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Equity, diversity and inclusion in research: Polytechnique Montréal joins the Government of Canada’s Dimensions program

July 11, 2019 - Source : NEWS

During a visit by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, federal Minister of Science and Sport, Polytechnique Montréal officially endorses the charter of a federal program promoting equity, diversity and inclusion in research.

The Dimensions: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Canada program, unveiled in May 2018 by the Government of Canada, aims to foster excellence in research, innovation and creativity in the postsecondary environment in and across all disciplines by promoting equity, diversity and inclusion. This voluntary program, currently at the pilot-project stage, is based on the Athena SWAN (Scientific Women’s Academic Network) charter, established in the United Kingdom in 2005.

Under the program, participating research institutions commit to eliminating systemic barriers in research, particularly those encountered by members of under-represented or disadvantaged groups, including women, Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, members of visible minority/racialized groups, and members of LGBTQ2+ communities.

François Bertrand, Kirsty Duncan et Annie Ross. (Photo : Denis Bernier Photographe)

François Bertrand, Senior Vice-President and Vice-President, Academic and Research at Polytechnique Montréal; the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, federal Minister of Science and Sport; and Annie Ross, Associate Director of the Academic and Research Directorate and head of the Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Research at Polytechnique Montréal, during the university’s official endorsement of the Government of Canada program Dimensions: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. (Photo: Denis Bernier Photographe)

“We fully endorse the Dimensions charter and are committed to embedding the principles that it is based on,” said François Bertrand, Senior Vice-President and Vice-President, Academic and Research at Polytechnique Montréal, in the presence of the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, federal Minister of Science and Sport.

At an event celebrating $10 million in scholarships and grants awarded by the federal government to more than 40 Polytechnique researchers, Mr. Bertrand pointed out that Polytechnique is fortunate to count on researchers from a variety of backgrounds, particularly at the graduate level, where 58% of PhD graduates and 46% of master’s graduates in 2019 were international students.

He also highlighted the high number of women in the student population, stating that 28% of Polytechnique graduates in 2018–2019 were women, making the institution a leader among engineering universities, both in Québec and across Canada.

“Joining the program is fully in line with our strategic plan, in which we have set ambitious goals for ourselves with regard to integrating women at Polytechnique and in the engineering field, and promoting diversity and inclusion,” Mr. Bertrand said. “This is how we will prepare the next generation and create leading research teams to meet the challenges not only of the future, but also the present.”

For her part, Ms. Duncan noted: “Beyond funding, [the government] makes sure Canada’s research community reflects the diversity of Canada itself, because when our laboratories, classrooms and meeting rooms represent Canada as we see it today, we all benefit.”

She added: “The Dimensions: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Canada program is a crucial step in promoting greater diversity in post-secondary institutions across the country.”

Rachel Bendayan, Jean Choquette, Sarah Dorner, François Bertrand, Danika Goosney, Kirsty Duncan, Annie Ross. (Photo : Denis Bernier Photographe)

Left to right: Rachel Bendayan, Member of Parliament for the riding of Outremont; Jean Choquette, Director of Strategic Planning at Polytechnique Montréal; Sarah Dorner, Professor in the Department of Civil, Geological and Mining Engineering at Polytechnique Montréal; François Bertrand, Senior Vice-President and Vice-President, Academic and Research at Polytechnique Montréal; Danika Goosney, Vice-President, Research Grants and Scholarships Directorate, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC); the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, federal Minister of Science and Sport; Annie Ross, Associate Director, Academic and Research Directorate, and head of the Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Research at Polytechnique Montréal. (Photo: Denis Bernier Photographe)

Learn more

Website of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
Website of the Dimensions: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Canada program
Webite of research and innovation at Polytechnique Montréal (in French only)

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