Using data to advance diversity, equity and inclusion
Lunaria helps organizations create workplaces where people of all identities can flourish
Lunaria helps organizations create workplaces where people of all identities can flourishBy Beth Gallagher University Relations
“Our whole premise is that by measuring your DEI work, you maintain accountability. With data we can clearly see how things are improving or not,” Myers says. “Data really helps break down some of the barriers to growing inclusion and equity, because the numbers are difficult to discredit.”
The Lunaria team uses its data management and analytics platform to uncover the unique challenges and strengths of each organization. Through diagnostic surveys and progress surveys, Lunaria helps organizations measure critical elements such as expected behaviours, leadership inclusivity, knowledge and skills, belonging and demographics.
The Lunaria team also offers training to help businesses create environments that attract, retain and enable people from systematically excluded communities to flourish in the workplace.
Myers says many organizations want to make their workplaces more inclusive, but don’t know what to do beyond the annual DEI training workshop. “Oftentimes, people know there’s a DEI problem but they are unable to pinpoint it,” Myers says. Commonly, they feel like employees from systematically excluded groups are leaving their organization, but they don’t know why.
“Taking part in DEI training can be very rewarding and helpful. Training is not always the best space to reveal what is under the surface — some of the experiences people do not feel safe to share,” Myers says.
By using the Lunaria platform, businesses are able to stay accountable over the long term with insights that are unique to their organization. The Lunaria team begins with an audit that includes surveys for leaders, board members, employees and volunteers. Then they share actionable insights and recommendations as they continue to track progress.
Myers says addressing systematic oppression is complex, and the Lunaria platform is just one tool. Her team has a vision for the future that includes partnering, supporting and shining a light on other organizations working to make change through education, training and facilitation.
As a Black woman, she knows the power of her visibility in the entrepreneurship ecosystem and acknowledges the privilege of being a student at Waterloo where there were so many entrepreneurship programs and supports.
“At Waterloo, entrepreneurship was presented to me as a way to act on advocacy work and make things happen — I learned that entrepreneurship is one way to address important issues in society.”
In addition to the Grebel Peace Incubator at Conrad University College at Waterloo, Myers received support through GreenHouse, a social venture incubator based at St. Paul’s University College at Waterloo. Her team also received $30,000 from the AC Jumpstart Program for tech startups funded through FedDev Ontario.
Myers says being a co-op student at Waterloo gave her opportunities to work at tech companies early in her Arts and Business degree. “That exposure gave me technical knowledge and confidence that wasn’t available through the more traditional learning opportunities at university.”
The income from Myers’ co-op terms also afforded her some financial freedom to pursue social entrepreneurship.
A talent evolution is underway, and the effects are being felt in every sector. Waterloo’s robust talent ecosystem is equipped to respond — from world-leading co-operative education programs to research and innovations that drive real-world change. Learn how your organization can benefit.
The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is co-ordinated within our Office of Indigenous Relations.