Andrea Carter, Sandra Carnegie-Douglas, Marilou Thompson, Justin Charles and Tricia Patel are among the equity office staff members who ensure that U of T's policies are inclusive and equitable. (Photo by Caz Zyvatkauskas)

University of Toronto named Top Diversity Employer for 2012

Fifth consecutive year U of T is recognized

The University of Toronto’s focus on diversity has earned national recognition as the university has been named a Top Diversity Employer for the fifth consecutive year.

Canada’s Best Diversity Employers competition recognizes employers with exemplary diversity and workplace inclusiveness programs involving women, members of visible minorities, persons with disabilities, Aboriginal peoples and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered/transsexual and queer (LGBTQ) employees.

The competition is run by Mediacorp in partnership with The Globe and Mail, with assistance from diversity consulting firm TWI, Inc. Winners were announced Feb. 21.

“The University of Toronto’s commitment to equity and diversity in all forms begins at the top with the inclusion of these issues in the portfolio of the vice-president of human resources and equity,” said Rosie Parnass, director of U of T’s Organizational Development and Learning Centre and chair of the committee that submitted the application. “When leadership is committed to equity, programs and initiatives that support this institutional value are not only welcomed, but expected.”

U of T continually seeks opportunities to promote inclusiveness and diversity. The many initiatives undertaken in the past year include:

• Putting Women on the Map, an online self-guided tour of spaces with current and historical meaning for women at the University of Toronto – an initiative of the University’s Status of Women Office for International Women’s Day;

• Accessibility Awards highlighting members of the University of Toronto community who embody the spirit of accessibility on campus;

• The third annual seminar series “Convergence on Mental Health in the Workplace” designed to enhance the knowledge and skill sets of managers responding to mental health in the workplace with particular emphasis on accommodations;

• U of T began providing employment equity statistics to divisions engaged in academic recruitment using the University's online application process called UTORecruit. This allows the search committee to assess the diversity of their applicant pool and will allow them to target future job advertising towards specific underrepresented groups;

• The Sexual and Gender Diversity Office established the Queer U of T Employee Resource Group. More than 90 employees from all three campuses attended the most recent meeting. The employee resource group is an informal network of employees providing members with opportunities to meet, network and build community;

• The Employment Equity Office focused on Aboriginal recruitment and new graduate recruitment by holding mock interviews with graduating Aboriginal students to assist them in refining their job seeking skills.

“Examples such as these indicate the breadth of our efforts to promote diversity and inclusivity, but they are only a small sample of the initiatives undertaken at U of T each year,” said Professor Angela Hildyard, vice-president (human resources and equity). “As one of the most diverse universities in North America, we are constantly seeking ways to ensure that all employees have an opportunity to flourish.

“An award of this nature is a tribute to the commitment shown by staff and faculty in every division to ensuring our workplace is a diverse and equitable one.”

U of T was recognized earlier this year as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers.

To learn more about the university’s commitment to equity, diversity and excellence, visit



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