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Making progress

Employment Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee's work underway

Campus and Community

By Melissa Watton

Memorial’s Employment Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee has been making notable progress over the past year.

The committee, which has representatives from Memorial’s St. John’s, Grenfell and Marine Institute campuses, was established by the university’s Vice-Presidents Council to provide advice on matters relating to diversity, equity and inclusion in employment.

Front row: Robert Barker, Vimala Raheja, Adedoyin Odukoya, Caroline Koenig, Patti Bryant, Tina Hickey. Back row, Bernard Doyle, Catharyn Andersen, Keir McIsaac, Ian McKinnon, Stephen Dodge, Taylor Stocks. Missing from photo: Jennifer Howell, Dr. Jennifer Massey and Dr. Raymond Thomas
The Employment Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee members.
Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

The committee has 14 members, including its co-chairs Stephen Dodge, director, Human Resources, and Ian McKinnon, associate director (acting), Faculty Relations.

Creation of a plan

The committee met for the first time on March 7, 2017, and has since focused on developing an Employment Equity and Diversity Plan for the university.

The first step in the process was to draft a project plan, which was submitted to the Vice-Presidents Council in October 2017. The council approved the project plan; the committee has until October 2018 to submit the final plan. Once finalized, the plan will be monitored annually and updated every three years.

According to Stephen Dodge, the plan will be comprehensive.

“The plan will establish equity and diversity goals and define the steps necessary to achieve them. It will also address under representation of equity groups and guide equity and diversity programming,” he said.

“To do this, it is important that the committee has a good sense of Memorial’s workforce. If you haven’t already completed the updated self-identification survey that was launched in March, please do so.”

All faculty and staff are being asked to complete the confidential, two-minute survey. While the survey may seem similar to Memorial’s previous self-identification survey, some questions have been changed. For example, in addition to the four designated equity groups, employees who identify as a member of a sexual or gender minority are being invited to self-identify. Information collected will be reviewed by the committee and will inform its work.

All information collected will be kept confidential and access will be limited to employees working directly with employment equity and related data. Individual data is never released.

Employment barriers or gaps

“In looking at Memorial’s workforce, the committee is also working to identify employment barriers,” said Mr. McKinnon.

“I encourage any faculty or staff member who has experienced an employment barrier at Memorial or is aware of any gaps, to contact us. The committee is interested in hearing from you.”

Employment barriers or gaps can be reported by email or by calling Memorial’s employment equity officer Tina Hickey at 864-2548.

Consultation sessions

The committee is also planning to hold consultation sessions in coming months for faculty, staff and community partners.

Feedback provided at the sessions will be used to help guide the plan’s development and identify equity goals and objectives. Information about these sessions will be posted to the Gazette events calendar and communicated through Newsline.

The requirement to create an Employment Equity and Diversity Plan and the committee was included in Memorial’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Employment policy, which was updated in 2016. For more information on the committee, please consult its Terms of Reference.

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