By Luis Armando Sanchez Diaz, April 19 2021—
The Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion of the University of Calgary recently announced the launching of a new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) dashboard in partnership with the Office of Institutional Analysis.
The dashboard has the purpose of collecting and storing demographic data on the U of C community in order to “identify and close the diversity gaps,” as stated in the new initiative’s webpage, as well as to “help inform the development of policies and procedures to foster equitable pathways across campus.”
Dr. Malinda Smith, vice-provost equity, diversity and inclusion, highlighted in a newly published article by UCalgary News that this new compilation of information will be a stepping stone in the creation of “equitable pathways” for all members at the university. It will also reveal many of the hardships and obstruction under-represented sectors of the community face.
“Data can help reveal systemic inequities, the hidden barriers and obstacles that may block entry to the academy for historically under-represented groups. It can help identify diversity gaps, pay gaps, obstacles to entry or hurdles to promotion for specific groups,” she mentioned.
With the gathering of new data by the EDI dashboard, the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion also plans to track “intersections of individuals who are members of more than one equity-deserving group,” as presently, there is no further information on what constitutes an “equity deserving group.” The dashboard will also gather information on U of C members that are part of the LGBTQ2S+ community, as currently there’s only information on binary people “with little information about our trans-community.”
Smith concluded by stating to UCalgary News that “achieving equity is more than just measuring who is accepted into the University of Calgary, or who is hired to work here. We also need to monitor how equity-deserving groups — women, visible minorities, Indigenous peoples, LGBTQ2S+ and persons with disabilities — progress through our institution. Are there hidden obstacles to admissions, or to completing a degree or being hired and promoted or recognized for an award? These are tough questions we need to ask ourselves,” she said.
It has also been noted that the information that is collected will be available for anyone of the public to access, evaluate and use — a measure to be as transparent as possible.