Equity, Diversity and Inclusion luncheon at CAN2019

Embedding Equity, Delivering Diversity, Saving Science

Thursday May 23, 12PM to 1:30PM

Diversity is well established as a driver of creativity and innovation and we hear a lot about embracing diversity as core principle that adds value to our society and our future economic development.  However, Canada does not have a national strategy for equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in science and continues to focus heavily on duplicative programming that targets under-represented groups despite data that suggest this approach is not a solution. In contrast, the UK and Australia have introduced approaches that hold institutions accountable for recognizing and removing barriers to EDI in science and creating cultures and contexts that support and encourage diversity and equity.  In some cases, an increase in quality and quantity of scientific output (by traditional metrics) can be measured suggesting that embedding equity and delivering diversity can lead to better science.  Thus, Canadian science, at all levels, must move to incorporate evidence-based policy changes that address organizational, institutional, structural & systemic barriers to full EDI.  We must use both quantitative and qualitative data to inform policy and process, and the gate-keepers and power-brokers for science-pathways and careers (often white, middle-aged, middle-class, straight men) must be included and they must engage with transformative systemic change. We need leadership, education, intentionality, accountability and courage.   Canada has an opportunity to harness the strength we have in our diversity and remain competitive with the best in the world in science.  There is no other option.

Speaker Bio:

Imogen Coe

Imogen Coe

Dr. Imogen R. Coe received her B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Exeter, and came to Canada as an international graduate student, completing an M.Sc. (1987) and PhD (1992) at the University of Victoria, B.C.  She completed postdoctoral fellowships in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and at the University of Alberta.  She was recruited to York University in 1997 and subsequently served as Chair, Department of Biology and then Associate Dean, Research, in the Faculty of Science.

In 2012, she was recruited as the founding dean of the Faculty of Science at Ryerson University.  She is also a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biology at Ryerson University and an affiliate scientist in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, Keenan Research Centre at St. Michael’s Hospital, where her research lab is currently located. She is a cell biologist whose research, which has been supported over the last 20 years by NSERC, CIHR, NCIC, and others, focuses on the basic biology of a class of drug transport proteins and their roles in clinical settings.

In addition to her scientific and administrative roles, Dr. Coe has written and spoken extensively on the issue of equity, diversity and inclusivity in STEM in Canada, nationally and internationally and is a sought after speaker and advisor in this area. She serves on a number of boards and advisory councils. In the fall of 2016, she was recognized by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) as one of Canada’s Top 100 Women, in the Trailblazer category, for her advocacy work in promoting equity in STEM.

Visit her website on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: https://www.ryerson.ca/edistem/about/



12:00 – 12:15 Introduction and Survey Results by Dr. Lisa Saksida
12:15- 12:20Introduction for Dr. Imogen Coe, Professor, Founding Dean, Faculty of Science, Ryerson University


by Dr. Jibran Khokhar

12:20 – 13:10Dr. Imogen Coe

“Embedding Equity, Delivering Diversity, Saving Science”

13:10 –  13:25Questions for Dr. Imogen Coe and moderated open discussion by Dr. Jibran Khokhar
13:25 – 13:30Summarize discussion and directions for CAN