The Complexities of Diversity | Perspectives from an experienced APEGA volunteer
As a long time member and engaged volunteer with APEGA, Dave Rumbold, P.Eng., feels fortunate. His involvement in several initiatives and issues that have been part of APEGA’s evolution as regulator of the engineering and geoscience professions has granted him many valuable insights.
Most recently, Dave was one of six members on the Special Committee of Council on Nominations. The committee assessed the nomination process to ensure nominations continue to consistently deliver candidates with the skills and competencies needed to govern the professions, while also fostering diversity. The committee’s report includes four recommendations that are being discussed with members in virtual engagement sessions underway now and continuing until May 6.
“Diversity is an interesting and complex topic,” says Rumbold. “Participating in the committee helped me to look at diversity from a broader perspective.”
A little help from our friends
The Special Committee invited insights from the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion, which gave Dave a greater appreciation for the complexities of diversity.
“Going in, I did not see myself as an expert on diversity,” he explains. “However, I considered myself as someone who is culturally sensitive and supportive of diversity. I have also watched our daughter grow into a young adult who is a great example of a generation that embraces diversity.
“What I hadn’t really thought about, though, was the notion of unconscious bias. What I learned is that all people, including me, have some degree of unconscious bias. It is not intentional or malicious. It simply exists under the surface, based on many factors—including the nature of our interactions, backgrounds, and experiences. After all, it is true that we are all products of our environment.”
This highlighted for Rumbold the conscious effort and focus required for APEGA to focus on diversity in a meaningful way—not only in nominations, but in all volunteer opportunities.
Engagement sessions until May 6
Rumbold encourages all APEGA members to participate in one of the virtual engagement sessions before May 6 to hear about the report and provide input on the recommendations. “This is an important issue and one that will benefit from a diversity of thought and input from across our membership.”
For more information on the Special Committee of Council on Nominations’s report and recommendations, visit apega.ca/nomination-feedback.