Huntington University's all-male award photo 'runs contrary' to diversity work, say critics

A picture of recipients at a leadership award ceremony has a Sudbury university fielding some criticism.

"We recognize it is the climate right now and we do need to be aware," says Huntington's Mary-Liz Warwick

This photo of the Huntington University’s 2018 Edward J. Conroy Community Leadership Awards recipients includes, from left, Gerry Lougheed Jr. (on behalf of the Sudbury Hospice Foundation); John Corsi; Sirio Gregorini; Dr. Edward J. Conroy (Huntington’s chancellor emeritus); Dr. Kevin McCormick (president and vice-chancellor); Cody Cacciotti (on behalf of Northern Ontario Railroad Museum and Heritage Centre), Richard Rainville (executive director of ACCESS Network); and Geoffrey Lougheed (on behalf of Sudbury Fook Bank, where is is founder and honorary chair). (Supplied/Huntington University)

A picture of recipients at a leadership award ceremony has a Sudbury university fielding some criticism.

Recently, Huntington University handed out its Edward J. Conroy Community Leadership Awards.

A photo of the recipients made Sudbury's Rena Daviau take notice.

"Not only was there no diversity, there were no females," she said.

Daviau took to Twitter to express her disappointment.

"I know in the past, that same award, they have awarded women in the community," she said

"To have that appear in the paper kind of set things back a little for women — especially in 2018."

More aware

Huntington's chair of the board of regents, Mary-Liz Warwick, noted many of the recipients were representing organizations like the Sudbury Food Bank and the Hospice Foundation.

But she says she understands Daviau's position.

"Looking back in hindsight, 20/20, we have always strived to be inclusive and we're going to be a lot more aware next year and make sure it doesn't happen again," she said.

"We recognize it is the climate right now and we do need to be aware. We're glad this has come to our attention and we're going to make every effort to show that Huntington is a diverse culture and we recognize the good work that goes on in our community."

Girl Power Effect

Laurentian University professor Dr. Taima Moeke-Pickering also noticed the photo.

She's one of the creators of the social media campaign, Girl Power Effect, the hashtag Daviau used on her tweet.

"When you see that picture in this day and age, that really runs contrary to all the hard work everybody is putting into raising awareness to the place, the status and the representations of women," she said.

Other than a hashtag, Girl Power Effect also features a website for female bloggers to raise awareness of women's issues.

With files from Benjamin Aubé


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