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Action Plan EDI 2.0 (October 2021)

October 12, 2021

Dear Ivey community,

Since our last equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) update eight months ago, we have witnessed positive developments across the School. Passionate and dedicated faculty members integrated EDI-focused curriculum and discussions in the classroom. Tireless staff members incorporated EDI actions into their administrative duties. And students, faculty, staff, and partners together created new EDI programming and tools for the Ivey community. Through such collaboration, we will continue our mission to create an inclusive and equitable environment at the School and cultivate leaders who actively bring EDI practices and values into their future work.

As a result of this forward momentum, we recently updated the original EDI action plan that was shared in August 2020. We have added two new pillars: Gender-based violence prevention education, and Equitable Knowledge Exchange.

In May, we released our first Community Diversity Survey, and have since created 11 recommendations to support Ivey’s progress in increasing our community members’ sense of belonging, inclusion, and equity.

Also, working with the EDI Advisory Council, we have established a measurement plan with diversity targets and KPIs to monitor and report. This document also includes measurement principles designed to guide our EDI actions.

Before we formally launched this strategy, there were many at Ivey working on these issues. We are thankful for their insights, foundational work and ongoing support. During this first formal year of the strategy, we have accomplished much and yet, we are still just getting started.  If we understand Equity and Inclusion as practices, we must also recognize they are never complete or perfect. I hope these new EDI programs, tools, and partnerships will support you, members of our Ivey community, to become lifelong learners and practitioners of equity and inclusion.

Sharon Hodgson
Lawrence G. Tapp Chair in Leadership


Acknowledgment of Collective Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion efforts

Before we begin equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) v2.0, it is important to acknowledge the sustained efforts of many individual faculty, staff, students, and alumni who engaged in and led a variety of EDI-focused efforts across the Ivey community ecosystem. Long before EDI v1.0, Ivey had dedicated community members practicing equity in their classrooms, research, committee and administrative work, and daily interactions. We want to acknowledge your efforts and extend our deep gratitude for your sustained leadership. Without your contributions, we would not be able to think and act at the scale of the institution.

Ivey recognizes it needs to lead EDI efforts from the scale of the institution, and the scales of the individual and community, to make impacts through the School’s collective EDI actions. Working across scale is the means by which, as a community, we will work to dismantle the structural barriers and systemic racism, discrimination, sexism, and ableism that currently prevents the equity of many community members.  And it is together, through our combined actions, that we will work to create an inclusive Ivey ecosystem that nurtures future leaders who have the necessary skills required to build an inclusive and equitable Canada.

EDI 2.0

  1. Foster a safe community that practices equity, diversity, and inclusion by embedding curriculum, programming, and EDI practice tools within our Ivey community ecosystem;
  2. Set, commit to, and measure progress on EDI goals at the scale of the institution or system, and at the scale of the individual and community;
  3. Create a more diverse community by focusing on the accessibility of our learning and working environments that define our Ivey community ecosystem;
  4. Partner to improve access to business education and career pathways for diverse students;
  5. Adopt a comprehensive Gender-Based Violence (GBV) framework that supports a preventative approach to GBV education for students, staff, and faculty; and
  6. Engage in Equitable Knowledge Exchange that leverages Ivey’s thought leadership, research, and EDI toolkit making these contributions accessible to industry and community partners.

1. Foster a safe community that practices equity, diversity, and inclusion by embedding curriculum, programming, and EDI practice tools within our Ivey community ecosystem.

Ivey will continue to invest in creating embedded EDI-focused curriculum within its learning environments for all Ivey community members (staff/faculty/students/alumni). Taking a learning ecosystems approach, we understand that all community members are either 1) direct learners: a person who directly interfaces with a defined curriculum; or 2) indirect learners: a person who engages with, supports, or teaches direct learners. That is, we understand that all community members are learners within our ecosystem and therefore will be engaged with the EDI curriculum and EDI Toolkit developed for the Ivey learning ecosystem.

For instance, the new EDI-focused entry-module curriculum was developed using a learning ecosystem approach. In the pilot of this curriculum, HBA students are direct learners in this model, as they engage directly with the entry-module curriculum. HBA OWLs (peer mentors/leaders) HBA staff, and HBA section heads (and any other interested faculty members) are indirect learners in this model as they interact with, and support, direct learners (HBA1 students). All indirect learners will be given an opportunity to engage with to familiarize themselves with the HBA entry-module curriculum to ensure they are aware of, and feel confident they understand the newly designed EDI-focused curriculum.

When using a learning ecosystem approach, we understand that any curricular intervention into the ecosystem requires ensuring as many community members as possible in the ecosystem have access to new learning interventions as a means of building capacity. We will continue to work with our community to build and deploy EDI-focused curriculum. The chart below highlights new curriculum and programs developed in collaboration with Ivey students, staff, and faculty, as well as Western partners.




EDI Entry Modules

Ivey students, CTL, Ivey staff and faculty

Fall 2021 (HBA); winter 2021 (MSc)

The Path: Your Journey through Indigenous Canada

Office of Indigenous Initiatives; Indigenous Community Elders; Ivey staff and faculty

Fall 2021- spring 2022 HBA1

Learning through Action Capstone:

EDI Knowledge Translation

Ivey students, staff, and faculty; the City of London; Pillar Not-for-Profit; CIBC

Spring 2022 HBA1

EDI 101

Ivey staff and students

Fall 2021 staff and faculty

Leading with Equity

Ivey staff and faculty

Spring 2022

Contextualized Classroom

Ivey staff and faculty

Spring 2021 (pilot); Pilot phase 2 fall 2021, winter 2022

Financial Aid: Understanding your Funding

Ivey staff, main campus partners

Winter 2022

Gender-based violence policy training

Ivey staff, main campus partners

Fall 2021

We will continue to invest in our EDI Toolkit, a series of intentionally designed tools to support our Ivey community (students/staff/faculty/alumni) in developing, extending, and deepening their capacity to practice equity in the classroom as well as in their careers and community(s). The tools translate EDI research and theory into practice. Using evidence-informed best practices from a diverse range of research areas, they translate research into tangible and actionable tools that help the user to develop a personal equity practice. The chart below details the tools now available to the Ivey community.




EDI Principles Guide

Ivey Publishing; Ivey students, staff, and faculty; main campus

Fall 2021

Inclusive Community Planning Tool

Ivey staff, students, main campus partners

Fall 2021

Social Identity Wheel

Ivey staff, faculty, students, main- campus partners

Fall 2021

Response to the call to Truth and Reconciliation Action 92.3[1]: Build Education and Training:

In collaboration with the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, we are implementing The Path: Your Journey through Indigenous Canada. Created by Indigenous Scholars, storytellers, and Elders, The Path introduces non-Indigenous people to the importance of Indigenous peoples’ relationship with the land. The Path also explores Indigenous concepts of Respect, Reciprocity, Responsibility, Relevance, and Refusal and asks non-Indigenous peoples to think critically about their positionality as Settlers and responsibilities in their relationship with Indigenous peoples and land. OII did an extensive community consultation process before deciding to support The Path at Western.

The HBA Learning through Action course for the 2021-2022 academic year will focus on reconciliation and decolonization. Utilizing a learning ecosystems approach, all staff, faculty, and peer mentors who interact with the HBA1 cohort will have access to The Path. The Path will be facilitated by a number of community Elders, who will host sharing circles with students. Students can reflect and learn from one another as they move through this learning journey.

Once implemented in the HBA program, we will work with OII to make The Path available to the entire Ivey community.

Ivey will continue to invest in and focus on the following commitments made in August 2020:

  • Increase the number of diverse guest speakers (especially equity-deserving) invited to speak at Ivey;
  • Invest in the development of case materials that reflect a broader diversity of protagonists;
  • Create a safe environment and space for people to identify and report inappropriate behaviour. Continued action items will include:
  • Continuously review working policies with Western that may unintentionally discriminate, and revise policies to better enable equity, diversity, and inclusion;
  • Regularize discussions and training with students, staff, and faculty about the safe reporting mechanisms that are available;
  • And, regularize reporting that provides transparency on the number of issues reported and actions taken, while still respecting the personal rights and privacy of all individuals.


2. Set, commit to, and measure progress on EDI goals at the scale of the institution or system, and at the scale of the individual and community.

In August 2020, Dean Hodgson, in consultation with the community, began the process of setting goals and metrics on increasing equity-deserving representation within the community. This is an ongoing process and will continue with stakeholder engagement. We committed to releasing the following measures by fall 2021:

  • Baseline EDI data and a comprehensive and transparent process to capture and report on the diversity of representation within the Ivey community, which is captured in Measuring Ivey’s EDI Action Plan: principles, progress, and impact.
  • Targets – set across short-, medium-, and long-term scales – that will help increase diversity among our students, faculty, staff, and the Ivey Advisory Board. These targets are captured in Measuring Ivey’s EDI Action Plan: principles, progress, and impact.

In addition to these ongoing actions, Ivey has committed to measuring its EDI Action Plan through progress and impact measures that are guided by the following principles:

RESPONSIBLE[1]: Recognizing that as our community changes over time, so too will our approach to measurement, because responsible measurement takes seriously that we must endeavor to design measurement tools and utilize measurement approaches that are reflective of our community’s needs, which are dynamic. Responsible measurement also takes seriously the idea that if we measure everything, nothing we measure is relevant. Thus, practicing responsible measurement requires restraint and intentionality in how we design and think about what we measure, and how frequently we need to engage in measurement cycles.

RECIPROCAL: When we practice reciprocity through measurement, we hold ourselves accountable to only measure what we are prepared to act on, as an institution and as a community. Thus, reciprocity through measurement, over time, aims to build a foundation of trust with community members, because our community is able to recognize that the data they share will be utilized to make sustainable change within our systems, policies and practices.

RESPECTFUL: Understanding that no one source of data has the capacity to uncover a person’s lived experience, we will endeavor to use mixed methods that combine both qualitative and quantitative approaches to data collection to better understand; listen; and act on the stories that our community member’s share with us. Thus, understanding data can exist in multiple forms and can emerge from many different collection methods allows us to respect, and bear witness to the complexity of the lived experiences that create our dynamic community.

RELEVANT: Practicing relevance through measurement requires that we ensure community needs are being met through both how we evaluate data, and how we report findings and recommendations. Relevance through measurement must also extend to how we think about and create final reports. Final reports must be accessible to a diverse set of community members, and therefore the process to create these final reports should include community participation. Practicing relevance through measurement requires final reports and recommendations be clearly connected to the initial rationale for measurement collection. This way, our community witnesses that the stories and data shared are being acted upon through recommendations and implementation-planning.

REFUSAL: Whenever we engage in measurement, both qualitative and quantitative, we must practice leaving space in our relationships for refusal. Not all parts or aspects of a person’s lived experience can be shared, nor should we expect will be shared. Thus, we must create spaces in our measurement approaches that both accept and support refusal of participation.

Guided by these foundational principles, we commit to utilizing a measurement framework that seeks to understand the impact and progress of our EDI plan at the following distinct scales:

  • Institutional or structural scale;
  • Community and individual scale; and,
  • Combined evaluation of structural and community scale impacts.

A common feature of EDI strategic plans is that measures are developed generally. That is, measures and the types of distinct measures used, are not necessarily developed to measure structural progress and community culture separately, with their own distinct set of impact measures. Since structures and communities are interconnected and create an ecosystem, we need to develop these measures simultaneously. To really understand our progress as a community and a School (structurally through our policies and operations), through their combined efforts to practice sustainable equity, we need to measure these two entities utilizing different methods and types of data, guided by concrete principles.

[1] The 5 Rs here are drawn from the initial work of Indigenous scholars Kirkness & Barnhardt, (2001) and the recent work of Deborah McGregor, Jean-Paul Restoule, and Rochelle Johnston, which builds, expands and deepens the work of Kirkness and Barnhardt (2018),


3. Create a more diverse community by focusing on the accessibility of our learning and working environments that define our Ivey community ecosystem.

Ivey commits to working in partnership with Western to increase supports, training, and capacity to utilize Universal Design (UD) principles when thinking about and designing our Ivey community ecosystem, including:

  • Learning environments
  • Curriculum
  • Co-curriculum
  • Events and programming
  • Work environments
  • Policies and processes
  • Recruitment processes

The first principle of UD is that interventions and recommendations stemming from this approach should increase the inclusion of all community members. Designing for community who report barriers to inclusion due to multiple and intersecting factors; such as disability, age, race, gender and sexuality; along with economic, health, and educational attainment (to name just a few), should remove or reduce barriers for all community members. When we plan for, and proactively think about, the most vulnerable and complex community members, we increase inclusion and sense of belonging for all. When we plan for and make policies for a narrow set of community identities, abilities, and beliefs that fall within the median or mean of that community composition, we create systems of exclusion and inequity in our community.

4. Partner to improve access to business education and career pathways.

Ivey has committed to pursuing partnerships and sponsorship in the Canadian business community for EDI programming, and will seek to deepen existing connections. Action items include:

  • Provide and secure financial support and subject-matter expertise to establish meaningful programming and scholarships;
  • Create financial aid literacy programs for incoming Ivey students so they can leverage all funding sources to their maximum potential (i.e., provincial funding as well as living grants and awards and scholarships); and,
  • And, mobilize volunteers to inform and support initiatives such as mentoring programs, case study development, and guest speakers.

Ivey commits to learning from its industry partners about what transferrable skills students require to practice equity within different Industry sectors. We will embed these skills into our EDI curriculum design so that students’ equity practice aligns with industry needs and projected future needs.

Ivey has embarked on a partnership with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) Centre of Excellence for Black Student Achievement, for a program dedicated to increasing the number of TDSB Black-identifying students who pursue post-secondary education. In partnership with Smith (Queen’s) and Schulich (York), Business schools Ivey is co-designing and developing a three-year curriculum with TDSB that supports Black youth in the Centre of Excellence for Black Student Achievement. This is done through an educational initiative that supports their understanding of academic pathways and develops transferable skills based on the requirements for entry into diverse business programs. Focused on addressing barriers that prevent the representation of Black students within this pathway of learning, this initiative offers cohorts of Black Identifying TDSB students mentorship, experiential learning, and varied learning opportunities to help them understand the role business can play in their academic and personal development.  

Response to the call to Truth and Reconciliation Commission action 92.2[1]: Ensure Equitable Access for Indigenous Peoples to Jobs, Education, and Training

Following the best practices for partnership we have established through the Tri-business school project (Queen’s, Schulich, Ivey), we will be collaborating with local Indigenous communities, the local school boards, Indigenous scholars, and the OII to create a program dedicated to increase the participation of local Indigenous high school students in first, post-secondary education; and second, in business school education.

At the same time, we must decolonize and Indigenize our learning environments and Ivey community ecosystem to ensure that Indigenous students, staff, and faculty feel a deep sense of belonging. These ongoing efforts will continue as we move forward as a community, in partnership with OII and our Indigenous community partners.

The following is a chart of current EDI partnerships:




Business school collaboration for Black student achievement

Toronto District School Board, Centre of Excellence for Black Student Achievement

Queen’s, Smith School of Business

York, Schulich School of Business

Ivey Business School

Fall 2021 - Summer 2023

The Path: Your Journey Through Indigenous Canada

Office of Indigenous Initiatives,

Western University

Six Community Elders

Fall 2021

EDI Demographic Census Committee

Western Main Campus, AVP EDI Western

Fall 2021


5. Adopt a comprehensive Gender- Based Violence Education Prevention Framework

In order to tangibly confront gender- based violence(GBV) in our community, Ivey will utilize Western’s evidence-informed GBV framework that follows best practices of effective GBV prevention programming. Western’s framework has enriched this approach by also implementing the CDC’s guidance in the use of the Social-Ecology Model, as well as implementing a public- health model to create a robust framework that addresses Gender Based Violence across multiple dimensions. Through this framework, GBV prevention is positioned as a public health priority, and a community-level problem we must address together. The evidence- informed GBV framework will be an essential guide in both co-ordinating and organizing efforts in prevention education at Ivey, allowing our programming to be in alignment with Western, as we work together to address GBV. The implementation of the framework will:

  • Identify gaps in our current programming;
  • Increase our capacity to engage in rigorous assessment of prevention programming;
  • Guide us to develop more effective and impactful programs and interventions in our community; and,
  • Support coordination and sustainability in our provision of integrated, evidenced-informed GBSV prevention programs at Ivey.

6. Engage in Equitable Knowledge Exchange that leverages Ivey’s thought leadership, research, and EDI toolkit making these contributions accessible to industry and community partners.

Through practicing, what we have defined as Knowledge Exchange (KEx), we aim to measurably increase the impact, accessibility, and equity of the thought leadership, research, and EDI Tool kits created and co-created by Ivey researchers, students, staff, and their partners.

Knowledge Exchange is the purposeful and deliberate communication of identified knowledge between research partners. The practice of Knowledge Exchange considers the various material processes and outputs – transactional or infrastructural – by which that exchange transpires. Knowledge Stewardship is the equitable access to knowledge created, and coupled with the practice of knowledge-production itself. It is an essential component of equitable knowledge exchange.

Within a research ecosystem, knowledge passes between different actors, essentially creating a map identifying how and where these actors exist in the ecosystem. We must understand where and how knowledge is taken, used, transmuted, and eventually exchanged externally. We must also understand the spaces and places this knowledge is not being taken, and where there are barriers to access.

Understanding these dynamic relationships forms the basis of the vision for the equitable Knowledge Exchange of Ivey’s thought leadership, research, and EDI tools. We commit to ensuring our EDI-related research, thought leadership, and EDI tools are accessible to partners, the broader community, and ultimately, to Canadian Business.

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