What does it take to build a thriving, collaborative community rooted in values of equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility?
Dalhousie has invested significant time and energy in recent years to answer this question. Now, the university is taking that effort a step further by integrating new and current strategies into a comprehensive, actionable plan that involves staff at all levels.
“Dalhousie needs to do the right thing, not just say what’s right,” says Huwaida Medani, Dal’s human resources and employment equity manager. “We want everyone in the Dal community to know about this plan, read about it, recognize their role in its implementation and support its implementation.”
Dalhousie’s Employment Equity Plan (2022-2026) has two major goals.
- to Recruit more employees from equity-worthy groups.
- to Improving the employee experience for equity-worthy groups.
Dalhousie recognizes groups deserving of equity as Indigenous peoples (especially Mi’kmaq), people of Black/African descent (especially African Nova Scotians) and members of other racialized groups, people with disabilities, women, and the 2SLGBTQ+ community. defined as people who identify as members of
The new plan aims to strengthen the Dal community and demonstrate its commitment to working with and uplifting communities of equity-deserving groups across Nova Scotia.
It also integrates, aligns and further develops other initiatives taking place at Dalhousie, making them central to the University’s latest Strategic Plan (2021-26), along with the African Nova Scotia Strategy, Indigenous Strategy and Workplace Health Initiatives. It plays the role of supporting the pillar. strategies, accessibility plans, and other department-specific initiatives.
reach out your hand
Medani, who recently joined Dal in a newly created manager role, is leading the rollout of the employment equity plan. Medani stepped into the role in recent months and has been a strong advocate of its success.
“It is essential for us to proactively reach out and invite community members from groups who deserve equity,” she says.
Medani will meet with faculties, departments, and units to present the plan and identify leaders who will support its implementation.
She believes that her life and work experiences have shaped her path and prepared her to take on this work.
“I am a racialized woman who is Black, Muslim, and an immigrant. I have an accent and I stutter a little. Although there are barriers that could keep us at full employment, I have moved forward and gained the attention of some employers who believe in equity and inclusion.”
Prior to coming to Dalhousie, Medani worked as a senior diversity and inclusion advisor for the Halifax Regional Municipality. She has extensive professional experience as a community educator, teacher, and equity and social justice advocate. She has worked as a supervisor for the Immigrant Women and Families Program at the YMCA, as a manager for the African Maritime Diaspora Association, and as a career counselor at Women’s Employment Outreach.
Initiating change and attracting diverse talent
With the new Employment Equity Plan, Medani will also 3 training modules.
- The first module is Plan overview To help the Dal community understand and learn more about it. This is a call for faculties, departments and units to analyze their strengths, identify barriers that may help or hinder the implementation of their plans, and develop strategies to overcome those barriers.
- The second module is Designed for supervisors, managers and directors Help them understand their capabilities and ensure accountability in implementing plans. Unconscious bias training will be a key aspect of this module, as well as ongoing conversations about topics that address the needs of groups of employees who deserve equity.
- The third module is: groups worth capital and enable employees to continue moving forward in their professional and personal lives. It will encourage them to recognize their rights as members of a group that deserves equity and to take advantage of additional resources.
Medani understands how important this plan is not only to the Dal community, but also to those considering joining Dal.
“Community partners outside of Dalhousie are looking forward to concrete initiatives like this plan to encourage job seekers from diverse backgrounds to consider working at Dal,” she says.
The work to create an employment equity plan began long before Medani arrived at Dar. Its creation involved many people from various faculties, departments and divisions, including Human Resources members Mimi Breslow and Laura Godsoe.
“I would like to thank everyone at Dar University who participated in the creation of this plan. I would especially like to thank the faculty, staff, and administrators of the Equity Deserving Group. The plan was essentially created by them,” Medani said. says. “Thanks to the efforts of many Dal community members who understood the barriers they faced and offered solutions, Dalhousie is now implementing this plan with more than 50 actionable and achievable points. It is now possible.”
For more information on employment equity, please visit dal.ca/employment-equity.
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