Equity, diversity and inclusion
Dimensions: equity, diversity and inclusion Canada invites postsecondary institutions to take part in a transformation to increase equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and help drive deeper cultural change within the research ecosystem by identifying and eliminating obstacles and inequities. This will support equitable access to funding opportunities, increase equitable and inclusive participation, and embed EDI-related considerations in research design and practices.
The flagship initiative of the Tri-Agency EDI Action Plan is administered collaboratively by the organizations that make up the Tri-agency—the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), under the leadership of the Canada Research Coordinating Committee (CRCC).
Dimensions has two components: a charter and a recognition program. Postsecondary institutions wanting to make a difference can endorse the Dimensions charter now. A cohort of 17 Canadian postsecondary institutions has co-developed the Dimensions recognition program to make it uniquely adapted to the Canadian realities and are the first ones to apply for recognition in this pilot phase.
The Dimensions program addresses barriers and discrimination faced by equity-deserving groups, including women, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities/racialized groups, and members of LGBTQ2+ communities, in all disciplines and at postsecondary institutions—CEGEPs, colleges, polytechnics and universities. It provides public recognition for institutions committed to achieving increased EDI. While these five groups are the focus, institutions are encouraged to include other groups relevant to their community.
Sound EDI-informed policies and practices improve access to the largest pool of qualified potential participants, enhance the integrity of a program's application and selection processes, strengthen research outputs and increase the overall excellence of research.
A thoughtful name
Dimensions recognizes that a multiplicity of perspectives, lived experiences and the overall complexity of diverse individuals foster increased research excellence, innovation and creativity within the postsecondary sector. This program takes a multidimensional approach to equity, diversity and inclusion to achieve a future research community where all can thrive.
An international call for change
Dimensions is one of the leading international programs promoting EDI in higher education, along with Athena SWAN in the United Kingdoms and Ireland, SAGE in Australia and SEA Change in the United States. The program is the result of cross-country consultations to make it uniquely adapted to the Canadian realities.