Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Memorial is embracing a new federal pilot program to make university research more inclusive. Dimensions: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Canada is inspired by the United Kingdom’s internationally-recognized Athena SWAN program.

Launched by Kirsty Duncan, minister of Science and Sport, Dimensions aims to address systemic barriers, particularly those experienced by members of underrepresented or disadvantaged groups, including, but not limited to, women, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible minority/racialized groups and members of LGBTQ2+ communities.

President Kachanoski officially signed program’s charter, which outlines its eight principles, on May 10.

Dimensions Charter Principles

1. The post-secondary research community has the greatest potential to thrive when members experience equitable, inclusive and unbiased systems and practices.

2. To advance institutional equity, diversity and inclusion, specific, measurable and sustainable actions are needed to counter systemic barriers, explicit and unconscious biases, and inequities. This includes addressing obstacles faced by, but not limited to, women, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible minority or racialized groups and members of the LGBTQ2+ communities.

3. Institutions require qualitative and quantitative data to measure, monitor, understand and publicly report on challenges and progress made. The analysis of the data should inform a comprehensive, in-depth, intersectional understanding of the contexts, manifestations and experiences that result from the inequities, underrepresentation and exclusion among all post-secondary community members.

4. When equity, diversity and inclusion considerations and practices are integral to research participation, to the research itself, and to research training and leaning environments, research excellence, innovation and creativity are heightened across all disciplines, fields of study and stages of career development.

5. To contribute to reconciliation, research with, by or impacting Indigenous Peoples must align with the research policies and best practices identified through ongoing engagement with First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples and their organizations.

6. Advancing equity, diversity and inclusion is a shared responsibility that requires dedicated resources and strong leadership at all levels. Senior leadership demonstrates commitment through public endorsement, by ensuring the work involved is resourced and distributed fairly, and by embedding changes in institutional governance and accountability structures.

7. Issues of institutional and individual safety, trust, belonging, privacy and power differentials must be recognized and pro-actively addressed; this will be most successful when those impacted are directly engaged in defining the actions.

8. Achieving the overall objective of the Dimensions program - to foster increased research excellence, innovation and creativity within the post-secondary sector across all disciplines through increased equity, diversity and inclusion - involves institutional collaboration, transparency, and the sharing of challenges, successes and promising practices.