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Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Gender bias is undermining our social fabric and devalues all of us. It is not just a human rights issue; it is a tremendous waste of the world’s human potential. By denying women equal rights, we deny half the population a chance to live life at its fullest. Political, economic and social equality for women will benefit all the world’s citizens. Together we can eradicate prejudice and work for equal rights and respect for all.

How SFU is contributing

Our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion

SFU is committed to creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive community where all feel welcome, safe, accepted and appreciated in learning, teaching, research and work. We are privileged to do this work on the unceded, traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), q̓íc̓əy̓ (Katzie), kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem), Qayqayt, Kwantlen, Semiahmoo and Tsawwassen peoples.

Universities like SFU originate from eurocentrism, colonialism and bureaucracies that reinforce systems of power and privilege and leave many on the margins. These systemic barriers prevent individuals from feeling accepted, from being their true selves and from accessing the resources and privileges that can make the university experience such a transformative one. 

Though there are strengths to build on, SFU must take further steps to dismantle these structures and systems as we journey towards building a more inclusive, diverse and equitable community. In order to make change, the university is committed to continual growth, action and accountability in its practices and policies. Read about the history and context of EDI efforts at SFU and see a summary of compiled recommendations.

Read more about the history and context of EDI at SFU

SFU’S VALUES

  • We are an open, inclusive university whose foundation is intellectual and academic freedom. 

  • Our scholarship unites teaching and research: we celebrate discovery, diversity and dialogue.

  • Our students and communities can expect teaching that is personal and learning opportunities that are lifelong.

  • We champion the liberal arts and sciences and pioneering interdisciplinary and professional programs.

  • We are a university where risks can be taken and bold initiatives embraced. 

Upon these foundations, we will engage all our communities in building a robust and ethical society. 

Learn more about SFU’s EDI priorities and commitments.

Engagement

SIMON FRASER STUDENT SOCIETY Women’s Centre inspires social awareness, campus connections for all

The Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) Women’s Centre—located on the second floor of SFU’s Student Union Building—is bustling and warm. It is a governing group of student volunteers, that oversees the centre’s policies and assesses the needs and wants of the student body. With a focus on pro-feminist, sex-positive, trans and intersex inclusive, pro-choice and anti-racist values, the centre provides education, resources and fosters a sense of community on campus. Read more

SOUL Mentorship Program—Young Women in Business

The Supporting our University Leaders (SOUL) Mentorship Program provides an interactive learning environment for SFU’s female leaders while focusing on facilitated growth and relationship building within SFU as well as the broader professional community. Read more

SFU Women in Engineering, Science and Technology—Scholarship programs

SFU Women in Engineering, Science and Technology (WEST) is an umbrella organization endorsed by the SFU Deans of Science and Applied Sciences to help unify and connect the various clubs, organizations and groups for women in science disciplines at SFU. SFU WEST provides various award and scholarship opportunities. There are a number of awards and scholarship opportunities available that include, but are not limited to: Florence Sully Bursary for Women in STEM; Judith and John Bursary for Women in Applied Sciences; Beedie Family Women in Finance Award; and much more. Read more

Outreach programs for SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND MATH (STEM)

The SFU STEM Outreach Collective provides and collaborates on several programs that engage in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The current members of the STEM Outreach Collective are below:

  • Westcoast Women in Engineering, Science and Technology (WWEST) works regionally—and in conjunction with other CWSE Chairs, nationally—on policy, research, advocacy, facilitation and pilot programs that support women in science and engineering.  

  • Girls Exploring Physics is an initiative from the Department of Physics that provides workshops to girls in grade 9 and 10.  

  • Go CODE Girl is provided by the Faculty of Applied Sciences and invites girls (grades 7-10) to learn about the world of computer sciences.

Research, teaching and learning

SFU Linguistics Professor Maite Taboada and her team played a vital role in the development of the Informed Opinions Gender Gap Tracker, powered by SFU.

Facts and figures

  • 435 research publications related to SDG 5 in 2017-2021 (source: SciVal)

  • 98 active research projects related to SDG 5 funded between 2016-2020

  • 15 courses that relate to SDG 5, representing 1,312 students, offered between the 2018/19 - 2020/21 academic years

  • At least 953 researchers involved in research relating to SDG (source: SFU's Research Expertise Engine)

Operations

Yabome Gilpin Jackson, SFU's inaugural vice-president, people, equity and inclusion.

126 new spaces—Childcare Facilities at SFU

UniverCity is exploring options to significantly increase the number of childcare spaces to tackle the challenge of longer waitlists in accessing childcare for SFU’s students, staff and faculty.  Along with creating 126 new spaces, Childcare Facilities also takes part in the Affordable Childcare Benefit and Childcare Fee Reduction Initiative. This move will mitigate future maintenance costs, ensure long-term continuity of quality and affordable care, free up land in the residence precinct, and reduce waitlists in support of our degree completion and EDI goals. Read more

Diversity Meter

In November 2019, SFU’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) initiative launched its first Diversity Meter, a survey designed to help us better understand and serve the unique faculty and staff of our community. The results of this survey have been summarized in a report by the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI) and are now available to view. Read more

Inclusion Benefits Us All

We are sharing tools, resources and actions that each of us take to help create a campus environment where everyone feels safe, welcome and included. Read more

Scarborough Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black inclusion in Canadian Higher Education

SFU is one of more than 40 universities and colleges across Canada that have officially signed the Scarborough Charter, vowing to redress anti-Black racism and foster Black inclusion in higher education. Read more

Reconciliation at SFU

To date, SFU has: expanded it’s Indigenous Student Centre; worked with Indigenous students, faculty and local First Nations on the design and soon to be construction of a First Peoples’ Gathering House (FPGH); added a minor program for the Indigenous Language Project; and more. Furthermore, SFU has a number of actions that are actively being worked on. SFU has produced Reconciliation reports, along with a more detailed list of significant actions to date and current actions being worked towards. Read more