March 9, 2022

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion program team expands

Dimensions staffing update from Office of the Vice-President (Research)
Lauren Remple
Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is committed to making transformational change in how equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility are woven into the research ecosystem. Key to this change is the national Dimensions Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) pilot program.

Dimensions is a unique federal tri-agency program that is designed to recognize Canadian post-secondary institutions that are working to increase research excellence, innovation, and creativity by advancing a more equitable, diverse, inclusive, and accessible institutional environment and embedding EDI across the research ecosystem.

In support of UCalgary’s commitment, Dr. William Ghali, vice president (research), and Dr. Malinda Smith, vice-provost and associate vice-president-research (EDI) and chair of the Dimensions executive committee, have announced a new member of the Dimensions team.

Lauren Remple has been selected as the Dimensions program manager for a one-year term.

Remple joins the Dimensions team after spending seven years in human resources and student services roles at UCalgary. She has over a decade of experience in human resources, Indigenous engagement and EDI and is a proud member of Alexander First Nation. 

“Being part of the university is being part of something larger than yourself,” says Remple. “Every day I start work and think, ‘Maybe we can create something today that will change someone’s life, or the way someone sees the world’.” As program manager, Remple will oversee the operational aspects of Dimensions at UCalgary, and be the first point of contact for inquiries on the program.

Remple will join Smith on the Dimensions executive committee and play a key role in the progress of Dimensions that will lead to the completion of the institution’s Dimensions award application in fall 2022.

Dimensions is based on a Charter with eight principles, which UCalgary committed to and signed in 2019. Following a national competition, UCalgary was then selected as one of 17 post-secondary institutions to participate in the Dimensions pilot program.

Key to Dimensions is its recognition scheme, which builds on and extends international equity initiatives like Athena SWAN in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and SEA Change in the United States.

Unlike EDI programs in other countries, the Dimensions EDI initiative is inclusive of, but not limited to, the Canadian employment equity designated groups including women, Indigenous Peoples, visible/racialized persons, persons with disabilities, as well as LGBTQ2S+ persons.

“Dimensions is ambitious in its vision to foster transformational change, to advance research excellence, innovation and creative inquiry,” says Smith. “It does so on the one hand by removing obstacles and barriers that impede an equitable and inclusive academy and research ecosystem; and on the other hand, by proactively working to create equitable pathways and access to research funding and embed EDI throughout the research process. This includes research questions, design, methodology and data collection, analysis and interpretation, and the dissemination of results.”

"We cannot be complacent in our institutional efforts to improve equity, diversity and inclusion at UCalgary. Similarly, we must continue in our Indigenous engagement journey,” says Ghali. “Expansion of the Dimensions team is key to ensuring we are working toward tangible, positive change. Lauren will support UCalgary’s efforts to deepen our commitment to EDI, accessibility, and Indigenous engagement across the research ecosystem.”

Remple is excited by the importance and possibilities of the EDI work and journey ahead.

“The possibilities that excite me the most are looking at knowledge in a different way,” says Remple. “For so long, what we perceive as ‘knowledge’ has been created by a small group of people, and Dimensions will expand that. We can think about what knowledge is, who creates it, and learn about concepts offered by many different viewpoints.”

Those wishing to get involved with Dimensions steering committee or the Equitable Pathways working groups can visit the Dimensions web page for more information.