THANK YOU for taking the time to connect with the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences through the inspiring stories we share in this issue of RadyUM.

The Rady Faculty is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and has taken a number of steps recently to address these goals.

In November, Women in Science, Development, Outreach and Mentorship (WISDOM) was launched with support from the Rady Faculty. Providing opportunities for women academics, researchers and learners in the health sciences to network with, learn from, and mentor one another – and for men to support the organization – is an important step in meeting our equity, diversity and inclusion objectives.

While five of six vice-dean portfolios in the Rady Faculty are currently led by women, I can’t say the same when I look, for instance, at the composition of department heads in the Max Rady College of Medicine. Only three of 21 department heads are female. We know that when our leaders more accurately reflect the populations we serve, we are enriched by the spectrum of voices and ideas and the result is better, more inclusive decision-making. A woman with two small children will see things through a different lens than an aging male baby boomer.

We recognize that we need to build in supports to encourage and enable women to become leaders and make it easier for academics with families to do so. Currently, we are in the initial planning stages to build a daycare on Bannatyne campus for the first time.

What else can we do recruit and retain diverse faculty and senior leadership?

Our University of Manitoba EDI policy focuses on four groups, with the goal of increasing numbers of women, Indigenous people, racialized persons and people with disabilities in our recruitment of faculty and senior leadership.

Last January, the Dr. Gerald Niznick College of Dentistry, the Max Rady College of Medicine and the Colleges of Nursing, Pharmacy and Rehabilitation Sciences agreed upon a joint Rady Faculty of Health Sciences commitment to EDI which states:

  •  All students, faculty, staff and persons in the College community are respected;
  • The College community is stronger because it recognizes and values its differences;
  • The College is a safe and welcoming place for all people; and
  • The faculty, staff and learner populations are representative of the populations we serve.

We have recruited for a new position of Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion who will work with colleges, units and departments to improve representation of diverse groups across the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences as leaders, faculty members, researchers, staff and learners.

This will include the development of an EDI strategy; promotion of inclusive hiring practices, such as implementing measures for the identification and removal of artificial biases to the selection, hiring, promotion and training of historically under-represented groups; and anti-racism initiatives aimed at faculty, staff and students.

Lastly, under the leadership of Dr. Marcia Anderson, the faculty’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Action Plan implementation committee is now working on rolling out initiatives around the following themes in response to the health-related TRC Calls to Action:

  • Honouring traditional knowledge systems and practices;
  • Safe learning environments and professionalism; • Student support, mentorship and retention;
  • Education across the spectrum; and
  • Closing the gap in admissions. Read more about our Rady Faculty TRC Action Plan and think about your role in reconciliation and in enhancing equity, diversity and inclusion.

Vice-Provost (Health Sciences) & Dean,
Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba