A year-end update from the Vice-President, People, Equity and Inclusion

December 19, 2022

It’s been an unbelievably busy year for the newly formed people, equity and inclusion portfolio—a key group of employees that collaborate and partner with our community every day to shape and transform the people experience and advance our equity commitments at SFU.

Bringing a team together is no small feat and we are proud of the steps forward we are already taking. In early June, I outlined two major priorities for the people strategies portfolio, and a number of initial initiatives we would take on. I’m excited to share that we are making progress toward these goals and our plans to develop and launch the Equity Compass and the People Plan by the end of our fiscal year/March 2023 are well underway.

To celebrate the portfolio’s accomplishments and provide transparency and clarity on our work, I wanted to share a few highlights as we wrap up the year. This is also part of our commitment to sharing more frequent updates as we progress and move forward.

People Strategies Priorities (Human Resources/Labour Relations and People/Organization Development)

  • Labour Relations:
    • Bargaining preparation and launch with all employee groups.
    • Hired a labour relations director and assistant to improve supports to employee groups.
    • Continued focus on renewing relationships with employee groups through taking action to deliver on priority projects and agreements.
  • New programs: 
    • The review and refresh of our hybrid work program pilot is underway with further improvements to be shared in 2023 that will confirm SFU as a hybrid work environment and stabilize the program for long-term success. 
    • Delivered a revamped new employee orientation and continued revising and improving the process throughout the year in response to participants’ feedback.
    • We have initiated work on a well-being strategy. 
    • Re-design of the job evaluation service model, and successfully tackled a large backlog of job evaluation requests. Improvements to our job evaluation service model will be launched in fiscal 2023. 
  • Tools and resources:

Equity Office Priorities

  • Thank you to everyone who contributed to the conversations around the framework for the Equity Compass. Over the past few months, we have hosted 28 roundtable discussions and gathered over 2,000 written comments. Work has begun on developing the Equity Compass and a draft will launch in the next year for community feedback. 
  • To support our response to B.C.’s Accessibility Act, an accessibility steering group is developing recommendations and an accessibility committee will launch in the spring. 
  • The EDI data taskforce was launched and a demographic census is expected to launch in the spring.
  • We also launched the Community of Practice for Equity Practitioners at SFU. This community of practice will reduce duplication of work and allow for idea and information sharing on equity programs across all faculties and departments at SFU.  

Faculty Relations Priorities

  • A new faculty orientation was hosted and all faculty hired in the past two years were invited to attend, sharing key institutional information and faculty-specific supports. 
  • The team continues to improve and streamline administrative processes, create new tools and resources, and provide unparalleled support and counsel to faculty members.
  • We are continuing to work on recruiting key leadership positions for the Faculty Relations portfolio. Finding the right fit is a priority and we look forward to onboarding these roles in the new year. 

Our foundational frameworks, programs and initiatives will align closely with the SFU What’s Next strategic plan, vision and values and guide SFU’s actions toward building a better community where faculty, staff and students can thrive. 

I cannot wait to share more with you in 2023. 

Until then, wishing you all a restful holiday season,  

Yabome Gilpin-Jackson, PhD
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Vice-President, People, Equity and Inclusion
Simon Fraser University