Our People: Meet Wendy McLeod, Respect, Diversity, and Inclusion Coordinator

Putting people at the core of everything we do is paramount at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. We are committed to ensuring our people — those who make BCIT distinct, are developing while feeling valued, supported, and connected.

BCIT is a people-first organization. We aim to celebrate our employees by sharing their stories through the Our People series. The series features BCIT’s extraordinary employees who share a strong sense of pride and ambition for the Institute and make up our diverse community.

Get to know Wendy McLeod, Respect, Diversity, and Inclusion (RDI) Coordinator who has been working at BCIT for over 23 years.

What has been your most memorable moment working at BCIT?

Being the recipient of the 2019 Inclusivity Employee Excellence Award is a very memorable moment for me.

Another memorable moment is my involvement with the RDI Office at BCIT. I look at how far we have come in the almost five years that the RDI Office has been operational. Yes, we have a long road ahead of us, but we are making progress in respect, diversity, inclusion, accessibility, awareness, education, and belonging at BCIT.

What do you enjoy the most about working in post-secondary education?

Every day is a different day at BCIT. It’s an ever-changing environment and it is good to see positive changes and how we can impact people’s lives.

What are projects or initiatives that you have completed at the Institute that you are proud of?

There are so many things that I am proud to be a part of at BCIT, such as the work that I have contributed to improving accessibility and actively engaging in initiatives to eliminate racism and discrimination in the Institute. I have also been involved in many initiatives such as celebrating Black Excellence Day, Pink Shirt Day, Pride, participating in the BCIT United Way Employee Giving Campaign, the Indigenous Youth Gathering, and so much more.

I have always worked at trying to make BCIT a better place to be, and to show people that there are supports in place for them. We need to remember that if we take care of ourselves, we can take better care of our community.

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Do you have a favourite spot or activity at the BCIT campuses that you enjoy spending your time at and why?

I really enjoy all the gardens around the campus and the Guichon Creek trail. There are many beautiful places to visit and just sit and listen to nature at its finest.

Share with us how what you are passionate about outside of work. Do you have any hobbies?

I enjoy genealogy research. It is so interesting to trace your family history and find old documents about their lives.

Pink Shirt Day is on February 28, 2024, and as one of the founders of the Pink Shirt Day Committee at BCIT, could you share with us how you started the Committee and how the community can get involved this year?

Yes, I started the Pink Shirt Day initiative at BCIT about 13 years ago. What started out as a small group of supporters has blossomed into a committee dedicated to the cause. I felt that it was important to remind people that bullying is not okay and even if we just celebrate it for one day, hopefully the message will stay with us throughout the year.

A group of faculty and staff in pink shirts.
Pink Shirt Day at BCIT in 2023

Since its inception, we have brought faculty, staff, and students together on Pink Shirt Day every year to participate in different activities that we organize. This includes putting up a kindness wall on our campuses that encourages the community to write and share messages that spread awareness about anti-bullying. We offer Diversity Circles sessions that explore topics on creating safe(r) spaces on campus, accessibility, body inclusivity, and more. We also have an annual group photo on campus where we invite the community to wear a pink shirt which they have purchased to support the international Pink Shirt Day initiative.

Even during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, we brought the community together by taking a virtual photo together through Zoom, asked faculty and staff to post their Pink Shirt Day photos on the Loop (our employee intranet) and distributed pink face masks to our campuses.

We encourage all BCIT faculty, staff, and students to join us in different activities that we are hosting this year leading up to and on Pink Shirt Day. Our annual Pink Shirt Day group photo will be on the stairs of the main floor of NW4, Health Sciences Centre on the Burnaby Campus at 11:30 am on February 28, 2024. Whether you are wearing pink or not, we invite you to join us and show your support.

Participate in the Pink Shirt Day activities happening across BCIT campuses on February 26-28 for students, faculty, and staff.


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