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EDI Update March 2021

March 5, 2021

Dear Ivey Community,

The events that have transpired over the past year have highlighted the many ways inequity exists within our society and our School. It has become clear to me we haven’t done enough to address racism, discrimination, sexism, and inequality on campus and at Ivey.

I would like to thank the students, alumni, staff, and faculty members who have come forward with their perspective and experience. It takes courage to share your story and tremendous emotional labour. Please know that your input is making a difference and it is influencing the direction and urgency of our EDI work and priorities.

In August 2020, Ivey released a Renewed Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI), which outlined the first phase of a concrete action plan. An overview of the progress that has been made over the past several months is outlined below. There is still much work to do, and the momentum must continue.

Every member of the community is encouraged to be the change that is needed to ensure Ivey is a safe, equitable, and inclusive environment for all and that the leaders we develop bring this culture forward to the institutions they become members of in the future. We must hold one another accountable for continuous, forward progress and action.

Ivey has a significant role to play in addressing these issues and we are committed to making meaningful and substantial change.



Sharon Hodgson
Lawrence G. Tapp Chair in Leadership

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion – Six-Month Progress Update                                         

Ivey’s Renewed Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI), issued in August 2020, included a first-phase EDI action plan and several action items. The plan was developed after consultation with many members of the Ivey community, and included a concrete set of actions to address issues of racism, sexism, discrimination, and inequality at Ivey.

The four areas of focus identified in Version 1.0 of the action plan were:

  • Foster a safe community that embraces equity, diversity, and inclusion;
  • Set, commit to, and measure progress on diversity goals;
  • Partner to improve access to business education and career pathways; and,
  • Create a more diverse community.

In September 2020, the School announced the establishment of the Ivey EDI Advisory Council chaired by Rashid Wasti, EMBA ’03, EVP & Chief Talent Officer, Weston Group of Companies. The Council includes diverse representation from stakeholder groups, including alumni, faculty, staff, and students. The EDI Advisory Council has and will continue to advise the School as we advance meaningful organizational change, including offering diverse perspectives and best practices on EDI issues, establishing EDI goals, ensuring measurement of progress, and soliciting ongoing feedback from the community.


Western University’s Student Support and Case Management Office is available to support all students, and Western University’s Equity & Human Rights Services (EHRS) supports all members of the Ivey community – staff, faculty, and students. Western University is currently reviewing all reporting processes to ensure safe mechanisms are in place campus-wide.

To increase awareness of the reporting mechanisms available to raise issues of racism, equity, diversity, and inclusion on campus, Ivey has established a centralized support resource webpage Ivey also established a dedicated student support email account, monitored by Academic Counsellors and program services staff

Additionally, the following courses, programming, and updates have been made since August 2020:

NEW programming with a focus on EDI

HBA Programming

A new four-part EDI program was implemented in fall 2020, including perspective taking; individual critical reflection, awareness and understanding, patience, and forgiveness

MSc Programming

In collaboration with the MSc Association, Ivey developed two EDI workshops for new student orientation, including an ‘Equity and Ivey’ session and an anti-racism session

MBA Programming

In November 2020, Ivey’s three-day annual MBA Showcase 2020 was redesigned with an EDI focus, including an alumni panel on personal and professional EDI experiences, EDI workshops, and discussion of an EDI-related Ivey case

EMBA Programming

The Program has added a series of EDI Lunch-and-Learn sessions on EDI topics and hosted a Black History Month speaker event

Faculty Leaders and Staff Programming

Mandatory EDI training was delivered in November and December 2020 by Western’s Equity and Human Rights Services (EHRS), including roles and responsibilities related to EDI, and University-wide policies and expectations related to harassment and discrimination in our campus community

Faculty and Staff Programming

In February 2021, LGBTQ+ Allyship training, facilitated by Anova, was restarted for all faculty and staff to bring awareness, knowledge, and advocacy for all persons regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and others experiencing discrimination

School-wide Programming

In November 2020, Ivey’s Ian O. Ihnatowycz Institute for Leadership sponsored a special session for all Ivey students, staff, and faculty featuring acclaimed scholar and keynote speaker Professor Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to be an Antiracist

NEW courses with a focus on EDI

PhD Course

In January 2021, Ivey introduced a new PhD elective course entitled Inequality, Diversity and Business open to Ivey and Western students

MBA Course

A new MBA elective entitled Inequality, Diversity and Business has been approved, and is expected to be offered in the Winter 2021-2022 term

MSc Course

A new MSc elective entitled Inequality, Diversity and Organizations has been approved, expected fall 2021

EDI updates to key documents

Degree Students

Ivey has updated the Student Code of Conduct to better reflect the School’s EDI expectations, including strengthened and more focused language on EDI values in our community, and concrete expectations in order to respect the physical and psychological safety of all community members

Executive Education

The Ivey Academy has established a Professional Code of Conduct for executive education staff, faculty, and participants in alignment with the Student Code of Conduct

Ivey Alumni

In September 2020, based on student input, the Ivey Alumni Network Board updated the Ivey Pledge with a stronger EDI focus, adding “I will act in a manner that is inclusive of all individuals and respects the rights, differences and dignity of others without judgement or discrimination.” 

Through fall of 2020, Ivey hosted a series of student listening sessions and conducted an anonymous student survey led by external facilitator, Dr. Rick Ezekiel, alongside Ivey’s Dr. Nadine de Gannes. The listening sessions identified challenges, barriers, and solutions from the perspective of the Ivey students who participated in these sessions. Emerging themes included: the classroom experience, culture and climate, representation, and the peer-to-peer social environment.

In February 2021, Dr. Ezekiel and Dr. de Gannes shared their insights from the listening sessions through a series of virtual EDI update sessions with Ivey faculty, staff, and students. Community listening and engagement will continue, and input from Ivey’s listening work will inform the priorities and focus of EDI efforts moving forward.

Several process improvements have also been made to address and improve equity-deserving representation in Ivey’s case study library and classroom experience. For example, Ivey Publishing resources have been added to accelerate the production time of EDI-related cases, anonymous student feedback forms for cases were established, and product metadata tagging capabilities have been added to the case library in order to increase retrieval and adoption of EDI-related cases. Additional incentives for authors of cases featuring diverse protagonists or tackling EDI issues are being considered.

In October 2020, Ivey invested in and began using NameCoach software, which allows students, faculty, and staff to record and share the pronunciation of their name in our Learning Management System to support inclusive teaching practices. As of March 4, 2021, 324 students, faculty, and staff have recorded their names using NameCoach.


Ivey is committed to establishing goals and measuring progress against EDI impact metrics, including diversity representation among students, faculty, staff, and Advisory Boards. Comprehensive baseline data are currently being established.

The School has been working with Western University on revisions to Western’s employment equity survey, with a goal of establishing a stronger baseline of faculty and staff diversity demographic data.   The enhanced survey will allow for collection of additional relevant demographic data, and Western is currently leading the planning of the launch of this faculty and staff demographic survey.

Ivey is working with Western’s Registrar’s office on collecting improved student demographic data, which may require changes to the admissions forms by Ontario Universities' Application Centre (OUAC). Western is also planning to launch a survey to current students to obtain demographic information Western is currently leading the planning of the launch of this student demographic survey.

Ivey will be collecting more detailed alumni demographic data through the 2021 Voice of Alumni survey. Results are expected in spring 2021.

With baseline data, a comprehensive set of EDI impact metrics will be developed, including student, faculty, and staff representation with target timelines. In July 2020, the Black Students at Ivey Collective (BSIC) suggested targets for Black identifying students, staff, and faculty. Ivey will use these targets in further consultations as the full set of EDI impact metrics is established under the guidance of Ivey’s EDI Advisory Council.


In January 2021, Ivey announced a new partnership with ICON Talent Partners. The goal of the partnership is to promote a more inclusive and diverse corporate Canada by exposing talent to high-impact sectors, where they are often underrepresented, including consulting, investment banking, and tech startups. The ICON partnership was introduced to Ivey by the Black Students at Ivey Collective, and is intended to both support recruitment of BIPOC students at Ivey, and to ensure diverse leadership representation within traditionally underrepresented industries.

Since August 2020, Ivey has established 17 new EDI awards, which include seven funded by anonymous donors:

NEW Student Entrance Awards

HBA Students

Two additional awards* of $10,000 a year for two years have been established for self-identifying Black or self-identifying Indigenous students

MSc Students

Three additional awards* of $5,000 each have been established for self-identifying Black or self-identifying Indigenous students

MBA Students

Two additional awards* of $22,500 have been established for self-identifying Black or self-identifying Indigenous students

EMBA Students

Ten additional awards* of $10,000 each have been established for self-identifying Black or self-identifying Indigenous participants

*Equitable award application criteria and selection processes are in development and approval is pending consultation with key partners including the Western University Office of Indigenous Initiatives and the Western University Special Advisors on anti-racism.

Ivey is also focused on developing a better understanding of the access pathways for equity-deserving and first-generation students. Enhanced support initiatives are in development and will be established under the consultation and guidance of the Ivey EDI Advisory Council and key partners at Western University.


A new partnership between three Ontario business schools is currently being established. The goal of the partnership is to improve Black and Indigenous high school student access and interest in pursuing a post-secondary education. The partner schools are also in discussions with a major Ontario school board, and there is strong interest to have the program in place in September 2021. Additional details will be shared as soon as confirmed.

Ivey has also connected with relevant student groups at Western and is developing an outreach plan for local London, Ontario high schools. Initiatives to ensure equitable applicant assessment processes are also in development and will be established through consultation with partners that represent equity-deserving students at Western University and the Ivey EDI Advisory Council.


To ensure the continued progress of Ivey’s commitment to EDI, the School has invested in a new leadership role to help embed EDI values and best practices into Ivey’s culture. Erin Huner joined Ivey in the role of Director, Culture and Inclusion on February 8, 2021. Erin brings a deep understanding of the collaborative and restorative approaches necessary to open spaces for equity-deserving students, staff, and faculty. Erin will lead EDI programming to build a welcoming and equitable environment. This will include community engagement, ongoing listening, and the development of the Version 2.0 EDI plan.

The Version 2.0 of Ivey’s EDI action plan will be released in the coming months. Additional areas of focus will include: Ivey’s research mission, creating accessible learning and working environments, an enhanced emphasis on classroom experience, institutional culture, and the peer-to-peer social environment.

All Ivey students, alumni, staff, and faculty are invited to send their input and ideas to Erin Huner at


For those in need of harassment and discrimination support, or to file a complaint, contact Equity & Human Rights Services.

For students in need of gender-based and sexual violence support, to make a disclosure, or to file a complaint under the student code of conduct, please contact the Student Support and Case Management office.

Anyone with questions, concerns, or comments related to EDI initiatives at Ivey, is encouraged to contact Erin Huner, Director, Culture and Inclusion, Ivey Business School at

Please let us know if you require any of this information in alternate formats or if any other arrangements can make our services more accessible to you.

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