thought leader and subject matter expert in the fields of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility, bringing a vast knowledge of leading practices in a live setting to his work.
Besides being an enthusiastic advocate, Bach is also an award-winning and best-selling author. He has authored two books, ‘Birds of a Feather: Doing Diversity and Inclusion Right’ and ‘Alphabet Soup: The Essential Guide to LGBTQ2+ Inclusion at Work,’ that describe his public views regarding the nuances of economics and diversity inclusion.
Bach is a talented individual who gave the utmost importance to his education. He knew that to bring a change in the world, he needed one of the most empowering tools: education. In 2012, he received a Master’s Certificate in Diversity Management from Cornell University. Bach also holds the Cornell Certified Diversity Professional/Advanced Practitioner (CCDP/AP) designation.
A Diverse Career
Bach’s career can only be described as “diverse” and eclectic. He began his work with AT&T in 1995 as a Product Trainer and Floor Supervisor when the telecom giant was first entering the online world. He subsequently spent two years as the Associate Director of Regional Technical Support at CIBC Wood Gundy before leaving in 1997 to become the General Manager of Sweet City Bakery, where he stayed until 1999.
He then became the deputy campaign manager for George Smitherman, Ontario’s first and first LGBTQ+ member of parliament. . As a result of the victory, Bach was employed as the Special Assistant to the Chief Whip of the Ontario Liberal Caucus in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, a position he held until 2001.
Then came the period when Bach resolved to go off on his own. Bach founded an IT and web consulting firm and remained self-employed until 2005.
In March 2005, Bach was hired as the Manager of Operations Improvement Advisory Services at KPMG Canada. He managed KPMG’s fastest-growing Advisory Services function, growing it from 20 to 85 FTE in less than 18 months. His role at KPMG changed the direction of his career altogether.
Bach had worked primarily in the IT space, but at KPMG, he and a group of 7 individuals created pride@kpmg – the employee resource group for the firm’s LGBTQ+ population and their allies. That work garnered him the attention of the CEO and the firm’s senior leadership, which presented an opportunity.
As he describes it, while IT had been his day job, he had spent all of his adult life working toward LGBTQ+ inclusion – or what he calls his “gay job.” With the attention of the firm’s leadership, he presented the business case for creating a role that focused on diversity and inclusion. In 2006, Bach started as the National Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for KPMG Canada. In this capacity, He was in charge of planning and implementing all diversity-related programs and initiatives for the company’s activities. He developed the firm’s national short- and long-term diversity and inclusion plan and collaborated with local offices to establish objectives and activities. Bach also designed and launched various diversity-focused educational initiatives and crafted the firm’s strategy around defining targets for the advancement of women and people of color in Partnership.
From 2007 until 2010, he was also the Deputy Chief Diversity Officer at KPMG International. He wrote the white paper and business case to establish KPMG’s Global Diversity Team (GDT) and worked with over 150 KPMG member firms. He founded and ran an internal center of excellence, serving as a subject matter expert and advising country-based KPMG operations in 150+ countries worldwide.
Bach established the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI) in November 2012 and, in February 2013, became its first CEO. CCDI is a charitable organization dedicated to educating Canadians about the importance of diversity and inclusion. He led the organization until April 2021 and was in charge of establishing and implementing the organization’s vision.
Bach established the company from the bottom up, and it now provides services in 18 communities across Canada, with over 700 Employer Partners.
The enthusiasm and compassion did not end just there; in January 2014, Bach launched CCDI Consulting Inc, CCDI’s consulting arm, and still serves as its Chief Executive Officer. CCDI Consulting offers a broad range of consulting services in inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility.
Awards and Recognition
It is widely assumed that a person’s success is judged by the number of awards and recognitions they have received. Bach has not been left behind in this regard. In 2011, he received the LGBT Workplace Advocate award from Out on Bay Street and the Catalyst Canada Honors award for Human Resources/Diversity Leader.
He received the Pride at Work Canada Leadership Award in 2012, Women of Influence’s Canadian Diversity Champions in 2011 and 2012, and the Inspire Award as LGBTQ person of the year in 2011.
Bach has been quite engaged in the LGBT community for decades and vocal about LGBTQ rights, particularly in the workplace. He is the founder and former chair of the Board of Directors of Pride at Work Canada, an LGBT workplace advocacy organization, and a previous board director for the LGBT Youth Line (both for six years). He is also a previous board director of executive, an organization that connects LGBT professionals, executives, and seasoned entrepreneurs.
When listing this incredibly successful person’s contributions, words just do not suffice. There is no limit to the impact Bach’s efforts and contributions have on the world. In a nutshell, Michael Bach is one of the most precious gifts that the universe has bestowed upon this globe.