An intersectional feminist lens (Crenshaw, 2017) is central to this work. Women and gender diverse faculty are not a homogeneous group and do not have a singular experience; they have many other intersecting identities that impact their experience in society and in the Faculty of Medicine. For example, Indigenous, Black and Women of Colour are significantly less likely than their White colleagues to be represented in senior leadership and senior faculty positions and more likely to experience discrimination based not only on their gender identity, but also based on their ethnicity (Peterson, 2004). Faculty also experience discrimination based on sexual orientation (Lu, 2020) and disability (Agaronnik, 2021). Finally, due to the interdependence of inequity and harassment (i.e. in workplaces that foster gender inequity, harassment is also increased), we must address gender inequity if we want to meaningfully impact the learning environment for our learners, staff, and faculty.  


Appreciative inquiry (AI) is an approach to nurturing change and improvement within an organization that has a central tenet that “meaningful and fundamental change occurs through discovering and valuing the strengths, assets, vision, and ideals of individuals in an organization” which in turn highlight the factors that give people purpose and meaning in their work. AI promotes progress and transformation of organizations by tapping into collective goals and personal motivations. It offers participants an opportunity to reflect on the strengths, guides them to determine what is important, and builds a collective vision of the desired future state. AI starts with definition of the appreciative topic under study and is organized into four phases: discover, dream, design, deliver/destiny. The appreciative topic in this case is “How can we improve not just the number, but also the experience of, women and gender diverse faculty in senior leadership and senior faculty roles?”   

We will also employ a methodology called deliberative dialogue (DD). DD is a knowledge mobilization strategy that involves use of synthesized data as well as experience in the context to engage stakeholders in purposeful, facilitated conversations with the goal of achieving consensus about priorities and action strategies. DD uses synthesized research evidence and contextual experience.

Actionable (in response to strategic directions in two key contextual documents)

In response to the UBC FoM Strategic Plan

Primary Connections

Organization Pillar Goal: “Our goal is to cultivate a respectful, inclusive and discrimination-free organizational culture with systems that support everyone in achieving their fullest potential. (We will eliminate systemic barriers, ensure equity across all of our policies, processes, guidelines and norms, and foster a culture that actively extinguishes any discrimination that may arise. It is in this culture and environment that all of our existing and future community members can thrive.)” 

The project will advance this objective by identifying (1) systemic and structural barriers to and (2) facilitating and success factors for recruitment and advancement of women, gender-diverse people and particularly those women and gender-diverse individuals who are Black, Indigenous and People of Colour into senior faculty and leadership positions in order to positively impact the number of women and gender-diverse faculty in senior faculty and leadership positions as well as improve the experience of these faculty members. 

Organization Pillar, Objective #2: “Increase diversity, inclusion and representation in our organization through faculty and staff recruitment, retention and leadership development.” 

The project will advance this objective by identifying barriers and facilitating factors for the recruitment and retention of women, gender diverse people and particularly those women and gender-diverse individuals who are Black, Indigenous and People of Colour in the Faculty of Medicine. It will identify relevant leadership development and sponsorship opportunities for women and gender-diverse faculty. Diversity will improve innovation, productivity and engagement with the FoM. 

Organization Pillar, Objective #1: Promote engagement and well-being by creating and sustaining respectful and supportive learning and work environments in which all people are recognized for their contributions. 

The project will advance this objective by ensuring that women and gender-diverse faculty are recognized and celebrated for their strengths, unique contributions and innovative approaches in a way that creates a sense of belonging, engagement and alignment with stated faculty values. 

Secondary Connections

Organization Pillar, Objective #4: Apply innovative approaches to improve operational effectiveness and efficiency for individuals and teams. (We will develop leadership continuity and succession plans for key positions, and continue to streamline operational processes, including governance, internal communications and information flow. We will build our capacity to accommodate individual needs, balanced with a view to what is best for the organization as a whole. Together, these efforts will create robust, resilient organizational structures that can endure and adapt through change.) 

The project will advance this objective by recommending strategies for leadership continuity and succession planning, governance and communication that advance the interests of women and gender-diverse faculty. 

Education Pillar, Objective #2: Foster sustainability and excellence of educational programs and services by effectively supporting and developing all faculty and staff.

The project will advance this objective through the actions outlined above. These recommendations will also support and develop women and gender-diverse education leaders, and thus, will enhance education programs and services. 

In response to the Committee on the Accreditation of Medical Schools (CACMS)

3.3 Diversity Programs and Partnerships. A medical school in accordance with its social accountability mission has effective policies and practices in place, and engages in ongoing, systematic, and focused recruitment and retention activities, to achieve mission-appropriate diversity outcomes among its students, faculty, senior academic and educational leadership, and other relevant members of its academic community. These activities include the appropriate use of effective policies and practices, programs or partnerships aimed at achieving diversity among qualified applicants for medical school admission and the evaluation of policy and practices, program or partnership outcomes.

3.4 Anti-Discrimination Policy. A medical school and its clinical affiliates do not discriminate on any grounds as specified by law including, but not limited to, age, creed, gender identity, national origin, race, sex, or sexual orientation. The medical school and its clinical affiliates foster an environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and take steps to prevent discrimination, including the provision of a safe mechanism for reporting incidents of known or apparent breaches, fair and timely investigation of allegations, and prompt resolution of documented incidents with a view to preventing their repetition.