Institute for Quantum Computing joins 50 – 30 challenge

Monday, March 22, 2021

The Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo is proud to announce our membership in the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada 50 – 30 Challenge. The 50 – 30 Challenge is a program between the Government of Canada, businesses and diversity organizations with a goal to achieve both gender parity and increased presence of underrepresented groups on boards and in senior levels of management.

IQC recognizes that organizations that embrace diversity on their boards and management teams outperform those who do not. IQC believes that inclusion at every level creates a strong and healthy environment, strengthening research excellence and advancing team innovation through diversity of perspectives and through leadership.  

“We look forward to participating in the 50 – 30 Challenge, and to the positive changes our participation will bring,” said John Watrous, Interim Executive Director of IQC and Professor in the Cheriton School of Computer Science. “IQC is fully committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment that will enable all of our members to flourish and to focus on the study, development, and application of quantum information.”

In 2014, IQC established an equity committee. It set precedent at the University of Waterloo as IQC was the first institute to develop equity guidelines. Since its inception, IQC has launched initiatives to increase equality at all levels of the academic experience including the introduction of the Raymond Laflamme and Janice Gregson Scholarship for Women in Quantum Information Science, installing gender-neutral washrooms in all IQC buildings, posting land acknowledgments in IQC’s building foyers and establishing a code of conduct for IQC conferences that has a zero tolerance for any harassment to ensure that all attendees can feel secure in their involvement.  IQC knows that there is still room for improvement for post-secondary institutions to build safe and inclusive spaces that honour every lived experience.

“I thank IQC for joining the 50 – 30 Challenge and for being a part of this community,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “As a member of the scientific research and education industry, IQC is fostering innovation by embracing diversity and inclusion through concrete actions. I am looking forward to watching this program grow into something larger than ourselves and become the new standard in industries across Canada.”

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