Aug. 5, 2022
UCalgary continues Dimensions EDI activities in preparation for fall award application
Campus may have been quiet for the past few months, but behind the scenes, many members of the campus community have been hard at work to make UCalgary a more equitable, diverse, inclusive and accessible place for all. Individuals, multi-unit and transdisciplinary teams from across campus have been working to prepare UCalgary’s self-assessment as part of the Dimensions Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Canada (EDI) pilot program, under the leadership of Dr. Malinda Smith, PhD, vice-provost and associate vice-president research (equity, diversity and inclusion).
The main objective of the Dimensions program is to foster transformational change within the research ecosystem at Canadian post-secondary institutions. Dimensions aims to identify and eliminate obstacles and inequities faced by faculty, postdoctoral scholars, students and staff in the research ecosystem, as well as increase inclusive participation on research teams, support equitable access to funding, awards and nominations, and embed EDI-related considerations in research design and practices.
This coming September, Dimensions EDI pilot institutions can apply to receive one of four levels of a Dimensions recognition award for their commitment to increasing EDI.
“In fall of this year, we will be submitting our application for a Dimensions award,” says Smith. “The application requires us to conduct a self-assessment of the experiences, obstacles and barriers faced by members of our research community, as well as document evidence of UCalgary’s commitment to advancing EDI through ongoing engagement and an action plan to change any identified gaps.”
Dimensions Pulse survey open until Aug. 22
Key to the application is the findings of the Dimensions EDI Pulse Survey.
“The Dimensions Pulse Survey is an opportunity to share your views and experiences, and to provide feedback on how we can cultivate a more fair, equitable, inclusive, and accessible research community for everyone,” says Smith. “We are hoping that all members of our campus community will take the time to fill it out.”
The survey will take approximately five to seven minutes to complete. It asks questions to determine individuals’ experiences in the research ecosystem, experiences working and learning at UCalgary, as well as questions about the demographic composition of the campus community. The survey closes Aug. 22, 2022.
Equitable Pathways Working Groups activities continue
UCalgary’s Equitable Pathways Working Groups (EPWGs) and Parallel Pathway (Indigenous) Working Group (PPWG) have spent the last months mapping the experiences of members of historically underrepresented groups within the research ecosystem and the academy. Each working group has been identifying the different, similar, and overlapping barriers and obstacles to full participation of Indigenous People, LGBTQ2IA+, persons with disabilities, visible/racialized persons, and women and nonbinary persons.
“Guided by the principle, ‘nothing about us, without us,’ our ambitious mapping exercise of our EPWGs and PPWG has gathered detailed information about what each equity-deserving group is experiencing on campus, what supports and opportunities exist for them, and any gaps that need to close,” says Smith. “Their findings have mapped the variability in opportunities, supports, and resources available for each group, and also the breadth of experiences.”
Their findings will be critical to both the Dimensions self-assessment, the Dimensions action plan, and the creation of UCalgary’s EDI strategy. It will ensure that the strategy goes beyond “one size fits all,” and consciously develops pathways into the university and research ecosystem for specific equity groups, as well as any intersections among groups.
Over the coming weeks, the Dimensions executive committee will continue assembling the content required for the fall application.
“This is a tremendous goal to be working towards,” says Smith. “There is much work to be done, but the impact that it will have on our institution can be significant if we continue to work together as a community to expand opportunities, and to identify and ameliorate the barriers and obstacles any of our colleagues and peers face.”