From the Desk of Stephen Dodge
Jan. 24, 2018
As we begin 2018, I want to provide members of the university community with an update on activities that took place last year in the area of employment equity and bring to your attention some of the activities planned for coming months.
In 2017, Memorial moved forward on some of the key commitments made in the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Employment policy that was updated in 2016.
One of the main requirements of the policy was the creation of an Employment Equity and Diversity Plan which would be developed by a pan-university Employment Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee (EEDAC). In spring 2017, EEDAC was established and held its first meeting. EEDAC has representatives from Memorial’s St. John’s, Grenfell and Marine Institute campuses. Along with Ian McKinnon, associate director (acting), Faculty Relations, I am pleased to co-chair this committee. For a listing of EEDAC members, as well as the committee’s terms of reference, please click here.
The new committee met on March 7, 2017, and immediately began its task of guiding the development of the Employment Equity and Diversity Plan. The first step was the drafting of a project plan which was submitted to Memorial’s Vice-Presidents Council (VPC) in the fall. VPC approved the project plan and EEDAC has until October 2018 to submit the final plan. Once finalized, the plan will be monitored annually and updated every three years.
The final plan will establish equity and diversity goals and define the steps necessary to achieve them. It will address under representation of equity groups and guide equity and diversity programming.
To do this, having a good sense of our workforce is crucial. As a result, faculty and staff will be asked in coming months to participate in a confidential, short (approximately two-minute), self-identification survey. While the survey may seem similar to Memorial’s previous self-identification survey, some questions have been changed. For example, in addition to the four designated equity groups, we will be inviting employees who identify as being a member of a sexual or gender minority to self-identify. Please note, it is very important that all faculty and staff participate in the new survey once it is launched.
In looking at Memorial’s workforce, EEDAC will also be working to identify employment barriers. If you are a faculty or staff member who has experienced any employment barriers at Memorial or are aware of any gaps, EEDAC is interested in hearing from you. You can send your information to EEDAC by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by contacting Memorial’s employment equity officer, Ms. Tina Hickey at 864-2548.
As outlined above, much work has been done; however, there is still a lot to do and important activities are planned for 2018.
In closing, I would like to highlight Memorial’s core value of inclusiveness and diversity which is focused on embracing and acting on the responsibility to guarantee diversity and equity. The Department of Human Resources and EEDAC stand behind the university in this commitment and to building an open, fair and respectful workplace for all.