The 2021 RMC EDI Survey – Some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

As you have heard at Faculty Board, RMC now has an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee, and you will soon be invited to provide input to the committee about your experiences as a faculty member at RMC by completing a survey. The committee wants to be sure that everyone understands what this initiative is about, why it is being undertaken, and what it will involve. The EDI committee has put together some answers to questions that are bound to arise, to make sure that everyone understands what this survey is (and isn’t) about.

The EDI committee would like to take this opportunity to encourage all RMC faculty members to complete the survey. The information collected will help us better understand the diversity of our workforce, our experiences of equity and inclusion, and will help us develop or improve specific programs, policies and practices that will support the RMC community going forward. The more complete the information obtained through this survey, the more likely we are to achieve that goal.

Our ultimate goal is to ensure that RMC is a welcoming and safe place to study and work. The committee believes that the results, and recommendations derived from the results, of this survey will be instructive and guide us, together, to a more inclusive and diverse RMC.

Thank you, everyone, for your time and participation.

Q: What is EDI?

A: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) refers to a set of concerns about how organizations think about and treat their members. There are a variety of similar formal definitions available, and the RMC EDI committee found the definition provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council particularly clear:

What is Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion? 

Equity is defined as the removal of systemic barriers and biases enabling all individuals to have equal opportunity to access and benefit from the program.

To achieve this, all individuals [who are part of the organization] must develop a strong understanding of the systemic barriers faced by individuals from underrepresented groups (e.g., women, persons with disabilities, Indigenous peoples, racialized minorities, individuals from the LGBTQ2+ community) and put in place impactful measures to address these barriers.

Diversity is defined as differences in race, colour, place of origin, religion, immigrant and newcomer status, ethnic origin, ability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and age.

Inclusion is defined as the practice of ensuring that all individuals are valued and respected for their contributions and equally supported.

Source: Best Practices in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Research

Q: Who makes up the EDI committee at RMC?

A: Initially created by the Vice-Principal Research, the EDI committee is composed of faculty members like yourself, and includes a diverse group of individuals, representing diversity with respect to gender, first official language, ethnicity/visible minority status, academic discipline, and rank/seniority. In addition to contributing to the EDI Action plan that will soon be published, and to developing this survey, the EDI committee is a group that you can turn to if you have questions or concerns related to EDI. The current membership of the committee is as follows:

  • Chair:
    • Dr. Sarah Hill (Military Psychology & Leadership)
  • Members:
    • Dr. L Sangalli (Physics & Space Science)
    • Dr. Catharine Marsden (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering)
    • Dr. Xiaohua Wu (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering)
    • Dr. Kris Singh (English, Culture, and Communication)
    • Dr. Stéphanie Bélanger (French Literature and Culture)
    • Dr. Yahia Antar (Electrical & Computer Engineering)
    • Capt. Matt McTaggart (Chemistry & Chemical Engineering)
    • Mr. Frederic Labarre (Division of Continuing Studies)

The committee also consults with others on campus (e.g., Dr. Paul Chaput, Academic Services, Indigenous Knowledge and Learning (IKL) group co-chair, Dr. Stéphanie Chouinard, Political Science & Economics, IKL co-chair) and will continue to reach out to others in future.

The mandate of the EDI committee is to study, promote, and advise the College and its leadership team about EDI.  

The EDI committee’s accountability chain ultimately culminates with Dr. Harry Kowal, Principal of RMC, via the office of the VP Research, Dr. Cecile Malardier-Jugroot.

Q: What is this survey about?

A: The RMC EDI survey is a tool that has been developed by the EDI committee to collect information about the current experiences of RMC faculty with respect to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion on campus. You will be asked to consider questions about your experiences and about yourself (demographic questions).

Some of the questions, particularly in the demographics section of the survey, might seem a bit personal. The EDI committee knows that the RMC community is made up of many different ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, abilities and genders. In our society, people experience discrimination on these and other grounds.

Understanding the scope of our diversity will help us to continue to ensure a work environment that is inclusive for all. If there are any questions you do not want to answer, simply fill in as much as you can, or select the ‘prefer not to answer’ option. Remember that all your answers are confidential and anonymous.

Q: Who will be invited to participate?
A: This survey is the first of several planned data collections. For this round, all RMC faculty (anyone who delivers courses, including sessionals and term employees, military faculty, or anyone who is employed as a UT) are the focus. Subsequent efforts will focus on support personnel and students (both undergraduate and post-graduate), with surveys specifically tailored to those groups.
Q: When will the survey be available?
A: The EDI committee has spent a considerable amount of time working on the survey to make sure we are asking the right questions. Our goal has been ensuring that we will have adequate information to use for understanding the EDI landscape at RMC, and for making recommendations to the college leadership team. The survey is currently being professionally translated to ensure it is available in both official languages. We hope to launch the survey at the end of February/beginning of March, but the specific date will depend upon how long it takes to get the instrument translated, and to have the translation verified.
Q: How often will I be asked to complete surveys like this?
A: In order to track progress, the EDI committee will ask for your input every couple of years. Since this particular survey will serve as a “baseline”, it is more comprehensive than future surveys are likely to be
Q: Who will know if I participated?
A: Your name and other specific identifiers (e.g., your PRI number) will not be collected on the survey, and any tracking information (e.g., IP or email addresses) will be stripped from the data before it is analyzed by the committee. Your participation will be anonymous, and nobody will know if you, specifically, completed the survey.
Q: Who will see my responses?
A: Only the EDI committee will have access to the raw data from this survey, for purposes of analysis and developing recommendations for the College leadership team.  Any analyses, reports, recommendations, and presentations of findings will consider only aggregate (group) results, and the EDI committee will ensure that no individual is readily identifiable in any of these activities or products.
Q: What security measures will be taken to keep my data safe?

A: The survey will be administered using Survey Monkey, which encrypts data in transit and at rest using secure TLS cryptographic protocols (more information about the security provisions of Survey Monkey is available at: SurveyMonkey Security Statement.

The EDI committee will never reveal your raw data, nor your identity, to anyone. Data will be removed from the Survey Monkey servers once the survey closes and the EDI committee has received it for purposes of analysis. During analysis, the data will be kept on a password protected memory stick that will be locked in the committee chair’s office when not in use, and it will be available only to those members of the committee directly involved in the analysis. All of the raw data will be destroyed after 10 years.

Q: Is my participation mandatory?
A: No. The EDI committee does, however, hope that everyone will complete the survey because more complete information will result in a more accurate understanding of the EDI landscape at RMC, and more useful recommendations to bring forward to the college leadership team.
Q: Do I have to complete the whole survey?
A: You are free to skip any questions you would prefer not to answer. The EDI committee does, however, hope that everyone will complete the survey in full because more complete information will result in a more accurate understanding of the EDI landscape at RMC, and more useful recommendations to bring forward to the college leadership team.
Q: I have more questions – who should I speak to about them?
A: Feel free to bring any questions about the survey, the EDI committee, or EDI more generally to any of the members of the EDI committee named above. We will make every effort to provide you with any information you require in a timely fashion.
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