Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion strides highlighted at EDI Forum

Last week, the Equity and Inclusion Office (EIO) in partnership with Human Resources Services hosted an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Forum. The virtual session highlighted the latest Employment Equity Census Report and showcased initiatives underway to advance McMaster’s EDI Strategy: Towards Inclusive Excellence.

Wanda McKenna, avp and chief human resources officer, shared highlights and learnings from the 2019 Employment Equity Census Report. “We are starting to see a gradual shift in the staff and faculty makeup at McMaster,” says McKenna. “The report noted a marginal increase in representation across equity-seeking groups, including a 0.7% increase in representation for LGBTQ+ identified individuals. This is a change in the right direction.”

The 2021 Employment Equity Census Report is targeted for Fall 2021.

Presentations were made by Faculty representatives who discussed progress advancing inclusive excellence through the university’s updated Faculty Recruitment and Selection Policy, including challenges and opportunities.

“There has been significant progress made at McMaster to advance inclusive excellence and the EDI framework” said Dr. Arig al Shaibah, associate vice-president, Equity, and Inclusion. “There’s still much to accomplish, but there’s great momentum amongst the campus community, and I feel confident about the future.”

Other progress was shared by the AVPEI and AVP/CHRO. Some initiatives that have been completed to-date include:

  • Delivery of EDI Training to senior leaders and work to establish baseline training for people managers and TAs
  • Enhancements educational offerings through the EIO HEARRT Series and collaborations with the MacPherson Institute on educational offering specifically for instructors
  • Targeted Scholarships for Black, Indigenous, and Racialized students
  • Implementation of an expanded Student Census & Experience Survey
  • Enhancements to the Employment Equity Census Report
  • Continuation of the Let’s Talk About Race discussion series enabled through funds from President’s Office
  • Launch of an Employee Resource Group for Black, Indigenous and Racialized staff
  • Amplification of disability Inclusion through Disability discussions, consultation with the Employee Accessibility Network and the work of Disability, Inclusion, Madness, Accessibility, Neurodiversity (DIMAND) Working Group of the President’s Advisory Committee in Building an Inclusion Community (PACBIC) hyperlink: Disability, Inclusion, Madness, Accessibility, Neurodiversity (DIMAND) Working Group
  • ACFAM (African and Caribbean Faculty Association of McMaster) leadership and engagement in the Black Faculty Cohort Hiring & Black Excellence Initiatives

Looking ahead, McMaster will continue to proactively identify, address, and advocate for campus-wide systemic equity and inclusion. Upcoming projects to support the EDI mandate include:

  • Pledges to Diversify Board and Senior Leadership
  • A Network for Distributed Unit-Level EDI Leads/Champions
  • EDI integrated in the Quality Assurance Process
  • EDI considerations in the Graduate & International Student Experience
  • Working towards a Disaggregated Workforce Census
  • Development of EDI Metrics/Key Performance Indicators
  • Establishment of more robust Academic Leadership Programming, particularly for equity-deserving groups

The EDI Progress Reports also posted on the Equity and Inclusion website. If you have questions, contact the Equity and Inclusion Office at 905-525-9140 ext. 27581 or equity@mcmaster.ca or Employment Equity at hr@mcmaster.ca.