Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Frequently asked questions
- What is Dimensions: equity, diversity and inclusion Canada?
Dimensions: equity, diversity and inclusion Canada (hereafter referred to as Dimensions) is designed to foster increased research excellence, innovation and creativity within the post-secondary sector in Canada across all disciplines, through greater equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI). Dimensions is one of the leading international programs promoting EDI in higher education, along with Athena SWAN in the United Kingdom 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.The round one and round two consultation reports summarize the recommendations.
- What underrepresented groups are included as part of Dimensions?
Dimensions addresses obstacles faced by, but not limited to, women, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible minority/racialized groups, and members of LGBTQ2+ communities.
- What are the components of Dimensions?
Dimensions consists of a charter of principles and a pilot program for post-secondary institutions seeking public recognition for their efforts in increasing EDI in their environments and across the research ecosystem.
- Who can sign the charter?
All Canadian post-secondary institutions (including universities, colleges, polytechnics and CEGEPs) are encouraged to endorse the charter as part of their commitment to increasing EDI within their institutions. The signature of the president (or equivalent) of the institution is required for the endorsement to be official. Other organizations that are research-oriented have also endorsed the Charter.
- What exactly is the Dimensions pilot program?
The program objective is to foster transformational change within the research community at Canadian post-secondary institutions by identifying and eliminating obstacles and inequities in the research ecosystem to support equitable access to funding opportunities, embed EDI-related considerations in research design and practices, and increase equitable and inclusive participation.
A cohort of 17 Canadian post-secondary institutions has been included in the Dimensions pilot; these institutions will have the opportunity to advance their own EDI objectives and to submit a full application to receive formal recognition. Each institution has to develop a self-assessment team to coordinate qualitative and quantitative EDI data collection, analysis and action planning based on gaps, barriers and trends that were identified as part of the pilot program.
- How was the cohort of 17 participating institutions selected for the pilot?
Institutions were selected based on the criteria of institutional commitment and evidence of probability of success, while ensuring a balance of institutions across Canada in terms of geographical location, institution type and institution size. A selection committee was formed to review the LOIs and determine the participating institutions. More details are available in the process report.
- What does it mean to be a participant in the pilot?
Institutions participating in the pilot have a unique opportunity to be among the first in Canada to be publicly recognized for their work advancing EDI in their environments. During the pilot, they will be provided support by a tri-agency team and will have access to a repository of tools and references. They also will form an exclusive Dimensions community of practice sharing insights and resources. At the same time, participating institutions are expected to help further develop the program’s design and delivery by providing relevant feedback.
- What about the other institutions that were not selected to be part of the pilot program?
Institutions that submitted a letter of intent but are not part of the cohort have been invited to join as affiliates. The affiliated institutions have access to a repository of tools and references and will have the opportunity to join a community of practice on EDI. This group will get updates on the development of the Dimensions program. Other postsecondary institutions wishing to work on their EDI objectives can find resources online.
- Is there funding linked to being part of the pilot or to endorsing the charter?
No. Participation is voluntary and no funding is attached.