Message from Dean Yolande E. Chan

Our commitment to creating a welcoming, respectful and representative community

Yolande E. ChanDear members of the Desautels community,

For over a century, the Desautels Faculty of Management has brought together students, faculty members and staff with diverse and intersecting identities in the name of learning and research. It is our strategic priority and responsibility to foster an environment in which all of our community members feel welcomed, respected and represented—a place where people can learn, thrive and feel they belong.

As a researcher and academic administrator, I have during the past three decades of my career, advocated for equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI). During the past five years, I have made this my professional priority. Through my work and personal experiences, I have seen that a commitment to EDI is a continuous journey based on the ever-evolving needs of our students, faculty, staff and alumni. Our efforts to address systemic racism and discrimination at Desautels have progressed since we appointed Professor Lisa Cohen as the first Director of EDI in 2020. Professor Cohen and a dedicated working group of student, faculty and staff representatives of the BCom, Master's and PhD programs, and many others, have made advancements in several areas:

  • Surveyed and collected data about our students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as their personal experiences within our Faculty;
  • Created a Desautels EDI First Responders program for students, faculty and staff to consult if they experience or are aware of harassment, discrimination or other equity issues at the Faculty;
  • Surveyed faculty members on EDI in their teaching, and subsequently created a series of workshops on how to incorporate EDI into the curricula;
  • Delivered training in conjunction with the University EDI office on identifying and overcoming microaggressions for faculty and staff; developed and delivered microaggression training with McGill Teaching and Learning Services for students;
  • Formalized processes for hiring and recruiting of faculty, staff and students;
  • Established an industry advisory group to focus on EDI in student recruiting efforts.

Though we have come this far, there is still much more work to do, as outlined in our EDI strategic plan. Over the coming years, we will be dedicating more resources to our EDI efforts, creating more scholarships, and strengthening engagement of our community of students, faculty, staff and alumni.

Building an environment and culture that is equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist requires a long-term collaborative approach, and an open and empowered dialogue with all of our stakeholders. We need to ensure everyone’s voice is heard. Thank you to all who have raised your voices and shown your commitment to strengthening the Desautels community. We hear you, we see you, and we are determined to create a learning and working environment that is free of racism and discrimination.

Yolande E. Chan
Dean, Desautels Faculty of Management

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