Equity, Diversity, Inclusion

Definitions and concepts

Reference: https://www.ulaval.ca/equite-diversite-inclusion/concepts-cles-en-edi 


Equity is an approach to treating each individual, and each historically disadvantaged group, fairly, taking into account the particular characteristics of their situation in order to place them on an equal footing with the majority group. It is opposed to the systematic application of a standard without considering the differences and diversity of society. Recognizing that the social structure has differential effects for the majority group compared to under-represented groups, this approach aims to correct this imbalance and ensure that all individuals are entitled to the same benefits (equal opportunity) by considering the particular characteristics of their situation. 


A term often used to refer to the differences, or similarities, between individuals within a group or organization. Socio-demographic characteristics are commonly used to distinguish one from another; for example, gender, sex, ethnicity, origin, physical appearance, religion or beliefs, values, age, education, language and/or sexual orientation. Individuals with socio-demographic characteristics different from the majority group are likely to offer diverse and complementary opinions, ideas, work and life experiences, skills, and knowledge. 


Through actions and measures, create an environment that welcomes, respects and values diversity so that all members of its community feel that they have a place, can contribute, and can receive recognition for that contribution. If their particular situation requires it, the organization accompanies them and offers them measures to promote their well-being and fulfillment. It is a sustained commitment to welcoming, integrating, accompanying, and advancing. 

Underrepresented groups: 

In terms of equity, underrepresented groups are discriminated against groups that face systemic barriers in their daily lives, including in the areas of education and employment. 


In recognizing the importance of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) issues, the CERMA and CRMR leadership have established a joint EDI Committee (hereafter “Committee”) to discuss the extent of these issues within the research centers and what actions should be taken to eliminate inequities present in both centers. The Committee will aim to be as representative as possible of the diversity of the two centers. Nevertheless, in order to make the Committee’s action sustainable and as effective as possible, the coordinators of the CRMR and CERMA will take charge of all administrative tasks arising from the Committee’s initiatives (drafting of documentation, link with the University, data analysis, organization of activities, follow-up of the action plan, etc.). The other members of the Committee will act in an advisory capacity at all stages of the process. It will also be possible for those who wish to do so to give more time and participate in administrative tasks, but this time investment is not mandatory to be part of the Committee. 


The mandate of the Committee is to positively influence the executive committees of the two centers to integrate EDI principles into the operations of the centers, to promote these principles to their members, and to raise awareness of systemic biases that may be detrimental to the development of members. Committee members become ambassadors of EDI best practices. The Committee has the authority to form sub-committees or initiative teams to carry out specific mandates and may invite any persons it deems useful to accomplish its work. 


The Committee aims to be as representative as possible of the diverse realities of the members of the two centers in order to promote a plurality of thinking and opinions during the exchanges. We want the Committee to be as representative as possible of the diversity of the two centers, whether in terms of cultural diversity, age, gender, capacity, status, etc. It is composed of any interested member, be they students, professors, post-doctoral researchers, administrative, technical or research staff of CERMA and the CRMR who wish to participate in the discussions. 

Specific objectives 

  • Raise awareness of EDI within the center community 
  • Provide tools and/or referrals to appropriate resources for members who are experiencing injustice, discrimination, harassment, and aggression in their efforts to denounce them. 
  • To review the operating procedures of the centers in order to eliminate systemic discrimination that may affect the under-represented groups of CERMA and the CRMR in any way 
  • Foster an inclusive and safe environment in the centers to eliminate any sense of exclusion experienced by underrepresented groups in CERMA and the CRMR  
  • To promote and assist in the development of an EDI culture within CERMA and the CRMR 


The EDI Committee’s strategy for launching its work will be to first understand the diversity of the two centers and the priority issues for its members, and to find solutions to ensure that all members feel included in their research center(s). This strategy will therefore be done in phases: 

  1. Survey the members through different means (focus groups, anonymous written survey, etc.) to draw a picture of the different groups present and the climate within CERMA and the CRMR. 
  2. Propose an action plan and a code of conduct. 
  3. Implement the action plan. 
  4. Regularly evaluate the action plan measures and redirect them as needed. 

CERMA and the CRMR surveyed their members in order to get a picture of the diversity and the work/study climate of the two research centers. This survey was the first step in developing an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) action plan. The participation in this survey was voluntary and anonymous. Those interested in responding could either do so online or by filling out a paper document. The syrvey took approximately 20 minutes to be completed. Ultimately, the responses will be used to better refer members to available resources and to improve practices and the work or study environment within the centers.

Responses are currently being analyzed.

See here for the PDF file of the English EDI Survey.