Recognized as one of Montreal's Top Employers (2022):
Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 14, 2022)
Here are some of the reasons why Concordia University was selected as one of Montreal's Top Employers (2022):
- Concordia University maintains a generous time-off policy to enable employees to take time for themselves, offering a minimum of four weeks of starting vacation allowance for most employees as well as paid time off during the summer and winter months
- Concordia University helps employees plan securely for the future with contributions to a defined benefit pension plan and health benefits that extend to retirees (with no age limit and up to 85 per cent premium coverage)
- Concordia University honours exceptional performance and achievement through an extensive recognition program with awards in a variety of categories, including sustainability champion, safety recognition, volunteer recognition, teaching excellence, academic leadership, research and innovation
Concordia sees inclusion as a call to action
Since joining the Equity Office at Concordia University last fall, Bofta Weldetnsae has observed a sense of urgency and determination to put in the work pertaining to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and do right by every member of the university’s community.
As an equity advisor, Weldetnsae works with students on all EDI matters as well as advising faculty and staff on equity issues related to the student experience and supporting them in their own EDI issues.
“As somebody who’s lived in Montréal for several years, and been active in community spaces and the equity world, I’m seeing a genuine commitment on the part of Concordia and in all corners to strive for a higher standard,” says Weldetnsae. “The work happening on campus to create a more equitable experience for students, faculty and staff is transformative. I’m really proud to be part of this team.”
Concordia created a President’s Task Force on Anti-Black Racism and launched an Equity Office and a Black Perspectives Office in 2020, in the midst of the pandemic and at a time of worldwide demands for immediate action to confront and dismantle forms of institutional racism. The Equity Office is also informed by the work of other leaders such as the Office of Indigenous Directions, the Access Centre for Students with Disabilities, the Centre for Gender Advocacy and the Black Perspectives Office.
“I’ve been part of many conversations with different departments, meeting with professors and staff who recognize how important this work is,” says Weldetnsae. “Their focus and questions are mainly about how they can put EDI into practice in their classrooms or offices.
“The Equity Office is working on developing a suite of targeted programming for all community members. An example of this includes the current offerings for staff and faculty on embedding EDI in our hiring practices and committees, to make sure that it plays a central role as Concordia continues to strive towards inclusive excellence,” she says.
“The fact that EDI is being formalized in a very intentional way is important because this sort of institutional backing holds a lot of weight.”
With a community of 60,000 students, faculty and staff from over 150 countries, Concordia has always been a university that prides itself on its extraordinary diversity and inclusivity, says president Graham Carr.
“The actions we’re trying to take are to give that even more visibility and prominence as part of who we are,” he says. “We’re making it very clear in our recruitment that this commitment to equity, diversity, inclusivity and to accessibility is fundamental for us – including promoting equity and diversity within our ranks of employees.
“We really believe diversity is an important ingredient in allowing us to be more innovative,” says Carr. “If you have different perspectives around the table to talk through issues, you’ll end up making better decisions. For us, our Equity Diversity Inclusion Action Plan isn’t just about ticking off boxes to say where we are representative. It’s about valuing that representation in a way that’s going to make us a better organization and a more innovative place to work.”
Going forward, Carr would like to focus on nurturing and encouraging employees within the organization who represent diverse communities and identities to take on new responsibilities.
“There’s a proactivity piece to that, in terms of working with individuals coming from diverse backgrounds, who may not see role models that look like them within the institution as it currently exists,” says Carr. “People need to be able to imagine they can aspire to be a manager or director of administration, or associate dean or university president. It’s about trying to foster that culture of visible inclusion.”