Sonia Anand is the inaugural associate chair, equity and diversity of the Department of Medicine at McMaster University's Faculty of Health Sciences.
Anand will be responsible for developing and implementing policies and practices related to equity and diversity within the department. She will also support the recruitment, retention and advancement of faculty by addressing any issues related to equity including gender, sexual orientation, and ethnicity.
Mark Crowther, who has been chair of the Department of Medicine for the past year, said he could see the need for the new role.
"It is apparent that we need someone with the skills, interest and focus to ensure the department is doing everything it can to ensure that all of our faculty have the opportunity to reach their full potential," he said.
"Dr. Anand will be a very strong representative as we ensure that issues of equity and diversity are considered in every decision that the department makes."
Crowther said the department endorses the principles that commit to advancing gender equality, in particular addressing the loss of women along the career pipeline, and the absence of women from senior academic, professional and support roles.
Anand started the three-year renewable term on July 1, 2018.
"I am excited to take on this new position and will lead the implementation of procedures to reduce conscious and unconscious biases both of which stifle equity in the advancement of women and diverse individuals in medicine," said Anand, professor of medicine.
She is also a senior scientist at the Population Health Research Institute, and holds the Canada Research Chair in Ethnic Diversity and Cardiovascular Disease, as well as the Michael G. DeGroote Heart and Stroke Chair in Population Health and Epidemiology.
Anand added: "The research from the business sector shows us that greater success in gender equality comes from changing environments and culture, and not only mindsets."
The Department of Medicine has more than 250 full-time faculty members, 226 part-time faculty members, 35 professor emeriti, 8 clinical scholars and 27 joint and associate members.
Read the Brighter World profile on Sonia Anand here.