Webinar features York VP Sheila Cote-Meek discussing importance of women in the Academy

A new book focused on the importance of women in the Academy will be virtually launched on Thursday, May 28 with a free webinar. The book, Critical Reflections and Politics on Advancing Women in the Academy (ICI Global 2020) was co-edited by Laurentian University Professor Taima Moeke-Pickering, York University Vice-President of Equity, People and Culture Sheila Cote-Meek, and Laurentian University Professor Ann Pegoraro.

Portrait of Sheila Cote-Meek, York University's inaugural VP Equity
Sheila Cote-Meek

The book is a critical scholarly publication that seeks to make the academy responsive and inclusive for women. Critical Reflections and Politics on Advancing Women in the Academy explores why women in the academy are overlooked in leadership positions, why there is a pay parity deficit, and what is being done to change the situation. It features a wide range of topics, including mentorship, curriculum design, and equality.

In addition to her role as co-editor, Cote-Meek has also contributed a chapter titled, “Intergenerational Indigenous Resilience and Navigating Academic Administration.” In the chapter, Cote-Meek provides critical reflections of her experiences, understandings, and knowings from an Indigenous women’s leadership lens and provides a perspective on navigating academic administration in the postsecondary environment. She intentionally weaves personal narratives as well as relevant literature to discuss the challenges and successes of navigating academic administration as an Indigenous woman. Cote-Meek situates the importance of staying true to her core values and her own Indigeneity drawing on her own intergenerational resilience.

ICI Global is hosting this free webinar, titled “Impacts of Women in the Academy: Confronting Gender Equality, Diversity, and Leadership,” to mark the launch of the book. The event on May 28, begins at 10 a.m. EST and those interested in participating should pre-register at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/5241606532468208398.

During the webinar, leading international researchers will discuss how gender plays into issues within higher education and they will also outline empowerment strategies to increase inclusivity and diversity. Additionally, the book’s co-editors will reflect on various themes contained within the publication.

Critical Reflections and Politics on Advancing Women in the Academy
Critical Reflections and Politics on Advancing Women in the Academy

Critical Reflections and Politics on Advancing Women in the Academy comes at a time when according to UNESCO, in the education sector, two-thirds of the 774 million illiterate people in the world are female, indicating a continuous disparity in access to education for girls and women. Furthermore, women within the academy (professors, researchers, and academics) continue to face issues such as program cuts, lack of professional development and leadership opportunities, the pay gap and reduced funding for research within the humanities, which includes valuable resources on gender and diversity.

The webinar will explore this constellation of ongoing issues faced by women in the academy how these issues are becoming more exacerbated during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Based on these factors, many are questioning what the future of women empowerment, gender and diversity, and equality will look like and how actions in the “now” will affect the advancement of women for generations to come.

About the speakers

Professor Taima Moeke-Pickering is a Maori of the Ngati Pukeko and Tuhoe tribes. She is a full professor in the School of Indigenous Relations at Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario where she teaches courses on Indigenous research methodologies, international Indigenous issues, and United Nations and Indigenous social work. Her Ph.D used a decolonizing methodology to evaluate Indigenous-based programs. Dr. Moeke-Pickering is an author of numerous articles dedicated to promoting Decolonization strategies, social change, and Indigenous well-being. She has extensive experience working with international Indigenous communities, women empowerment, evaluative research, big data analysis, and photovoice methodologies.

Professor Sheila Cote-Meek (Anishnaabe-Kwe) is the Vice-President, Equity, People and Culture at York University. She has worked in higher education for 30 years and has extensive experience leading Indigenous initiatives as well as senior academic faculty relations experience. She has led several successful strategic initiatives which are aimed at creating more equitable and inclusive environments for Indigenous peoples.

Professor Ann Pegoraro is a full professor in the School of Human Kinetics in the Faculty of Health at Laurentian University and an adjunct professor in Communication Studies at Huntington University. She is also the director of the Institute for Sport Marketing, a research center at Laurentian.  Pegoraro has presented at international conferences and published in refereed management journals in the areas of digital media, marketing, communications, and sport management. Her research primarily focuses on communication and marketing with a focus on the digital world.