Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, 2017-2019


Sinai Health System’s (SHS) CRC Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan (EDIAP) will guide our efforts in ensuring the representation of individuals from the four designated groups—persons with disabilities, Indigenous Peoples, members of visible minorities/racialized persons and women-- among our Canada Research Chairholders.  

Sinai Health System, along with the University of Toronto and affiliated hospitals, will progressively meet the Plan’s objectives within the next two years. Initiatives undertaken under the Plan will complement and support existing institutional equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives and may be revised and updated to encompass input from our community as we implement the items below.

Our community comprises the University of Toronto, which includes three campuses, eighteen academic divisions and 125 appointing units, as well as nine affiliated hospitals. With ten separate employers who have different policies and practices comes both the challenge of significant inter-institutional coordination as well as the strength of different approaches in implementing the Action Plan.

At Sinai Health System, the Executive and administration of the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute will partner with appropriate hospital departments and services to assess needs and implement EDIAP initiatives.

1. Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Objectives and Measurement Strategies

Health equity is about ensuring that all our patients achieve the best possible health outcomes regardless of language, race, religion, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, income, or any other individual characteristic.

Part of Sinai Health System’s mission is to lead efforts to eliminate health inequities. Recognized as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers, we have created a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace; and are steadfast in our commitment to health equity and ensuring exceptional care that is accessible to all.

We are committed to identifying inequities, and putting strategies in place to address them. In support of our work, the SHS Human Rights & Health Equity Office:

  • Assists members of Sinai Health System to address and resolve complaints of harassment and discrimination that violate the Ontario Human Rights Code as well as complaints of non-human rights code harassment.
  • Provides education and training to raise awareness of human rights issues as they relate to health care including: the Are you an ALLY campaign, Leading Equity, symposia on health equity, and annual events such as Lunar New Year, Black History Month, National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women, Pride and others.
  • Coordinates the Hospital’s Violence against Women Action Committee that educates and develops policy on domestic violence and health care.
  • Develops policies to guide our understanding and actions related to current human rights and equity issues.


Unconscious Bias Training

OBJECTIVE: Ensure all faculty and staff involved with a CRC nomination complete unconscious bias Training

All faculty and staff involved in the CRC nomination process are required, at minimum, to complete the online training module provided by the national CRC Secretariat. Internal administrative processes for CRC nominations will be changed to both communicate this requirement and confirm and document completion of unconscious bias training.

Review of Internal Administrative Processes

Objective: Complete a review of SHS administrative processes for CRCs

Formal administrative key process checkpoints at various stages of a recruitment can create opportunities to assess equity and diversity efforts and adjust strategies if needed. SHS’s processes for CRC nominations will be reviewed and assessed to ensure that the Action Plan requirements are clearly and frequently communicated and that academic administrators, faculty, staff and nominees are appropriately informed about processes, requirements and supports in place at SHS.

CRC Nominations

Objective: Develop an online guide to CRC nominations

This guide will explain the process of CRC nominations at the University of Toronto and the affiliated hospitals for administrators, faculty, staff and potential nominees. It will include equity-, diversity- and inclusion- focused best practices for each stage of the process from the recruitment of a nominee through to the fostering of a supportive environment for our Canada Research Chairs.

The guide will be developed in consultation with the University of Toronto Office of the Vice-Provost, Faculty and Academic Life, building on resources already in place to support faculty recruitment and retention. SHS will develop additional content relevant to our recruitment and employment policies and practices.

The online guide will serve as the foundation for periodic workshops/information sessions for academic administrators, faculty and staff involved in CRC nominations beginning in 2018.

Tools for Data Collection

OBJECTIVE: Encourage CRC applicants and nominees to complete the Sinai Health System’s employment equity survey and the CRC survey

In consultation with the University of Toronto’s Equity and Diversity in Research and Innovation Working Group, the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute at Sinai Health System’s Research Executive and SHS Human Resources, a communication strategy will be developed to promote the importance of completing these voluntary surveys, as they provide SHS and the University of Toronto with accurate data on the representation of diverse faculty.

Develop Strategies to Recruit and Support Indigenous CRCS

OBJECTIVE: Working closely with the University's indigenous community, develop strategies to recruit and support indigenous CRCs

SHS will work closely with the University of Toronto to support and assist in their community wide strategy. Please see University of Toronto’s EDIAP for details. 

Develop Strategies to Recruit and Support Persons with Disabilities to CRCs

OBJECTIVE: Develop strategies to recruit and support persons with disabilities to CRCs

SHS will work closely with the University of Toronto to support and assist in their community wide strategy. Please see University of Toronto’s EDIAP for details. 

Career Development and Mentoring for CRCs and Potential CRCs

OBJECTIVE: Continue to build a supportive and inclusive culture for all SHS faculty

As a hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto, SHS Scientists have cross appointments with the University.  SHS and LTRI will promote the University of Toronto’s professional development workshops to our researchers. Please see University of Toronto’s EDIAP for details. 

Build on Current University of Toronto Initiatives to Foster Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Our strategies to recruit and retain a diverse cohort of Canada Research Chairs align with broader equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives at the University of Toronto. The University of Toronto Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation will work in close partnership with our 18 Faculties and 9 Affiliated Hospitals to implement these action plan elements and to encourage divisional and hospital leaders to initiate local plans to enhance equity, diversity and inclusion.

2. Management of Canada Research Chair Allocations

Allocation of CRCs at U of T and affiliated hospitals

CRCs are initially allocated to the University of Toronto. Please refer to the University of Toronto’s EDIAP for details.

At SHS, the Director of Research, in consultation with the Research Executive Committee, is responsible for managing SHS’s allocation of CRCs.  Strategic considerations, including scientific complement planning to advance key areas of research, are taken into consideration. Chairs allocated to SHS are not further allocated to individual Research Programs. This allows for flexibility during recruitment and for retention, and ensures chairs are provided to best advance research priorities.

Advancement, renewals and phase-out of chairs

In general, assuming that the level of performance in research is maintained, SHS allows the chair to be renewed once.  SHS does not have an established mechanism for advancement of Tier 2 CRCs to Tier 1 CRCs.  When a Tier 1 CRC is available and there is no active recruitment for a Scientist position taking place, all eligible Scientists are considered.

Institutional support for chairholders

The conditions of employment and institutional support at SHS are negotiated at the time of employment and take account of the resourcing provided for other faculty in similar disciplines. The support is provided irrespective of being a Canada Research Chairholder. 

Institutional support for academic administrators involved in CRC nominations

All faculty and staff involved in the CRC nomination process are required to complete the online training module provided by the national CRC Secretariat. Internal administrative processes for CRC nominations will be changed to both communicate this requirement and to confirm completion of unconscious bias training.

3. Collection of Equity and Diversity Data

Applicant pool data

SHS previously did not formally collect applicant pool data for CRC competitions.  This process is being rolled out as part of our EDIAP.  Initially, involves a fillable form to be completed voluntarily by external and internal applicants and submitted to a secure address so that aggregate data on the representation of the four designated groups can be provided to the CRC selection panel.  We are exploring options for an on-line process, for both internal and external applicant pools. 

Successful CRC Candidate Data

Successful CRC Candidate Data is currently collected as part of the CRC program’s nomination process. A review of internal processes for the secure collection and protection of self-identification data is part of our Action Plan. The goals are to:

  • limit the number of people who can view this information
  • ensure privacy and confidentiality
  • encourage CRC nominees to complete the self-identification form
  • communicate widely the purpose of the data collection, how the information will be used, and our commitment to privacy.

4. Retention and Inclusivity

Providing a supportive and inclusive workplace

Through our equity programs, services and offices, Sinai Health System is working to remove a range of barriers and support our community members in fulfilling their academic, research and employment goals. Working with SHS Human Resources, we are developing initiatives to create an inclusive environment for faculty, staff and students. We will continue to collect and post these projects to both recognize these efforts and encourage others to adopt similar initiatives.

Policies or procedures and supports in place that enable the retention of members of the FDGs: Equity considerations are an important part of our institutional approach to faculty retention issues, when these arise.

Policies that govern the staffing of Canada Research Chair positions

All Canada Research Chair holders are Scientists at Sinai Health System, with a faculty appointment at the University of Toronto.  As such there are policies at both institutions that govern their staffing.  These policies may change as part of the development of our institutional CRC Equity, Diversity and Inclusion action plan and initiatives.