Workplace initiatives honoured in annual nationwide competition
When Audrey joined McGill University in 2007, she was surprised no one in her department had been made aware of her visual impairment disability. With the help of a program that provided her with a device that could let her see large print on her computer, she simply became another employee who came to work in the morning and did her job.
“I did not feel out of place nor did I feel that my co-workers treated me differently,” Audrey said. “McGill has a very human approach. When I first arrived I was constantly reassured that the tools and training that I needed would be provided, and they were.”
Stories like Audrey’s help explain why McGill has been chosen one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers for 2009. The honour follows the university being named last year one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers for 2009.
The diversity recognition is awarded to employers across Canada “that have developed exemplary diversity initiatives in five employee groups: (a) Women; (b) Members of visible minorities; (c) Persons with disabilities; (d) Aboriginal peoples; or (e) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered/Transsexual (LGBT) peoples,” according to a statement from Canada’s Top 100 Employers.
“McGill considers support for diversity a fundamental element of its role as a publicly purposed institution of higher learning,” said McGill Principal and Vice-Chancellor Heather Munroe-Blum. “As a leading university located in the heart of one of Canada’s most diverse cities, we have made great strides in ensuring a workplace that reflects our community. More remains to be done, but we are very pleased to receive this important recognition of our efforts.”
“Diversity in the workplace adds to the richness of our work and life experiences,” said Lynne Gervais, Associate Vice-Principal (Human Resources) at McGill. “The University is committed to fostering a fair and inclusive environment that respects the dignity of each member of the community. By actively educating, heightening awareness, and providing opportunities for dialogue about equity and diversity-related issues, through our SEDE (Social Equity and Diversity Education) office, we strive to strengthen the community in our shared responsibility toward a truly equitable society.”