Equity Diversity & Inclusion

What is Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)?

  1. Equity: Ensuring that everyone is given equal access to resources and opportunities to utilize their skills and talents
    • Identifying and removing long-standing, structural barriers to success
    • Understanding that people have different levels of disadvantage and privilege
    • Recognizing that, because not everyone starts from the same place, treating people equally may not equate to treating everyone the same

    Equity is not always Equality as demonstrated below. You wouldn’t expect people of different heights to reach the same shelf without a stool to even the height differences. Similarly, not everyone has the same opportunities or advantages throughout life.

This graph illustrates the difference between equity and equality. However, as a metaphor for building true equity and inclusion in science it is rather lacking. Click here for a more in-depth discussion of these types of graphics or to build your own!

2. Diversity: The sum of the ways that people are both alike and different. When we recognize, value, and embrace diversity, we are recognizing, valuing, and embracing the uniqueness of each individual.

  • Having a diverse community, with people from a broad range of backgrounds represented in all areas and at all levels

3. Inclusion: An environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully.

  • Individuals are valued for their distinctive skills, experiences, and perspectives
  • A sense of belonging that is respectful of people for who they are as individuals and within a team
  • Feeling supported to enable us to do our best

Adapted from Ridley-Duff et al. “Methodology for Creating a FairShares Lab”

What can we do?

To examine and promote EDI in the BMB Department we formed an EDI committee composed of undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, staff and faculty. By having representation from each level of the BMB Department we aim to accomplish the following broad goals.

  1. Establish and review departmental policy around EDI-related issues
  2. Formulate procedures to respond to incidences of discrimination and marginalization 
  3. Seek opportunities to promote EDI in our department and the UBC community

Step 1. What kinds of EDI-related issues should we focus on?

To identify areas of strength and areas that need improvement within the department in terms of EDI, we conducted a series of surveys and peer-run focus groups. Both faculty and staff completed online surveys and undergraduates, graduate students and postdocs participated in focus groups. Each focus group included 3-5 members of the target group and consisted of a peer facilitated set of EDI related discussion topics. We would like to thank all of the participants for helping us identify topics areas in which to focus our future EDI efforts. These discussions directly shaped our departmental EDI Action Plan and will guide our work over the next several years.

Results of the BMB 2021 ISAT Assessment: BMB 2021 ISAT Aggregate Results

Step 2. Develop an EDI Action Plan

In collaboration with the UBC EDI Office and the FoM REDI program we developing a departmental EDI Action Plan aimed at addressing EDI related topics identified in our surveys and focus groups.

The main objects of the Action Plan are as follows:

Objective 1: Build a deeper sense of EDI focused culture and community within the BMB Department

Objective 2: Incorporate EDI into our curriculum and teaching practices

Objective 3: Increase EDI focused mentorship and training opportunities

Objective 4: Increase and support representation of diverse groups within the department at all levels

Step 3. Implement our EDI Action Plan

Upcoming BMB EDI Events & Programs

Fall 2021 UBC EDI Work-Learn Project for Equity Seeking Undergraduates

This project is currently under development and will begin in fall 2021 in a pilot phase. Stay tuned for more information and to participate!

Recent Past BMB EDI Events

If you have any feedback for this page or comments/suggestions for the EDI committee, please fill out the feedback form here.