Equity, diversity and inclusion
During the pilot phase, participating institutions applied for Dimensions recognition, to be assessed on how actions have been taken to lay the foundations for transformation of the institutional equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) research culture and how such change has become a reality.
There are four stages of recognition intended to reflect the journey of carrying out EDI work and achieving success.
Stage 1 – Foundation
The institution is in the early stages of strategically addressing EDI in a coordinated way. A strategy to collect representational data has been established. The institution has started but not necessarily completed a cycle of Dimensions workFootnote *.
- A self-assessment team (SAT) has been established
- Quantitative and qualitative data collection, environmental scan, engagement and analysis/reflection are either underway or planned; the capacity to conduct these is being established, but these activities have not yet all been completed
- Has provided preliminary evidence in each of the five categories of the assessment as part of the application
- A five-year action plan with short-term objectives is in place
Stage 2 – Construction
The institution is strategically addressing EDI in a coordinated way. It has likely completed one full cycle of Dimensions work.
- Has conducted honest and thoughtful engagement; has put mechanisms and systems in place to collect required data and to conduct required analysis; has developed and begun work on a five-year action plan, but has not yet made significant progress on the identified priorities
- Early stage of strategically addressing EDI in the institution’s communities (internal and external) is underway
- Has begun the process of engaging with other institutions and establishing connections and relationships, reflecting the principle of mutuality; this includes, if available at this early stage, sharing promising practices and collaboration on addressing common challenges
- Has provided more comprehensive evidence (greater depth and breadth) in each of the five categories of the assessment framework, as compared to the Foundation
Stage 3 – Consolidation
The institution has made significant progress in addressing the issues established in its action plan. The institution has likely carried out two full cycles of Dimensions work. Course correction analysis has been performed, and the institution shows responsiveness to outcomes and analysis of implemented actions.
- Has well-developed systems in place for quantitative data collection and is sharing findings with community
- Has conducted honest, thoughtful and thorough qualitative engagement, and has analyzed and shared these findings with the community
- Has assessed the impact and effectiveness of its five-year action plan using quantitative and qualitative evidence
- Has made measurable progress on priorities in its five-year action plan
- Has made context-dependent progress in addressing the underrepresentation of members of the five equity-deserving groups (as identified in the Dimensions handbook) in positions of institutional leadership
- Has started to embed EDI into core activities and decisions related to the research ecosystem
- Demonstrates the spirit of mutuality by providing evidence of efforts to assist and collaborate with other institutions in addressing their EDI challenges
- Evaluates completed actions for impact and effectiveness, and redesigns future actions in light of findings
Stage 4 – Transformation
The institution has made substantial progress on issues identified in past or ongoing action plans and can provide evidence that shows representational and cultural change with respect to EDI. EDI is a regular core activity of the day-to-day research-related operations of the institution. Reaching the Transformation stage does not mean the project of addressing EDI is complete. The institution has likely carried out three full cycles of Dimensions work.
- Has advanced quantitative data collection systems in place and shares findings with community
- Has conducted honest, thoughtful and thorough qualitative engagement, both to uncover issues and to assess progress on addressing action plan priorities
- Has successfully addressed priorities outlined in its five-year action plan, demonstrated by findings from qualitative data and engagement
- Has put systems in place that are transforming the institution over the long-term; EDI is an integral part of all decision-making processes, in the implementation of new policies and guidelines, etc.
- Successfully exemplifies diversity and EDI allyship at top leadership levels and across all levels of management
- Significant progress has been made addressing the underrepresentation of members of the five equity-deserving groups (identified in the Dimensions handbook) in positions of institutional leadership
- Demonstrates a core principle of mutuality through successful collaboration, assisting other institutions to address their challenges, and is recognized nationally as having successfully addressed key priorities
Dimensions-related work is meant to be continuous, iterative and cyclical, involving periods of transparent community-wide introspection, reflection and self-assessment, followed by the development and implementation of strategies and action plans. The closing phase of the cycle will involve the assessment of impacts and reflections as well as the sharing of findings with the institution’s research community, broadly defined to encompass the research ecosystem.