Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) were big topics this year and for very good reason. While ongoing conversations around systemic racism, discrimination, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, and Canada’s own history became more prominent in public discourse fueled by the Black Lives Matter movement and very public displays of racism, it also became clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on racialized Canadians and minorities.
As an organization and system committed to better futures for all, we couldn’t ignore the call to do more and to do better. We met with our student and alumni committee to discuss how to CICan can be an ally and champion. We also created an EDI committee within CICan to help us tackle these sensitive, yet essential issues, both as an employer, and as a leading voice within the broader post-secondary sector. Realizing that there is still much to do, we took time to reflect on this and worked with our board of directors to craft an EDI policy for our organization to make sure we live up to the values of inclusion and to lead by example.
To make that commitment official, we also signed on to the Government of Canada’s 50-30 Challenge, which encourages Canadian organizations to increase the representation and inclusion of diverse groups within their workplace, while highlighting the benefits of giving all Canadians a seat at the table. Signing on to the challenge means that we have committed to achieving 50% gender parity on our board and senior management team; as well as at least 30% representation of other under-represented groups, including Indigenous people, racialized persons, people living with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ2 community.