University of Waterloo wins national award for inclusivity program

Friday, November 20, 2015

Canadian awards for training excellence logoA program at the University of Waterloo that promotes a culture of inclusion has received a national award.

The Institute of Performance and Learning awarded the Silver Award for Training Excellence to the Office of Organizational and Human Development for the Principles of Inclusivity program, a seven-part certificate program that develops and reinforces inclusive behaviours and skills. Organizational and Human Development is Waterloo’s non-academic support unit dedicated to personal and professional learning and development.

The program, launched in 2011, consists of an experiential introductory workshop to promote communication skills and create a facilitated learning dialogue about the behaviours, actions, and attitudes that support inclusivity. It also includes six additional workshops to cover the dimensions of diversity, such as age, mental and physical ability, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation.

“The Principles of Inclusivity program is a cornerstone of staff learning and development at Waterloo, and ties into the sound value system that is a key component of the University's strategic plan," said Katrina Di Gravio, director of the Office of Organizational & Human Development at Waterloo. "We are excited to receive this honour, and proud to contribute to the culture of excellence, innovation and inclusiveness at Waterloo."

In 2009, a committee was formed to develop a framework to meet the diverse needs of culture of the University of Waterloo. From that committee, The Principles of Inclusivity were created to acknowledge, communicate, and promote an understanding of the complexity and uniqueness of the campus community. Organizational & Human Development created the supporting program, which was launched in autumn 2011, to further promote and embed the principles in the campus culture. 

The Institute of Performance and Learning is Canada’s largest association dedicated to training and employee learning and development. Judges consider six criteria for this award: needs analysis, learning objectives and evaluation, design, quality of material, impact and originality.

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