Colleges and Institutes Canada is committed to working through an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) lens to become a stronger ally in its strategic focus on advocacy, building capacity, and driving knowledge. Its commitment to EDI is not only an ethical and moral responsibility, but also necessary for sustainable pandemic recovery.
We have an opportunity now, as individuals and as a sector, to address structural and systemic barriers to inclusion in ways that move beyond good intentions to action.
Find out more about the steps taken by CICan to prioritize EDI
The 50 – 30 Challenge: Your Diversity Advantage
Representation and diversity are clear priorities for CICan, which signed on to the government of Canada’s 50-30 challenge last December, committing to achieving 50% gender parity on its board and senior management team; as well as at least 30% representation of other under-represented groups, including Indigenous people, racialized persons, people living with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ2+ community. While the challenge encourages Canadian organizations to increase the representation and inclusion of diverse groups within their workplaces, it also highlights the benefits of giving all Canadians a seat at the table. In just seven months, CICan marked a major milestone in achieving greater diversity, gender equity and inclusion, not only meeting but surpassing our goals as part of 50-30 Challenge!
The launch of ImpAct-EDI – a new national initiative that will facilitate the sharing of best practices and promote a coordinated approach to foster a culture of inclusion specific to the college and institute system – also marks the beginning of three other exciting initiatives:
- a new National EDI Advisory Committee that will provide guidance to the association,
- a CICan Centre of Excellence on EDI, and
- the creation of a new community of practice that will spearhead national cross-sector partnerships and will lead on mobilization and calls for action to create a movement of stakeholders working together to advance EDI.
CICan is additionally committed to assembling and highlighting the strength and expertise of our members. In fact, many colleges and institutes stand out as leaders in the sector on policies, programs, and initiatives that foster an institution-wide culture of EDI:
- The Centre for Equity and Inclusion at Sheridan College is an integral part of the college’s leadership and governance, and provides strategic advice to identify, address and prevent discrimination and harassment; educates partners and student groups through customized workshops, presentations, and awareness campaigns; and advises on conflicts related to harassment and discrimination.
- At NorQuest College, the Colbourne Institute for Inclusive Leadership is evidence of NorQuest’s own commitment to EDI, and offers services that encourage and support other organizations in developing and sustaining inclusive cultures, including customized and focused training solutions and strategic consulting and measurement.
- Reconciliation and Diversity is one of four pillars of Vancouver Community College’s commitment to equipping students with the skills and knowledge needed to reach their full potential. The college’s suite of Diversity Services ensures that campuses are safe and positive spaces for people of all races, origins, abilities, identities and genders.
- Collège de Maisonneuve’s 2019 Framework on Inclusion and Diversity Management establishes the principles of recognition, development and engagement to guide all of the college’s activities, and applies to the entire college community (students, employees, partners, suppliers, and visitors).
Leaders in the field, these four institutions have been instrumental in laying the foundation of ImpAct-EDI.