UHN Foundation IDEA Committee

Purpose statement

Part of University Health Network (UHN), UHN Foundation acknowledges Canada’s history. To help combat persistent injustices, racism and complex inequities within our society, we are committed to evolving our approach to interacting with our communities.

We support the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s calls to action, and we are fundraising for UHN’s Indigenous Health Program. Establishing meaningful partnerships is one way we are engaging our donors, friends and partners to contribute to reconciliation and build capacity with Indigenous communities.

At UHN Foundation, our goal is to create and sustain an environment where all employees are encouraged and supported to bring their whole, authentic selves to work. We strive to foster a culture in which staff feel welcome, safe, respected and valued. Ensuring everyone feels a sense of belonging is central to our mission.

Foundation colleagues are expected to promote inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility (IDEA) when collaborating internally and when interacting with the communities we serve. As progress is made, we will re-evaluate our policies, systems and initiatives around recruitment, hiring, training, mentorship, promotions and education.

We believe staff are empowered and motivated to reach their full potential in an environment that advances IDEA principles. This workplace will enable our organization to continue to thrive and be even more successful in raising funds for research, education and the enhancement of patient care. It is essential that staff at all levels of the Foundation take an active role in executing this vision.

Definitions

Inclusion: In the workplace, inclusion refers to the act of creating a culture that makes employees feel accepted, respected and valued. This culture strives for equity, and embraces and supports differences. It is rooted in intentional, continued efforts to ensure diverse employees are encouraged to fully participate in all facets of work. An “inclusive” organization is diverse, but a “diverse” organization may not be inclusive.

Diversity: Diversity is the ways in which people differ from one another and encompasses all of the characteristics that make them unique. These include, but are not limited to, age, ability, education, ethnicity, gender, geography, language, marital status, national origin, physical appearance, race, religion, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status. A diverse organization evaluates and questions its composition, striving to ensure multiple perspectives are represented.

Equity: Equity is the acknowledgement that not everyone has the same opportunity and that steps must be taken to facilitate this. Equity demands commitment to ongoing action and assessment of policies and practices. Aspects of equity include fair treatment, advancement and access for all employees. Identifying and removing barriers that have historically denied groups of people the ability to fully participate in the workplace are also critical.

Accessibility: In the workplace, accessibility refers to affording equitable access to and representation of all employees along the continuum of human ability and experience. It is the organization’s responsibility to make space for the unique qualities of each person. This involves adhering to the standards defined in the province’s Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act (AODA) and confronting ableism by identifying, eliminating and preventing visible and invisible barriers to opportunity, fulfillment and well-being.

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