Recognized as one of Hamilton-Niagara's Top Employers (2019):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 20, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why McMaster University was selected as one of Hamilton-Niagara's Top Employers (2019):
- Along with supporting new families with maternity and parental leave top-up payments (varying by employee group), McMaster University helps employees balance their work and personal lives with a variety of alternative work options where possible, such as flexible hours, telecommuting and a compressed work week option
- As an educator, McMaster University encourages ongoing employee development with generous tuition subsidies (to $3,883 annually) for courses taken at McMaster as well as other institutions -- the school also offers a generous academic scholarship program for children of employees who are interested in pursuing post-secondary studies (up to $4,950 per child)
- McMaster University employees can stay healthy with subsidized membership to fully-equipped fitness facilities on campus that feature everything from a swimming pool to indoor rock climbing to hockey to dodgeball, as well as an incredible range of instructor-led classes, from yoga to ballroom dancing to Zumba (and many more)
Recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2019):
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 28, 2019)
Here are some of the reasons why McMaster University was selected as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2019):
- McMaster University organizes a regular brown bag "What Is..." series to address issues on campus from the perspective of equity-seeking groups -- past topics have included "What is Ramadan" and "What is Inclusion from a Jewish Perspective"
- McMaster University established an Employees with Disabilities Network in 2017 to provide peer support, consultation and strategies for workplace accommodation, employment equity, career advancement and accessibility
- McMaster University's human resources and hospitality teams work with Hamilton Immigrant Working Centre to provide employment opportunities and food service skills training for local Syrian refugees and underprivileged community members -- and is partnering with the Centre and Mohawk College to further create awareness of available employment opportunities
Diversity is part of McMaster University's success
With a full-time student population of more than 31,000 coming from Canada and 113 other countries around the world, as well as more than 7,500 local, national and global faculty and staff, McMaster University takes diversity seriously.
In fact, it is that diversity of backgrounds, talents and ideas that has helped keep McMaster ranked in the top 100 universities in the world - one of only four Canadian universities to consistently earn that honour.
"We want our students to inspire greatness and make it a brighter world, and that starts with understanding and respecting the individuals who make up that world," says May-Marie Duwai-Sowa, Employment Equity Specialist. "We have a responsibility to reflect that in how we teach our students, to make sure they're mindful of the diversity that work entails, that community entails, so that when they go out to work in the community they really embody those values."
McMaster has been doing much work in the area of advancing diversity and inclusion through many different platforms over a number of years. Most recently, the university undertook an employment equity census to better understand the workforce composition. This was followed by outreach to areas across campus to build awareness and provide training to ensure equal consideration of candidates of diverse backgrounds, views and talents for positions at the university.
"We can only be excellent and deliver on excellence if we are tapping into the diverse talent that's out there," says Arig al Shaibah, Associate Vice-President of Equity and Inclusion. Indeed, some individuals - women, people with disabilities, Indigenous peoples, and racialized or visible minorities - have been under-represented historically and can at times continue to face barriers to employment. "It's issues of implicit bias and systemic barriers that we are attending to now so we can continue to strengthen our standing as a world-class institution," says al Shaibah.
In addition to implementing policies to reach a more diverse applicant pool - including training for recruitment and selection committees - the university is encouraging conversations across the community and facilitating committees at the department level to think about diversity. The Equity and Inclusion Office works jointly for staff, students and faculty to ensure a respectful and welcoming environment is maintained, and also deals with any complaints of harassment or discrimination. "We're taking steps to embrace the concept of inclusive excellence," says Wanda McKenna, Assistant Vice-President and Chief Human Resources Officer. "We're striving for a culture that promotes the rich diversity of our community."
Duwai-Sowa acknowledges that there will always be more work to be done but the willingness to want to make the changes and have the necessary conversations is widespread throughout the McMaster community. "This is not something we're taking lightly," Duwai-Sowa says. "We're being very intentional and thorough about it. It's something that we want reflected in everything we do."
At new employees' orientations, McKenna always takes pride in telling attendees that McMaster is consistently ranked as one of the top universities in the world because of the people who work there. And she acknowledges that for McMaster to continue to thrive, it has to embrace the diversity of its workforce. "We want to enable a culture where all people feel safe, respected, welcomed, valued, able to be innovative and excellent," she says. "We're bringing the brightest people in the world here and we want to help them be their best every day."