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Ivey’s Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

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August 4, 2020

Dean’s Message to the Ivey Community,


This has been a difficult time for members of our community. Discrimination, racism, and inequality have caused much pain, and continue to do so. I want to acknowledge those who have come forward to share their experiences and thank those who have shared their ideas for change and offers of support. 

Hearing from you and listening to your stories, it has become clear to me we haven’t done enough to address discrimination, sexism, racism, and inequality on campus and at Ivey. I want to personally apologize for the hurt this has caused.

We have begun to take steps to change our culture. This year, we introduced an Inclusive Teaching workshop for all faculty and an LGBTQ+ Ally Certification training for our staff and faculty. This is in addition to the Diversity and Inclusiveness workshop for HBA student leaders, and the creation of two new VPs of Diversity and Inclusion in our MSc and MBA Associations to help represent student interests in program materials, career management training, and cohort activities.

The efforts to date are important. But the course and speed needs to change if we are to make meaningful progress and address the concerns raised by members of the Ivey community.

Bottom line: I hear you and agree with you – we need to do more and we need to do it now.

That is why today we are making a renewed commitment to improve equity, diversity, and inclusion through a concrete action plan. This plan is the result of collaboration with students, faculty, staff, and alumni of the Ivey community. The details of the first phase of this plan are listed below and include mandatory equity, diversity, and inclusion training for all faculty leaders, staff, and students; a commitment to set, measure and publicize diversity goals; a review and revision of working policies; and an investment in programming, mentorship, and additional financial support for members of the Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) community.

Throughout our consultation process, we have listened to the concerns and ideas of members of the Ivey community. Much of the feedback we have received to date has been incorporated into this first phase, and it will continue to inform our plan as it evolves. Members of our BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities have provided meaningful input. We also spoke with a significant number of women from our community regarding the barriers and sexism they faced.

I want to be clear this is just a start. We recognize the immediate action items may not address all concerns. We expect the plan to evolve as we continue to listen and learn more.

To make real change, we will need support from the entire Ivey community - faculty, staff, students, alumni, and industry partners. To ensure these programs are successful, we must hold one another accountable. That is why I am also inviting all Ivey faculty, staff, students, and alumni who wish to provide feedback or participate in this process to please join us.

Ivey is committed to making a meaningful difference in addressing discrimination, sexism, racism, and inequality, and I am confident that our community is committed to this important work.

We will do better. You have my commitment.

Sharon


Ivey’s Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

After thoughtful and productive consultations with many members of our community, together, we developed a concrete set of actions to address issues of racism, sexism, discrimination, and inequality at Ivey. To guide these efforts, we will focus on four areas:

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


Steering Committee to be formed

Ivey’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion will be governed by a new Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will include students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the Ivey Advisory Board. It will set targets, support actions, measure progress, elicit ongoing and meaningful feedback from our community, and advise the Dean and senior leadership.

We are committed to ensuring the Steering Committee will be diverse in membership, perspective, and experience. If you are interested in standing for nomination to this important committee, please contact EDIcommitment@ivey.ca.

Immediate Actions

Below are the immediate action items that Ivey will be moving forward as part of the first phase of our renewed commitment. We have developed these initial actions based on input and feedback from our community, but we recognize that there is still work to do. In tandem with the actions below, we will continue consultation, planning, and rolling out additional steps under the guidance of the Steering Committee and working groups, where appropriate.

  1. Foster a Safe Community that Embraces Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
    • Ivey will invest in mandatory equity, diversity, and inclusion training and programming for all Ivey students, faculty leaders, and staff. This will include refreshing current training and adding new training. In addition:
      • Increase the number of diverse guest speakers (especially BIPOC) in the School; and,
      • Invest in the development of case materials that reflect a broader diversity of protagonists.
    • Ivey is committed to creating a safe environment and space for people to identify and report inappropriate behaviour. Immediate action items will include:
      • Review of working policies with Western that may unintentionally discriminate, and revise policies to better enable equity, diversity, and inclusion;
      • Reinforce with students, staff, and faculty the safe reporting mechanisms that are available; and,
      • Introduce 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 Diversity Goals
    • In consultation with the community and Steering Committee, Ivey will set goals and metrics on increasing BIPOC representation and will produce tracking to measure our progress. Immediate actions include:
      • Establish baseline information, and build a process to capture and report on visible minorities within Western and Ivey; and,
      • Commit to increasing diversity among our students, faculty, staff, and the Ivey Advisory Board.

  3. Create a More Diverse Community 
    • Ivey will invest in programming, mentorship, and financial support for BIPOC communities. The first project, for example, is for high school students and is designed to create a significant pipeline of new students from these communities. Some of the specific actions include:
      • Develop high school programming targeted to grade 9 and 10 students;
      • Align high school students with current students and/or alumni mentors who can support their development and growth;
      • Invite participation of other business schools to increase program reach; and,
      • Invest in financial aid for students to participate in the programming.

  4. Partner to Improve Access to Business Education and Career Pathways  
    • Ivey will pursue partnerships and sponsorship in the Canadian business community for equity, diversity, and inclusion programming, and we will seek to establish connections with existing, community-based equity, diversity, and inclusion organizations. Action items include:
      • Provide and secure financial support and subject matter expertise to establish meaningful programming and scholarships; and,
      • Mobilize volunteers to inform and support initiatives such as mentoring programs, case study development, and guest speakers.

The action items outlined above are intended to describe phase one only, and we expect the plan to evolve as we continue to listen and learn. We recognize there are still important issues to address, and we are committed to listening to and working with individuals whose concerns may not be addressed in this first phase.

Ivey’s action plan is intended to complement Western University’s path forward on anti-racism, which includes:

  • Establishing a senior role at Western University to help lead equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts;
  • Establishing a Council to advise the various constituents of the university on ongoing anti-racism and equity, diversity, and inclusion work, including the collection and publication of relevant data, and metrics that measure our progress;
  • Strengthening training programs across Western to combat racism, conducting a review of existing policy and the mechanisms for reporting racist incidents;
  • Carrying out an awareness campaign to combat all kinds of racism, especially anti-Black racism and racism against Indigenous communities; and,
  • Attending to the intersectionality of other kinds of oppression, and committing to additional funding for anti-racism, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

To make real change, we will need support from the entire Ivey community - faculty, staff, students, alumni, and industry partners. To ensure these programs are successful, we must hold one another accountable for continuous, forward progress and action.

All Ivey students, faculty, staff, and alumni are invited to send an expression of interest in getting involved to EDIcommitment@ivey.ca.


Sharon Hodgson
Dean
Lawrence G. Tapp Chair in Leadership

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Ivey Business School at Western University
1255 Western Road
London, ON, Canada, N6G 0N1