Significant uptake

Jan 14th, 2021

Melissa Watton

Significant uptake

Memorial faculty, staff and retirees have been availing themselves of webinars offered by the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI) in record numbers.

Memorial University has been an employer partner with the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion since June 2020.Of the more than 350 CCDI employer partners across Canada, Memorial had the highest webinar participation rate for 2020.

Memorial’s participation rate is particularly noteworthy considering the university signed on as a CCDI employer partner only six months ago.

A month prior to Memorial officially signing on as an employer partner, Memorial employees and retirees were offered the opportunity to attend CCDI webinars as guests.

In total, 661 Memorial employees and retirees registered for the live webinars. The most popular webinars covered the topics of unconscious bias and cultural competence. Some of the other webinar topics included combatting tokenism, measurements of success and starting the conversation about mental health at work.

"With today’s global reach, it is important to be aware of any unconscious bias that could impact our diverse university community.”

-- Cheryl Whitten

Cheryl Whitten, associate director, Department of Financial and Administrative Services, was one of Memorial’s webinar participants.

“With today’s global reach, it is important to be aware of any unconscious bias that could impact our diverse university community, whether it be staff, faculty and students,” she said. “Inclusive leadership is important and the seminars provided information and strategies to increase and fine-tune my knowledge base.”

Michael Bach, founder and CEO, CCDI, is impressed with Memorial’s participation.

“CCDI is delighted to see how Memorial University’s faculty and staff have embraced the resources available to them to enhance their personal development in the areas of equity, diversity and inclusion,” he said.

“With more than 350 employer partners across Canada, Memorial is the highest user of our live webinars. Well done!”

Committee support

Memorial’s Employment Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee (EEDAC) co-chaired by Stephen Dodge, director, Department of Human Resources, and Ian McKinnon, associate director (acting), Office of Faculty Relations, arranged the CCDI partnership.

“Last spring, EEDAC explored and supported Memorial becoming a CCDI employer partner,” said Mr. McKinnon.

“The goal of the partnership was to provide members of the university community with access to comprehensive employment equity, diversity and inclusion resources. I believe Memorial’s uptake of these webinars is reflective of the appetite for this type of information within our university community.”

Webinar information

CCDI has a number of new webinars planned for 2021 covering a range of topics.

“A list of the sessions taking place this winter, as well as registration information, has been posted to the news section of the Human Resources website,” said Mr. Dodge. “I encourage everyone to view the list and consider signing up for one. Also, if there isn’t a webinar currently offered that interests you, please check back as the department will be adding the summer and fall webinar information later this year.”

Individuals with questions about accessing the webinars or who require accommodations, such as American sign language interpreting or real-time captioning, are asked to contact Tina Hickey, employment equity officer, Human Resources.


The Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion is a national charity that promotes diversity and inclusion with the goal of helping organizations realize their equity and diversity objectives.

As a result of the university’s relationship with CCDI, Memorial employees have access to CCDI monthly webinars, newsletters and e-library that has more than 1,000 documents containing Canadian-specific and international diversity and inclusion research, reports, toolkits and news.

A repository of recorded CCDI webinars is also available. Please visit here for information about accessing these sessions.