Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Strategy 2022-2025

Our role in EDI

Equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) are vital to healthcare. We know members and patients experience racism and inequities and that this significantly affects physicians, threatens patient safety, and creates medico-legal risk.

We have a responsibility to address this risk and help mitigate bias and inequity in the services we provide and in our own workplace. Addressing EDI is directly tied to our mission, and is why we are prioritizing this important work.


Our EDI vision and mission

Vision
The CMPA is an organization where employees and members can be their authentic selves and are valued for their diverse experiences and perspectives.

Mission
As an essential component of the Canadian healthcare system, we must prioritize equity, diversity, and inclusion in order to reflect the values of our communities and protect the integrity of physicians while contributing to safe medical care in Canada.

Understanding CMPA’s role in EDI

The CMPA’s mission is to protect the professional integrity of physicians and promote safe medical care in Canada. We regularly hear from members who are experiencing medico-legal problems related to EDI, including racism, discrimination, and inequities. Our case data support these claims. Lack of focus on EDI negatively and significantly affects physicians, threatens patient safety, and, by extension, creates medico-legal risk. We have a responsibility to address this risk and help mitigate bias and inequity in the services we provide and in our own workplace. Addressing EDI is therefore directly tied to our mission, and it is why we are prioritizing this important work. See the Appendix to learn more about how we believe EDI is relevant to our members and employees and the Glossary for relevant terms.

Photo: Michael Cohen
Michael T. Cohen, MD,
CMPA President
(August 2020 – August 2022)

A message from the President

The CMPA is an essential component of the Canadian healthcare system. Our mission is to protect the professional integrity of physicians and promote safe medical care in Canada. As the country’s largest medical association for physicians, with over 105,000 physician members, we are uniquely positioned to tangibly and positively impact the lives of physicians, the safety of medical care, and the sustainability of the healthcare system.

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Photo: Lisa Calder
Lisa Calder,
MD, MSc, FRCPC,

CMPA Chief Executive Officer

A message from the CEO

At the CMPA, we recognize that racism and inequities exist in the Canadian healthcare system, of which we are a part. We regularly hear from members who are experiencing medico-legal challenges related to EDI. These experiences significantly affect both physicians and the quality of patient care across the country.

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5 essential elements

Our EDI Strategy will address 5 essential elements: members, governance, employees learning, and advocacy. 

To be effective, we recognize we cannot address everything at once. As such, we are taking an agile approach and prioritizing our efforts based on data and insights. Over the next 3 years, we will focus on members, governance, and employees.  


Engage with EDI stakeholders and members to understand how we can better support anti-Black racism and anti-racist approaches.

The CMPA is committed to advancing EDI in the services we provide to our members. We strive to create an inclusive environment where all members can express their medico-legal concerns in a safe space and receive fair, equitable support.

We serve an ever-growing and changing membership with diverse needs. We have the opportunity to leverage our unique position to better understand our members’ experiences and challenges, to support them, and to make a difference in how they provide safe medical care to their patients.

Foster truth, healing, and reconciliation for Indigenous members and healthcare stakeholders.

To remain relevant to our members, and as an organization focused on member support, it is important that members see themselves reflected within the CMPA workforce and services. This is why we are exploring how we can enhance representation in our front-line assistance and our service delivery model to better reflect our membership.

Our 3 goals to enhance EDI for members are:

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Create a compelling employee experience – where our employees are inspired, connected, and empowered to bring the Association’s vision, mission, and strategic plan to life in service of our members.

One of the CMPA’s greatest assets are our employees. As we aim to further enhance the workplace culture at the CMPA, we strive to:

  • Be an organization where our talented and skilled employees feel they belong and are able to participate fully as valued and respected contributors.
  • Be a place where people want to work – where we are able to recruit and retain amazing talent with diverse perspectives and lived experiences.
  • Prioritize the safety and well-being of employees – where employees feel safe to be their authentic selves at work and voice opinions, thoughts, or ideas in a collaborative atmosphere.
  • Create a compelling employee experience – where our employees are inspired, connected, and empowered to bring the Association’s vision, mission, and strategic plan to life in service of our members.

At the CMPA, we are enriched by each other and our differences. Ultimately, we want to support a workplace culture and environment where there is a strong sense of trust and belonging among employees. As we advance along our EDI journey, we are confident this will strengthen the CMPA as an organization and allow us to innovate, make better decisions, and better support our members in their provision of safe medical care in Canada.

Our 3 goals to enhance employee EDI are

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Value the varied perspectives and lived experiences of all Council members and strive for representation that is reflective of the diverse Canadian physician community.

CMPA Council recognizes that EDI is a crucial part of supporting and sustaining effective governance and organizational health. Council strives to demonstrate and uphold the principles of EDI in all aspects of its work. The CMPA values the varied perspectives and lived experiences of all Council members and strives for representation that is reflective of the diverse Canadian physician community. We are working to build a governance environment that is both equitable and inclusive. 

Our 3 goals to enhance governance EDI are:

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Develop learning opportunities for our members and employees and provide them with the tools necessary to support EDI both within the organization and externally.

The CMPA knows that, to be an organization where members and employees can be their authentic selves and be valued for their diverse experiences and perspectives, learning is essential. Accordingly, learning is integrated throughout our EDI Strategy and will support all of our 5 elements.

As we begin our strategy work by focusing first on members, governance, and employees, we will deliver learning to employees, leaders, and Councillors. Once our foundation is in place, we will develop member-focused learning experiences centered around dialogue, active listening, and meaningful engagement. Learning opportunities for our members and employees will provide the tools necessary to support EDI initiatives both within the organization and externally, allowing us to better serve our members and collaborate more effectively with stakeholders.

Our 2 goals to enhance EDI through learning are:

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Prepare and strengthen our foundation for effective EDI advocacy.

We work with numerous government and stakeholder organizations to advocate for system enhancements that allow physicians to focus on providing safe, quality care to their patients. Our data, research, insights, and unique perspectives enable us to provide input on key laws, regulations, and policies as well as on a range of subjects that can affect the safety of care and the culture of healthcare environments – including issues related to EDI.

During the first three years of our EDI strategy, we will focus on preparing and strengthening our foundation for effective EDI advocacy. As we grow and learn, we will further develop and clarify our advocacy goals, detailing the activities we will take to support members and the healthcare system.

Our goal to prepare to engage in EDI advocacy is:

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Next steps

Measurement and evaluation

As we continue in our work, we will measure and evaluate how we are enhancing the safety and culturally sensitivity of the support and services we provide to members, and how we are improving the inclusion experience of employees. We will continue to listen, learn, and measure our progress through effective key performance indicators (KPIs) linked to feedback mechanisms, such as surveys, one-on-one outreach, and focus groups.


Our long-term EDI journey: supportive, modern, and collaborative

Our efforts to support EDI will be long-term and continuous. We believe this work is a journey and not a destination. The EDI Strategy is a roadmap that will guide us to continuously foster EDI for our members, governance, and employees, and direct our learning and advocacy work. The strategy clearly outlines our vision and goals, and is intended to provide guidance to our implementation plans. This will support EDI becoming integrated into our daily activities and allow us to build actions into our operational plan.


Moving forward

Moving forward, we will continue to engage and inform members and employees. As next steps, we will:

  • Develop a comprehensive implementation plan, including the identification of structures and resources needed to support our EDI work.
  • Integrate EDI activities into our operational plans, building EDI into our daily work.
  • Update the mandate of relevant Council committees to ensure oversight of our 5 EDI elements.

Listening and learning will be embedded throughout our EDI journey, and we will make adjustments to our strategy along the way. By adopting an agile, open, and adaptive mindset, we will help create an environment where everyone – members and employees - can be their authentic selves and feel valued for their diverse experiences and perspectives. 

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Supporting material

Why is EDI at the CMPA relevant to our members?

The CMPA is committed to being there for our members. This includes ensuring our members feel seen, heard, and supported when they contact us. By fostering EDI, we can improve the inclusiveness and safety of our member services and help our members provide culturally safe care. Additionally, it will help us better understand our members’ needs and subsequently create a more relevant, relatable, forward-looking, and trusted CMPA.

Why is EDI at the CMPA relevant to our employees?

The CMPA recognizes that diverse backgrounds, viewpoints, and insights are critical to our ability to support members and employees. Ultimately, we see improved equity as a tool to reduce conflict, enhanced diversity as a mechanism to reduce corporate risks, and inclusivity as a way to create a sense of belonging among our workforce. By fostering EDI, we will attain and attract talented and skilled employees and build a culture where everyone feels included and accepted for who they are.

How will our strategy evolve?

We pride ourselves on being an adaptive, agile, and learning organization. We know there will be challenges along the way, but by adopting a growth mindset, we will adapt and evolve the strategy as needed to be an organization that truly embodies and supports a compelling employee and member experience.

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accessibility: ability of everyone to use a service or product, in whatever way each person encounters it;1 typically used in conjunction with access for people living with disabilities2

accommodation: to treat every person appropriately, according to what they need or deserve, or both3

alternative dispute resolution: manner of settling a legal dispute other than through a formal decision by a court, tribunal, or other decision-making body4

arbitration: manner of negotiating a resolution among disputing parties through the use of a neutral third party who makes a decision with respect to the dispute; the decision may or may not be binding on the parties5

bone fide occupational requirement: a requirement of a job that can be defended as an absolute must‐have (e.g. use of a hard hat, a driver's license)6

discrimination: an act, instance, policy, etc. of unjust or prejudicial treatment, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex

diversity: the variety of unique dimensions, qualities, and characteristics all people possess, including race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, economic status, physical abilities, and life experiences7

equity: equity means supporting each person according to what they need rather than treating everyone the same8

equity-seeking groups: any group of individuals who are (or feel they are) in the minority in some way and seek equity within a particular circumstance9

equality: the state of treating two or more people exactly the same10

gender expression: the way in which a person presents themselves, for example in their clothing or behaviour11

gender identity: the gender with which an individual identifies, regardless of biological sex. Gender being, a similar category of human beings that is outside the male or female binary classification and is based on the individual's personal awareness or identity12

human rights: inherent rights of all people, whatever their nationality, national or ethnic origin, place of residence, sex, colour, religion, language, or any other status13

inclusion: a culture that embraces, respects and values diversity; a mindful and equitable effort to meet individual needs so everyone feels valued, respected, and able to contribute to their fullest potential14

intersectionality: the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage15

2SLGBTQ+: two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, trans, queer; the + symbol represents any self-identified sexuality or gender that may not be represented in the other letters16

learning: the process of acquiring skills and understanding

mediation: manner of negotiating a resolution among disputing parties with the assistance of a neutral third party (mediator); a mediator does not make a decision with respect to the dispute17

psychological safety: a shared belief that anyone on the team can speak up and share their opinion respectfully without fear of retribution; an environment where all individuals feel safe to ask questions, ask for feedback, be respectfully critical of a plan, and offer suggestions for improvement18

representation: the participation of historically underrepresented groups at all levels of an organization and reflected in the organization’s composition and culture

restorative approaches in healthcare: an approach to responding to patients harmed by their healthcare that seeks to address patient harm by providing an opportunity for patients and those involved in their care to communicate about the harm and address their needs arising from the harm19

sex: the biological physical characteristics a person was born with20

sexual orientation: to whom an individual is sexually or romantically attracted21




References

  1. Interaction Design Foundation. Accessibility [cited 2022 May]. Available from: https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/topics/accessibility
  2. Bach M. Birds of All Feathers: Doing Diversity and Inclusion Right. Page Two Books, 2020.
  3. Bach. Birds of All Feathers: Doing Diversity and Inclusion Right.
  4. Government of Canada, Canadian Intellectual Property Office. Alternative methods to resolve intellectual property disputes [2021; cited 2022 May]. Available from: https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/wr04443.html
  5. Government of Canada, Department of Justice. Dispute resolution reference guide. [2017; cited 2022 May]. Available from: https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/csj-sjc/dprs-sprd/res/drrg-mrrc/06.html
  6. Bach. Birds of All Feathers: Doing Diversity and Inclusion Right.
  7. Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion. Glossary of terms [2022 January; cited 2022 May]. Available from: https://ccdi.ca/media/3150/ccdi-glossary-of-terms-eng.pdf
  8. Bach. Birds of All Feathers: Doing Diversity and Inclusion Right.
  9. Bach. Birds of All Feathers: Doing Diversity and Inclusion Right.
  10. Bach. Birds of All Feathers: Doing Diversity and Inclusion Right.
  11. Bach. Birds of All Feathers: Doing Diversity and Inclusion Right.
  12. Harper Collins. Random House Unabridged Dictionary
  13. Bach. Birds of All Feathers: Doing Diversity and Inclusion Right.
  14. Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion. Glossary of terms [2022 January; cited 2022 May]. Available from: https://ccdi.ca/media/3150/ccdi-glossary-of-terms-eng.pdf
  15. Bach. Birds of All Feathers: Doing Diversity and Inclusion Right.
  16. Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion. Glossary of terms [2022 January; cited 2022 May]. Available from: https://ccdi.ca/media/3150/ccdi-glossary-of-terms-eng.pdf
  17. Harvard Law School, Program on negotiation. What is a neutral third party? [cited 2022 May]. Available from: https://www.pon.harvard.edu/tag/neutral-third-party/
  18. Adapted from: Edmondson A. Psychological Safety and Learning Behavior in Work Teams. Adm Sci Q. 1999 Jun;44(2):350-383. doi: https://doi.org/10.2307/2666999
  19. Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat. Principles and Guidelines for Restorative Practice in Criminal Matters [2018; cited 2022 May]. https://scics.ca/en/product-produit/principles-and-guidelines-for-restorative-justice-practice-in-criminal-matters-2018/
  20. Bach. Birds of All Feathers: Doing Diversity and Inclusion Right.
  21. Bach. Birds of All Feathers: Doing Diversity and Inclusion Right.

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