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Diverse workplace contributes to success

Yvonne Collett

By Marcia Porter

Memorial's new employment equity officer says the face of Memorial's workforce is becoming increasingly diverse. That's a good thing, says Yvonne Collett, because it reflects changing labour market dynamics in this province and across the country.

"We need to be in step with what's happening," said Ms. Collett. "It's recognizing that having people from different backgrounds actually contributes to the overall success and effectiveness of an organization. It seems to add to the quality of the work, and to the health of the workplace."

Before joining the Department of Human Resources, Ms. Collett spent nine years working with international students at Memorial's International Student Advising Office.

She's always enjoyed working with people from diverse backgrounds.

One of Ms. Collett's first priorities as employment equity officer is to review the university's existing three-year employment equity plan, looking at accomplishments and identifying gaps.

The university's employment equity plan is aimed at addressing barriers to employment for four designated groups: women, Aboriginal Peoples, persons with disabilities and people from visible minorities.

She says there is also a need to focus attention on increasing the university's representation of persons with disabilities.

Ms. Collett is starting an email listserv group for anyone who wants to get involved in a conversation about employment equity.

"We know there's a lot of knowledge out there that can help us to create the best program we can," she said. "We're going to be talking about what Memorial is doing, and what other universities are doing. It's really about sharing information and engaging people in conversation."

If you'd like to get in touch with Ms. Collett, you can reach her at 709 864 2548, or email her at