On International Women’s Day (March 8, 2023), Dr. Naznin Virji-Babul, Senior Advisor on Women and Gender-diverse Faculty, and Academic Co-Director of the Academic Leadership Development Program (ALDP) shared perspectives on a more equitable and inclusive future at University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, Canada.
What are some of the key initiatives that you are currently working on?
There are two initiatives that I would like to highlight – Maximizing Impact and Envisioning Equality.
The Maximizing Impact program was developed and created as a direct response to help mitigate the pandemic-induced challenges that impacted the ability of early career researchers (ECRs) to do research, teach and contribute to service. Importantly, we know that these negative effects were significantly compounded by the intersection of gender, disability status, ethnicity, and childcare responsibilities.
The program provides networking opportunities, lunchtime talks by senior faculty members from across campus and one-on-one coaching. Over the past three years, over 50 diverse, early career researchers from across the university have joined this program. Senior faculty and emeriti faculty across campus stepped up to support and mentor the junior faculty. In addition, a dedicated team of coaches volunteered their time and expertise to work with the junior faculty. These coaches help faculty to focus their vision, set clear objectives and goals and act as thought partners as ECRs started to navigate their leadership journey at UBC.
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