Equity & Diversity

UVic is committed to upholding the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion in our living, learning and work environments. We know that diversity underpins excellence, and that we all share responsibility for creating an equitable, diverse and inclusive community. We recognize that many of the identities of members of groups with historical and/or current barriers to equity intersect and that therefore, equity, diversity and inclusion can be complex. We value the contributions that each person brings, and are committed to ensuring full and equal participation for all in our community.

Chem EDI mission statement

The Chemistry Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (Chem EDI) committee is a supportive and educational committee in the Department of Chemistry. We champion causes related to EDI in the department for undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff and researchers in faculty research groups.

Chem EDI process for listening to concerns

We are here to listen to your concerns about EDI issues in the Department of Chemistry. We can provide information about the support services available to you at the University of Victoria and help you engage with these processes.

To get in touch, you can send us an  or contact one of the committee members below. We aim to respond within 3 working days to liaise with you to find a way to listen to your concern and help you access relevant support services. You may also contact the EQHR office directly to raise concerns, both informally and formally. The flow chart below shows further information about these options.

We value confidentiality, fairness, and professionalism in our interactions with you. All matters discussed with Chem EDI members will be kept confidential unless you give us explicit permission to disclose, or unless the matter falls under exceptional circumstances covered by University of Victoria policies. You can find more information about how the Chem EDI committee operates in our Terms of Reference and Code of Conduct. Please contact the Chem EDI Chair for further information.

If you need immediate assistance regarding an EDI concern, please contact:

  • Campus Security (emergency, open 24 hours a day): 250-721-7599
  • Crisis Phone Support for BC (open 24 hours a day): 1-866-661-3311

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Who we are

We are currently searching for new members to join the Chem EDI committee, please contact us for information regarding the application process (very straightforward), your role on the committee (very important) and the time commitment required (not too much!). 

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, faculty member and Chair of Chem EDI. Katherine (she/her) has years of experience of being a “woman in science”, and of how being a member of an underrepresented group creates an extra burden to being able to learn and do research in scientific environments. She joined Chem EDI to advocate for changes that remove these barriers so that everyone can feel safe and included in the Department of Chemistry.

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, faculty member. Fraser (he/his) joined Chem EDI because he believes in helping all kinds of people to find and achieve their own greatness, and he knows that it takes work by all kinds of people to create the positive spaces in which that can happen.

 image , postdoctoral researcher. Stefania (she/her) believes that joining Chem EDI gives her the chance to contribute actively to a committee that plays a role in building a fairer working and research environment and in promoting events to increase diversity within the department. The organization of meetings, networking, and events are essential to creating and preserving safe work practices. If the workplace is diverse, it is easier for underrepresented groups to be included. Being able to speak without fear is the key to all changes.
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, graduate student. Alex (she/her) joined Chem EDI because she has worked in many industries where she felt like she spent half her time doing her actual work and half her time fighting to be taken seriously for it. She wants to bring her prior experiences and use them to make sure that those that follow in her footsteps get to spend their time how they see fit, without the fight to feel included in spaces they deserve to be in. 

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, undergraduate student. Sarah (she/her) joined Chem EDI to grow her education and awareness of equity in her department. She hopes to help create a safe and fair community for her peers and herself as an undergraduate student.

 

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Food for thought

  • Lisa Willis is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta. Lisa has also designed InclusiveSTEM, which is a literature-based and data-driven series of lectures and workshops about EDI in science. Lisa gave two public lectures at the University of Victoria in February 2021. See below for recordings of her lectures entitled “Top 10 Strategies to Fix the Problem of Bias and Discrimination in STEM” and “Writing Effective EDI Statements”.


  • Paul Walton is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of York in the UK. He lectures worldwide about gender equality, and gave a public lecture at the University of Victoria on the 4th of October 2019. See below for a recording of his lecture entitled “Gender equality in science: Why is it taking so long?”.

Other UVic resources

Other useful links in addition to those under “UVic community resources” and “Student support services”:

  • We acknowledge with respect the Lekwungen peoples on whose traditional territory the University of Victoria stands, and the Songhees, Esquimalt and WSÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day. UVic's first Indigenous plan builds on our longstanding commitment to and relationships with Indigenous communities, both local and national.
  • The First People’s House currently offers a social, cultural and academic centre for Indigenous students at UVic and serves as a safe and welcoming place that encourages the building of community.
  • The Equity and Human Rights Office provides leadership in the development of plans, policies and procedures which support UVic's organizational and legislative commitments to provide equitable access to and participation in employment and educational opportunities.
  • The Office of the Vice-President Academic and Provost supports units in creating welcoming and diverse learning, teaching and working environments. The page lists a number of resources for faculty, staff and students.
  • Counselling Services offer free professional, confidential, inclusive support to currently registered UVic students, including individual counselling, groups and workshops.
  • The International Office supports international students at UVic. The International Commons welcomes you, answers your questions, and provides academic programs and resources to support student success.
  • The Office of Indigenous Academic & Community Engagement supports the success of Indigenous students attending UVic, connecting students with educational, financial and cultural resources on campus and in local communities.
  • In case of a conflict situation with a staff or faculty member, students have access to free consultation with the Office of the Ombudsperson, which advocates fair procedures and offers information and guidance on students' rights & responsibilities, and UVic regulations & procedures.
  • The Centre for Accessible Learning provides information about and support with academic accommodations. Their trained staff will help you to plan for success in your degree.
  • Student Mental Health supports positive student mental health and well-being, offering numerous resources, supports and opportunities.
  • The University of Victoria Students’ Society and the UVic Graduate Students' Society provides advocacy, representation, services, and events for its members.