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McMaster University is currently taking its second employment equity census to evaluate the diversity of McMaster’s staff and faculty.

The voluntary census is open to all McMaster employees and identifies the representation of five target groups: women, visible minorities, persons with disabilities, Indigenous peoples and LGBTQA2S+ employees.

The census comes three years after the first census, which was taken in 2016 and produced the first employment equity report and led to the development of McMaster’s employment equity framework.

According to the report from the 2016 census, 43.07 per cent of all McMaster staff and faculty participated. Of that 43 per cent, only 2.12 per cent across the institution self-identified as part of the LGBTQA2S+ community.

In a number of high participation-rates groups, less than two per cent per cent identified as Aboriginal, 10.18 per cent indicated they were members of visible minority groups and less than four per cent indicated that they had a disability.

61.93 per cent identified as women.

According to the report, the representation of women was above representation in the overall Canadian labour force statistics, while internal representation of Indigenous individuals and individuals with disabilities fell below them.

The visible minority representation was far below external representation.

One recommendation from the first census was that McMaster form an employment equity implementation team to promote the employment equity framework.

Since 2017, May-Marie Duwai-Sowa, the university’s employment equity specialist, has been working closely with Arig al Shaibah, the associate vice president (Equity and Inclusion), to improve McMaster’s employment equity.

According to Duwai-Sowa, over a thousand faculty members, chairs and directors have undergone training for equitable hiring and recruitment practices. The EEIT will also run Indigenous cultural competency training for many McMaster employees on March 8.

One pilot project that has been implemented by the EEIT is a self-ID survey for interviews within certain faculties, where applicants were asked to identify their background.

“If you have candidates from diverse backgrounds that meet the requirements, there should be no reason why they should not make your long or short list,” Duwai-Sowa said. “The focus is still obviously hiring excellent candidates that meet the bar of excellence and meet the requirements that are in the posting.”

Duwai-Sowa also pointed to McMaster’s efforts to reach applicants from different backgrounds. For example, McMaster is ensuring its jobs are posted on Indigenous Link, a website to help Indigenous communities find employment.

“It is really about making sure our workforce is diverse now so we are meeting the needs of our students because our student population is also diverse,” Duwai-Sowa said.

One key recommendation from the 2016 report yet to be implemented is a systems-wide review of current hiring and retention practices and policies. This is expected to begin soon and be released by the end of 2019.

Noticeably absent from both the 2016 report and the upcoming 2019 employment census is race-specific data.

Many major Canadian universities still do not collect data on the race of their faculty and students.

“We are currently working on incorporating disaggregate breakdowns of radicalized groups and Indigenous peoples for both the employee census, applicant self- ID survey and student self ID survey, which is planned to be initiated this fall,” said Duwai-Sowa.

The equity and inclusion team is hoping to release the results of this year’s employment census in the upcoming fall.

 

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By: Natalie Clark

The definition of “Thrive” is most simply put as “to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances.” This definition embodies the true meaning of McMaster’s first ever Thrive Week, beginning Feb. 4.

Thrive Week is a week-long series of events focusing on improving and maintaining good mental health of students, staff and faculty on campus.

Events include yoga, Zumba, meditation circles, stress management workshops and various panels for students to get information on a variety of topics such as career planning and suicide awareness.  

Although Thrive Week is new to McMaster, the wellness event has been a part of many schools around Canada for the past 10 years.

 

“Thrive began at [University of British Columbia] in 2009 and since then, a number of Canadian colleges and universities have adopted the spirit of Thrive,” mentioned McMaster wellness educator, WilPrakash Fujarczuk.

“The wellness education team decided to join these schools for a number of reasons…  one reason is to connect students to pre-existing services on campus… we know that there are a number of departments that promote mental wellness in ways that may not be so obvious,” said Fujarczuk.

Fujarczuk mentions “Sketching Thursdays” at the McMaster Museum of Art, which is a weekly event that allows students to distance themselves from their devices and work on mindfulness and creative expression.

Thrive Week is intended to promote events similar to “Sketching Thursdays” on campus and add additional resources and events throughout Thrive Week for students to participate in to further their mental health journey.

“Thrive is also an opportunity to bring in community partners to showcase the valuable expertise that Hamilton community resources have to offer,” mentioned Fujarczuk.

Some of the community partners that are taking part in Thrive Week at McMaster include Healing Together Yoga, The AIDS Network and Asian Community AIDS Services.

 

Body Brave, another Hamilton-based organization, will also be taking part in the event to introduce students and staff to their off campus support system. Body Brave’s main purpose is to address the major gaps in resources for eating disorders, raise awareness and reduce the stigma around eating disorders, particularly with those who are over the age of 18.

Kelsea McCready, a McMaster student who holds the position of secretary on the board of directors at Body Brave, mentions the barriers that individuals may face when struggling with an eating disorder and are looking for help.

“Programs within Ontario as a whole have a limited capacity which means that many individuals who are struggling are left on long waitlists without any kind of specialized support,” mentioned McCready.

McCready notes that although Body Brave is not a direct replacement for professional specialized support for eating disorders, the organization offers a variety of affordable treatment programs such as workshops, individual treatment and support groups.

“It is a priority for Body Brave to engage more with the McMaster community as an off-campus support in addition to on-campus services,” said McCready.

Body Brave’s involvement in Thrive Week is important for those who may be suffering from an eating disorder and are wary to seek out support. Thrive Week introduces programs and organizations to the McMaster campus that are similar to Body Brave in order to make these services more accessible to students.

“Given that it’s our first year running Thrive, we are hoping to use it as an opportunity to evaluate programs and build on for future years,” said Fujarczuk.

While Thrive events will only be taking place for a week, the path towards bettering the mental health of the McMaster community needs to be addressed and explored on a consistent basis. Thrive Week is the first step towards shedding light on the services available on-campus and in the community.

 

Thrive Week will be running on campus from Feb. 4 to Feb. 9. More information about the event can be found on the Student Wellness Centre’s website, which includes the Thrive Week schedule and other mental health resources found year-round on campus.

 

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The Canadian Union of Public Employees 3906, the union representing McMaster employees, will hold a strike vote from Oct. 24 to Oct. 26 for all unit two workers, which is comprised of sessional faculty.

A strike vote does not guarantee a strike, but gives the union the blessing to potentially call a strike at later time.

Sessional faculty have had discussions with administration since July. They are mainly concerned with improving job security for sessional faculty.

For more information, visit the CUPE 3906 website.

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Justin Gunter

A familiar face to the McMaster men’s basketball program will take on a new role as the new Head Coach of the Waterloo men’s basketball team. From a spot on the Marauder roster as a guard to a seat on the staff table as assistant coach for several years before being named associate head coach, Justin Gunter has been a key member to the McMaster men’s team. Appearing in three CIS championship games in his time playing in maroon, Gunter was recipient of the team’s Most Valuable Player award the year his team won an OUA championship.

Though very active in the McMaster community, Gunter is also no stranger to the Greater Hamilton Area as he has spent years coaching the Blessed Sacrament rep men’s under-19 basketball program and has also been a coach of the Parkside High School basketball team.

Now, Gunter will assume a new role and will help his Waterloo Warriors team prepare for the regular season. Ending the previous season with six wins and 14 losses, Gunter looks forward to the challenge as he embarks on a new chapter of his career.

Andrew Baillie

With two seasons as video coordinator and assistant coach with the McMaster men’s basketball team under his resume, Andrew Baillie will take on a new role, but one still close to home. His coaching capacity will still take place in Burridge Gym, but this time with the McMaster women’s basketball team. This coming season, Baillie will be the assistant coach under the leadership of head coach Theresa Burns.

As a long-standing member in the Hamilton basketball community, Baillie has coached Ancaster High School and is a teacher and Basketball Academy Director at R.A. Riddell Elementary School. He is also a coach of Blue Star Ontario, a basketball development program.

Andrew Baillie, the new staff addition to the McMaster women’s basketball team will help to improve their last season’s 15-4 conference play record.

Nathan McKibbon

New doors have opened for Nathan McKibbon. As assistant coach with the Marauders last season, McKibbon assisted with player development and video. He will be taking the title of the Mount Royal University women’s basketball head coach, ushering them into their fourth season with the CIS.

McKibbon, a native of Hamilton has a long list of coaching experience and has been working with women’s basketball teams for many years. Among various other teams and clubs, he has worked with Team Ontario, Transway Basketball and St. Mary’s Catholic Secondary School in one basketball capacity or another. This month, McKibbon will be working Team Canada’s Junior Women’s National Team as the Performance Analyst.

With his first season as head coach approaching, McKibbon will help direct the Mount Royal Cougars team in a position of being successful in Canada West.

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