5 Gender Equality
SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Find the most recent Gazette stories for this goal here.
Teaching and Learning:
- COVID-19 is having a further negative impact on Newfoundland and Labrador women. Health policies that require quarantining and working from home make access to childcare increasingly difficult at this time. Women take on the bulk of this burden. Local orgnizations like The St. John’s Status of Women Centre provides free virtual counselling sessions for women to navigate the pandemic-related public health guidelines. As well, counselling via local organizations help women navigate mental health challenges exacerbated by the pandemic– such as The Landing– which offers a queer-friendly, feminist approach to counselling.
- As part of Memorial University's Leadership Series, the university hosted a 20-minute talk to discuss evidence-based practices to allow a higher amount of gender balance in leadership. Certain barriers that exist and the benefits of gender diversity in leadership will also be highlighted.
- Memorial University developed the Trans & Gender Diverse Students' Guide to allow trans and gender diverse youth access, information, and resources to make use of. This guide also provides links to services and supports outside of Memorial that are relevant for trans and gender diverse students. Finally, this resource helps provide information for those who are looking to support trans and gender diverse youth.
- Memorial University has several diversity training sessions to raise awareness of how to create more welcoming and accessible environments for queer and transgendered populations. An experienced training team facilitates these sessions and have experience conducting workshops in educational and non-profit settings. Themes covered by the training sessions include Sexual and Gender Diversity: Becoming Familiar with Terminology and Language and Myths and Misunderstandings.
- Professor Dr. Erika Merschrod shared her perspective to Memorial University students on why she is celebrating Pride. This included coming out professionally and personally, how being out is a uniquely specific experience for each person, the impact of youth on the cultural shift towards greater inclusion of all sexual identities.
- The Joint Gender Equity Salary Adjustment Committee was funded $1 million to evaluate pay inequity at Memorial University. Salary increases are to take effect on July 1, 2021as well as the development of an annual database which analyzes factors that affect inequity among women staff and other groups deserving of equity.
- Memorial University Gender Studies professor Dr. Boon was the first recipient of an honour form the Royal Society of Canada. Her hesearch is in the areas of feminist theory, life writing, autoethnography and women’s history. Boon is recognized on an international level has published extensively on the reproductive body, focusing on issues such as maternal grief, pregnancy and childbirth and abortion. This work has contributed to understandings of the relationships between gender, identity, and citizenship.
- Nursing professor at Memorial University travelled to Ghana in 2020 to support girls and women. Here, she worked on two projectsfocused women’s reproductive health and the eradication of a condition called obstetric fistula. In Ghana, many children between the ages of six and 15 live on the streets with jobs as porters or sweepers to meet daily needs.Peer pressure, poverty and illiteracy, among other factors, encourage teenage girls to have children at an early age. By travelling to Ghana, this professor's goal is to support young people in their efforts to be the best they can be.
- The Senate Committee on Course Evaluation (SCCE) concluded a survey soliciting instructor opinions about the course evaluation questionnaire (CEQ). Findings included that in an online course where an instructor posed as a man for one course section, and a woman for another, students ranked the same instructor lower when they believed it was a woman, even though the instructor performed all tasks identically. Other participants have received comments on their appearance and personality in open-ended questions, such as being “easy on the eyes,” suggesting that the CEQ is far more personal than a mere course evaluation.
- A faculty member at Memorial’s business faculty has received national funding to address an important gap in research on gender stereotypes in the workplace. Dr. Arnold’s research focuses on gender issues in organizations, employee well-being and transformational leadership. In this project, Arnold will look at a series of studies on sexual orientation and how it impacts hiring and promotion in jobs that are seen as traditionally male or female with the goal of making organizations more aware of how bias arising from the lack of fit with gender stereotypes affects hiring practices.
- Seven Memorial University researchers were funded $385,000 to examine important societal issues. Among this includes research into sexual harrasment and its relationship with other factors. At the time, few studies exist on workplace sexual harassment centre on creative industries. Even though sexual harassment is considered a form of gender inequality, little is known about how gender intersects with race, class and other inequalities to shape sexual harassment. The end-goal of this research is to build a diversity index that will span beyond the typical diversity definition of gender diversity.
- A Grenfell student developed the Gender Fluidity Care Guide, which is a manual that will help educate health-care professionals and first responders on gender diverse identities. He helped create an anonymous and voluntary questionnaire that asks people who are gender diverse questions about how health-care professionals can comfortably ask someone’s name and pronouns and how they can best help a gender diverse person with their experience of gender dysphoria. The goal of this guide is to allow health-care professionals learn more about the gender fluid community, resultantly giving gender diverse folks more ease of mind.
- As of July 23, 2021, Memorial University added three gender-inclusive washrooms to the St. John’s campus that are fully accessible and include a changing table. There are plans in place to add more of these washrooms in the Fall semester, with more locations across campus.
- The Forum on Women’s Perspectives was held on April 20, 2021 analyze the impact of COVID-19 on women and non-binary members of Memorial University. Any women, non-binary person, or individual with an interest in the perspectives of women could attend. In total, 130 people attended to discuss childcare, returning to campus, mental health, and leadership and mentorship opportunities for women.
- G.I.R.L. (Girls Into Running for Life) Run Club, is a club that inspires junior high age girls to feel good about themselves and their bodies. Here, young girls can enjoy running in an inclusive, safe and body positive environment that is non-competitive way.
- In celebration of the International Day for Women and Girls in Science, Gazette hosted an all-student celebration of Memorial University’s women-identifying scientists. This day highlighted women from Belize, Canada and India. These women were from the faculties of Engineering and Applied Science, Medicine and Science and the School of Pharmacy; and from the bachelor to the doctoral level.
- The Women's Association of Memorial University (WAMUN) is an on-campus association welcoming women of all backgrounds to take part in activities and discussions. The WAMUN community service is funding scholarships for MUN students and makes routine donations to the campus food bank.
- Memorial University celebrates Pride 2021 in St. John’s. Dr. Vianne Timmons helped raise the Inclusive/Progressive Pride flag on the St. John’s campus, together with some of Memorial’s vice-presidents includnig the office of administration and finance. Dr. Timmons states that is the responsibility of the entirety of Memorial University to ensure the community is supportive, inclusive. and respectful of all people of all races, colours, religions and sexual orientations.
- The Karl M. Wells Scholarship, valued at $2000, is a newly deveveloped LGBTQ2S+ scholarship. The scholarship will be awarded annually to a full-time student in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences who is pursuing academic work in LGBTQ2S+ studies or who is actively involved in the community.
- In honour of International Women's Day, a Memorial University tradeswoman was featured in a new video series profiling women working in the trades. The compilation of videos included women working in a different trade, including plumbing, welding, electrical, construction and woodworking. The tradeswoman is both an apprentice and a mentor and takes pride in innovative practices, tools, time-saving techniques and safe working practices.
- As part of the 2020-2021 Annual Report, Memorial University reported to enhance support and services to individuals and groups engaged in research and scholarly knowledge creation. Marine Institute's School of Ocean Technology secured funding to enhance the women in ocean technology initiativ which meant students and faculty could lead national and international conversations on enhancing diversification in these industries. Also, The Marine Institute worked with community and industry partners to host activities and events at the Institute, including Women In Science and Engineering (WISE). In May 2019, Memorial embraced Dimensions: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Canada, a new federal pilot program to make university research more inclusive. Memorial University released its Canada Research Chairs Program Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan in September 2019, which was a large component of the university’s commitment to developing a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusivity in all of its operations.
- Memorial University has an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Employment policy to provide an overview of the University’s commitment to diversity and equity in employment. The goals outlined include recognizing, preventing and eliminating disadvantage or discrimination; and creating and maintaining a culture that supports an inclusive and welcoming workplace. In this policy, the University strives in its employment practices and programs to ensure that individuals are treated fairly with respect to all aspects of employment, including recruitment and hiring, compensation, training and promotion, retention and accommodation.
- A new federal pilot program centred around eight goals, Memorial is partaking in a new 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. This program 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.
- On the Faculty of Medicine's website, they state commitment to an environment free of intimidation, discrimination, harassment and sexual harassment. To follow, they stand against any form of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, intimidation, or harassment of any description while valuing every individual regardless of race, color, gender, religion or ethnicity.
- Memorial University's Employment Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee (EEDAC) was created by Vice-Presidents Council (VPC) in 2016 to offer reccomendations on the topics of diversity, equity and inclusion in employment. This advice includes appropriate strategies and best practices for removing employment barriers.