10:56 AM

Mohawk College commits to greater equity, diversity and inclusion among workforce

New federal funding supports work to identify systemic barriers and establish pathway solutions for faculty, students and staff

Mohawk College is undertaking a new initiative to identify and overcome systemic barriers to career advancement, recruitment and retention of underrepresented and disadvantaged groups.

Building on several equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) efforts already underway at the college, Mohawk is moving forward with an institutional capacity building initiative, supported by a funding announcement today by 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 (SSHRC).

“Mohawk College is committed to creating an equitable, diverse and inclusive environment for all students and employees,” said Ron McKerlie, President and CEO of Mohawk College. “We have made significant progress in our efforts over the past several years but we know more can be done to ensure there is equitable access and equitable opportunity for everyone in our community. Today’s funding announcement allows us to do some important work toward achieving that goal.”

Mohawk College is one of 12 post-secondary institutions across Canada to receive a two-year grant to help identify and overcome systemic barriers in their institutions. The college will receive $200,000 in each year of the two-year project.

The goals of the project include:

  • collecting and analyzing college demographic data, to examine issues of equity;
  • supporting 5 taskforces involved in barrier identification and elimination, including action plan development and implementation;
  • involving more underrepresented people meaningfully in research by eliminating gaps and barriers and enhancing proven pathways, including a revised curriculum for our training in applied research methodologies targeting inclusiveness for underrepresented groups; and
  • increasing and elevating equity-focussed processes in all aspects of college operation and decision-making.

Today’s funding announcement will allow the college to hire an EDI Specialist to support the Director and Special Advisor for EDI; to support the work of five taskforces, comprised of underrepresented people with consideration for intersectionality to identify systemic barriers and propose solutions; and to support employee-wide demographic research of the college to establish a long-term scalable data collection process for the labour force.

Funding for this project is part of a larger announcement made today by the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, identifying 12 Canadian institutions that will share close to $4.8 million in funding as part of the 2020 competition of the EDI Institutional Capacity-Building grant.