Letter to the Editor: March 25

Dear Queen’s Journal,

I was disheartened to read Bobby Liang’s account of feeling marginalized in the Commerce program. Both the business school and the Commerce Society (ComSoc) have put great effort into making the experience inclusive and welcoming, but clearly we have more to do.

Two years ago we established the Commerce Diversity and Inclusivity Committee, with representatives from students, faculty and staff, to examine all aspects of the program from recruitment and admissions to student experience.

Among work already undertaken:

  • Embedding a cultural intelligence education unit within the Commerce curriculum;
  • Making significant changes to the content and assessment process for the Personal Statement of Experience -- a key part of the admission process -- to encompass a broad range of experiences and backgrounds;
  • Dedicating recruiting efforts in schools and regions historically under-represented in the program;
  • Hiring, together with the Faculty of Law, an Indigenous Recruiter and Support Coordinator;
  • Making significant financial support available for international exchange. Last year, 85 Commerce students received over $425,000;
  • Contributing to a bursary fund to provide financial support when possible for students travelling to conferences.  In addition, the student-run Queen’s Case Competition Union funds students to compete internationally at business case competitions.

The Queen’s University Investment Council (QUIC) and Queen’s Women in Leadership (QWIL), have formed a partnership to address gender diversity in the finance industry. QUIC also worked closely with members of Smith’s Advisory Board to develop a targeted recruiting strategy for women. 

The staff and ComSoc leadership have been working to improve equity and diversity in hiring for ComSoc positions. 

And we are proud that ComSoc ratified a chapter of EDGE, an organization, co-founded by a Commerce student, that focuses on enabling marginalized groups to excel in business and STEM academic and professional careers.

This is just some of the significant activity underway at Smith School of Business to foster diversity and inclusion. This continues to be an area of top priority. I encourage any Commerce student with questions, suggestions or personal experiences of inequity to reach out to me directly.


Lori Garnier

Executive Director, Commerce Program

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