Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Declaration

Purpose of EDI

The purpose of diversity and EDI at a University is so, that we can provide global citizens and also build the cultural competence of our students. That's extremely important especially for Ryerson when we look at the focus on entrepreneurship and innovation.

Why a Diverse Workforce?

Ryerson needs to have faculty and staff to reflect the diversity of its students, because students need role models as well as mentors; but the research also shows that a diverse faculty also provides more diversity within the content in the classroom, as well as more inclusive teaching styles, and more equity in terms of research and the different projects that faculty actually engage in. But not only faculty, a diverse staff is also important because they will provide the type of service that’s needed for a diverse student population and also for peers who come from various different backgrounds.

What is EDI?

Equity is the fair and just treatment of all individuals but especially acknowledging the under-representation of historically groups that have been discriminated against, as well as looking at the current under-representation of groups.  There’s diversity, which is simply difference, and the difference among individuals as well as the differences among groups; whether they be social or other type of groups. Then there's Inclusion, which is essentially the engagement and intentional activity of infusing Equity and Diversity within one's environment.

EDI in Hiring Process

From my standpoint the very first thing one ought to do is acknowledge that Equity, Diversity and Inclusion are important principles and values that we hold to that should be a part of the entire process.

Biases – Inclusive or Exclusive

And then after that, understanding that all of us have biases and that's okay.  We all come with biases but to understand that whether it's intentional or unintentional, that our biases can actually be a means of excluding people from the hiring process; so being very intentional and understanding and acknowledging our biases so that when we screen individuals we screen them in a way of being inclusive.

The Future/Legacies

When I think about it from the standpoint of legacies or my grandchildren or my children's children's children, I really want them to be in a place that isn’t interested in going backwards and revoking rights that many people have fought for, but to be in a place that they will be respected in their own right and not be valued or sidelined based on their skin color, or gender or anything else that might define them.

Vision for EDI

My vision for the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion office is that it helps to change the culture at Ryerson such that EDI is infused throughout the entire organization and really becomes a part of the DNA in the way people think about equity, diversity and inclusion; that it’s not a second hand thought, it's not an afterthought, but it’s really a part of the process in the way we think, the way we deliver services, the way we engage each other.

Goal of EDI in Higher Education

I guess finally if we can achieve that then ultimately we are achieving what we're here for, which is to educate global citizens and to build their cultural competence such that they can go out into the world, become entrepreneurs, be innovative whether it’s here at home locally or abroad globally.