Creating a stimulating and vibrant work environment with diversity of thought and experience is necessary for Waterloo to reach its full potential as an institution in an ever-changing world. To enhance access and opportunities for all qualified candidates during the nomination process and throughout the term of a CRC, a Steering Committee and five sub-committees were formed (see Governance) to develop Waterloo’s 2017 CRC Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Action Plan. This group included representation from the four designated groups (FDG: women, Indigenous Peoples, persons living with disabilities, and members of a visible minority).
The Steering Committee was tasked with the following:
- reviewing every aspect of Waterloo’s internal CRC process diligently, making recommendations to remove obstacles for individuals within the FDG (Recommendations will apply throughout the full life cycle of a Chair. The official plan was released in December 2017),
- creating SMART (Specific, Measurable, Aligned with the wanted outcome, Realistic, and Timely) objectives so that yearly progress on equity efforts can be tracked within the CRC Program,
- engaging members of the University community, in future years, to evaluate efforts and use feedback to make the CRC Program and Waterloo as inclusive as possible, and
- reporting progress on meeting equity targets annually.
The success of diversity efforts hinge on creating a sense of ownership throughout the University. Senior leaders are fully engaged in meeting institutional equity targets and will continue to drive efforts to create a more diverse and inclusive environment, with a goal of broadening efforts within the CRC program to other areas on campus. Under the leadership of the Office of the VPRI, the Research Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Council established in 2018 now oversees the implementation of Waterloo's CRC EDI Action Plan.
The focus on EDI at Waterloo is firmly established through ongoing engagement. The objectives and action items in the 2019 CRC EDI Action Plan update have been further informed by direct engagement and consultation with CRCs, other faculty members, and administrators through employment systems reviews, equity campus climate surveys, and comparative reviews of institutional support conducted at intervals aligned to the submission schedule for Waterloo’s CRC EDI Action Plan.
The University of Waterloo is deeply committed to developing and implementing a realistic yet ambitious equity strategy that will drive change within the CRC program, and also serve to improve the entire campus community. The commitment and readiness to develop a comprehensive equity strategy is fully championed by the most senior leaders at Waterloo and well supported at grassroots levels. The equity strategy is a timely endeavor that reflects Waterloo’s core values and serves to advance Canada’s research competitiveness. – Diana Parry, Associate Vice-President Human Rights, Equity, and Inclusion
Date modified: April 2020