Equity, diversity and inclusion are core to the University of Guelph’s annual HeForShe campaign. Dr. Hadiya Roderique, award-winning lawyer and author as well as the keynote speaker for this year’s event on March 16, is an expert in all three.
Roderique will discuss gender equality and its importance and benefits, the barriers to integrating diversity and inclusion, and the advantages of equitable workplaces.
Hosted by U of G’s Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics (Lang), College of Engineering and Physical Sciences and Gryphon Football, the annual HeForShe event also includes a community impact award, which recognizes a local business’s efforts to improve gender equality, and scholarships for students to recognize their leadership.
“We recognize there is still work that needs to be done to improve equity, diversity and inclusion, and gender equality. We hope this event is a step in the direction and allows us to listen, learn and take action,” said Dr. Greg Bauer, Lang’s associate dean of strategic partnerships.
Dr. Ibrahim Deiab, acting director of the School of Engineering, echoed the sentiment.
“The School of Engineering’s involvement in the HeForShe movement is important for our community of students, staff and faculty. The engineering profession has traditionally been male dominated, so it is critically important for us to create a visible and unified effort towards gender equality within our school and in the profession itself,” he said.
Creating a bold, visible and united force for gender equality
Created by the United Nations in 2014, HeForShe “is an invitation for men and people of all genders to stand in solidarity with women to create a bold, visible and united force for gender equality.” Supporters, including U of G, pledge to commit to “working with women and with each other to build businesses, raise families and give back to their communities.”
A prominent author and lawyer, Roderique studies how race, gender and parenthood shape perceptions and relationships in the workplace. In 2018, she was named as one of Canada’s 25 Most Influential Lawyers and was recognized with the Rising Star award from the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers. In 2017, her Globe and Mail feature essay “Black on Bay Street” went viral.
“As members of our campus community, it is our responsibility to ensure that everyone has the tools, resources and opportunities to better themselves. Gender inequality is an issue that affects all people,” said Kwame Osei, a U of G football team captain and a fourth-year commerce student, who will also speak at the event.
The event will be virtual and will be held on Zoom at 7 p.m. Registration and tickets are free but limited.