Unity Health Toronto has signed on to a new initiative for research institutes to increase equity, diversity and inclusion in research, called Dimensions: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.Earlier this summer, the Government of Canada, under the guidance of the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, launched the initiative as a pilot program to drive deep cultural change in the research ecosystem in Canada. Its focus is on eliminating obstacles experienced by members of underrepresented or disadvantaged groups, including, but not limited to, women, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible minority/racialized groups, and members of LGBTQ2+ communities.
Unity Health has joined a growing list of more than 50 academic organizations across the country that endorse the Dimensions charter.
“We know research and innovation can be more impactful when its community is representative of the population our hospital serves,” said Dr. Ori Rotstein, vice-president of Research and Innovation at Unity Health. “Our pledge to the work set out by Dimensions is just one of many steps we’re taking to bridge the gaps that exist in research across the country.”
In 2017, the research institute at St. Michael’s, now part of Unity Health, conducted a review that found a significant gender gap existed across all job descriptions, research disciplines and academic rankings at its research institute. Since then, the institute has taken strides to address representation gaps, including establishing overarching equity guidelines in Research and mandatory gender equity guidelines for all search committees in Research.
As part of its focus on equity, diversity and inclusion in Research, the institute is now conducting a baseline demographic diversity survey of its research community from which to learn and grow. This survey, grouped with the already established work, will move the institute closer to the rollout of an equity, diversity and inclusion action plan, which is set to launch in the next few months.