Vancity wins Nancy McKinstry Corporate Diversity award

Sep 25, 2013
(L-R) Beedie School of Business Dean Daniel Shapiro, Ellen Pekeles, Senior Vice President of Operations, Vancity and Nancy McKinstry.

From left to right: Beedie School of Business Dean Daniel Shapiro, Ellen Pekeles, Senior Vice President of Operations, Vancity, and Nancy McKinstry.

Vancity was today announced as the winner of the Simon Fraser University Nancy McKinstry award for leadership in diversity. The SFU Beedie School of Business Corporate Diversity award recognizes an organization that exemplifies the values of diversity in the workplace.

Vancity, Canada’s largest community credit union, was recognized for its commitment to diversity, in particular their extensive community efforts, and their well-rounded approach to addressing the needs of the different identity groups. The award was presented to Vancity’s Ellen Pekeles, Senior Vice President of Operations, at a sold-out breakfast at the SFU’s Segal Graduate School campus in downtown Vancouver.

“Vancity’s focus on diversity and mandate of inclusion is exemplary, and has ultimately benefited not only the organization, but also society as a whole,” said Daniel Shapiro, Dean of the Beedie School of Business. “The selection committee faced a hard task in choosing a winner from so many outstanding candidates, but Vancity’s ongoing community activities and employee engagement initiatives demonstrate their leadership in diversity, and make them worthy winners of the Corporate Diversity Award.”

For the first time this year, an award was also presented to an organization that has set itself apart with its own unique diversity program. Island Health, formerly known as Vancouver Island Health Authority, received the Exemplary Initiative Diversity Award for their innovative Aboriginal employment program, which demonstrates the organization’s absolute commitment and dedication to promoting and providing employment opportunities for aboriginal people.

SFU Management of Technology MBA student Kathy McKay received the 2013 Nancy McKinstry graduate student scholarship for leadership. The $2,500 award is given to a Beedie School of Business graduate student who has been a leader in promoting opportunities for women in business.

McKay is one of only two female engineers in the Space Missions department at MDA Systems Ltd, and has twice led teams of 15 people comprising all-male engineers and technicians. She has conducted tours and discussions for the Girl Scouts regarding science and engineering, and given talks at SFU and at Canadian Women in Technology for women in engineering.

The Awards for Leadership in Diversity were established in 2009 to honour Dr. McKinstry for her contributions to SFU as Chair of the Board of Governors. The Nancy McKinstry Graduate Scholarship for Leadership is supported by the Nancy McKinstry Endowment, established to honour McKinstry and build on her legacy.

Simon Fraser University is deeply committed to promoting the values of diversity and social equity both in our own employment practices and through our community engagement activities. The university boasts an incredibly diverse student body and has forged strong connections with Vancouver’s multicultural communities. SFU is ranked as one of British Columbia’s Top 60 Employers, and for the fifth year in a row, SFU has been named one of Canada’s Top 100 employers.


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