Terms of Reference

Terms of Reference

Edmonton Business Diversity Network (EBDN) Mission:

The EBDN plays a leadership role by convening and facilitating conversations and educational events that influence the development of a more inclusive workplace and society, in order to realize the greatest potential of Edmonton’s diversity.

Purpose of Group

The EBDN is an informal network of companies and organizations that is interested in advancing and shaping the diversity and inclusion environment in the Edmonton region.  EBDN members do this by:

  • Sharing diversity and inclusion best practices, challenges and lessons learned
  • Sharing current and relevant knowledge and training of diversity and inclusion related topics, rules, guidelines and applications in the workplace
  • Facilitating connections to external resources such as conferences, workshops, speakers, diversity trainers and community-based service providers

Guiding Principles

Trust:  EBDN members participate in an environment where there is a high level of trust and members feel comfortable sharing their experiences, asking questions and providing comments.

Responsibility: Members contribute to a successful network by actively participating in the network. Members can volunteer/will be invited to take on various roles that recognize differing interests, abilities and resources. Participation can involve sharing experiences and resources to hosting meetings, sponsoring catering, participating on committees or the Board/Executive, recruiting speakers, and contributing to the LinkedIn Group.

Confidentiality: Members ensure that sensitive information shared within the network will be kept confidential and will not be disclosed to other parties out the network, without prior authorization from the member and the network.


Diversity:  The variety of differences and similarities/dimensions among people (which include but are not limited to, race, gender, ability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, marital status, workgroup, national origin, profession, etc.)

Inclusion:  The way in which diversity is leveraged to create a fair, equitable, healthy, and high-performing organization or community where all individuals are respected, feel engaged and motivated, and their contributions toward meeting organizational and societal goals are valued.  (2014 Global Diversity and Inclusion Benchmarks: Standards for Organizations around the World)

Membership Guidelines

Members of EBDN are individuals who:

  • Work directly in diversity and inclusion (e.g. members of D&I teams, Councils, Employee Resource Groups) in their company or organization
  • Have influence over diversity and inclusion efforts in their companies or organizations, or external organizations
  • Champion the case for diversity and inclusion in organizations, companies or communities
  • Individuals who work in Human Resources, or have HR functions (e.g. in the case of small businesses)

The EBDN is a network developed primarily for the needs of Edmonton’s business community, however, it is recognized that membership and participation of not-for-profit organizations, governmental agencies, professional associations, social enterprises, and post-secondary institutions can provide mutual benefit and learning.

There is no cost to becoming a member of EBDN at this time. In order to manage the network size and resources required of sponsoring companies, it is recommended that each company or organization forward the names of no more than two individuals to be part of the network.  Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Board.  It is expected that the same individuals will take part in EBDN meetings in order to develop relationships with other members and help sustain the network in moving forward.

All members are required to fill out a membership form, which will be put before the Board for approval and kept on file.  Please see Appendix A for the EBDN Privacy Statement.

Network Meetings

Network meetings are held bi-monthly on the second Wednesday of the month in the morning.  Network meeting locations rotate, with members taking turns providing space and catering.  Topics and speakers are posted on the website.

The Fall network meeting includes annual highlights and a forward thinking session.

Board Governance

The Edmonton Business Diversity Network is currently an informal network with no intention at this time of becoming either a society or non-for-profit organization.

The Board guidelines include:

  • The Board consists of 7 to 11 people, with quorum defined as 5.
  • Board membership shall represent a cross-section of industry, service providers and diverse demographics.
  • The majority (minimum of 50% plus 1) of Board Directors will represent business and the corporate sector (small business, large employers, etc.).
  • Board roles include Chair, Past-Chair or Vice-Chair, Secretary, Communications Officer, and Board Members. The Chair must represent a business and/or industry.  The Executive consists of the Chair, Secretary, and Communications Officer roles. The Past/Vice Chair participates in the Executive Committee as required.
  • The Board will recruit Board members throughout the year as needed.
  • Potential Board Members will be interviewed by a panel that shall consist of at least two Board Members, who will make a recommendation to the full Board for decision.
  • The Executive positions will be reviewed and designated by the Board at the August Board meeting each year.
  • All Board positions will have term of two years. Past Board Members can be considered for future Board positions.

These Board guidelines will be evaluated on a required basis.  Any change to the current governance model requires Board approval.

Board meeting locations will rotate, with Board Members taking turns providing space and optional catering for the meetings.

Role and Responsibilities of Chair

  • Ensure effective governance of EBDN Board
  • Chair Board meetings or find an alternate
  • Secure host/sponsor for Board and networking meetings
  • Create an agenda for each Board and network meeting
  • Schedule Executive meetings (attended by Chair, Secretary, Communications Officer, and Past/Vice Chair as required)
  • Resolve issues between members, as needed
  • Ensure adherence to guiding principles of this Terms of Reference
  • Recommend committees as necessary

Role and Responsibilities of Past/Vice Chair

  • Provide support to current Chair and Executive to ensure consistency
  • Onboarding of new Board Members 

Role and Responsibilities of Secretary

  • Take minutes at Board meetings and upload to Dropbox
  • Send invitations to network meetings
  • Manage the membership list and e-mail contact list
  • Process applications for membership and bring forward applicants to the core Executive to approve. Member roster will be reviewed at Board meetings
  • Maintain attendance record for Board meetings and Network meetings
  • Provide orientation documents for new members
  • Maintain document management system (i.e. Dropbox).

Role and Responsibilities of Communications Officer

  • Create and maintain LinkedIn group page;
  • Create and maintain the WordPress page, keep the Board apprised of content;
  • Create and promote other social media accounts for the purpose of networking, sharing information and marketing the Edmonton Business Diversity Network;
  • Work with Executive committee to manage media, public and community relations as necessary

Role and Responsibilities of Board Members

  • Advocate for and create awareness of EBDN among own business contacts;
  • Actively participate in planning and implementation of network meetings and Board decisions, and contribute as required for EBDN to meet its goals;
  • Recruit new members;
  • Attend 75% of all Board and network meetings.

Role and Responsibilities of Speakers Committee (optional, not active at this time)

  • Comprised of a committee lead and 2 supporting members (from the Board or network members);
  • Generate list of speakers relative to networking meeting topics;
  • Present to the Board recommendations for speakers at networking meetings;
  • Handle all communication and management of speakers attending the networking meetings.


General Communications

LinkedIn Group (“EBDN – Edmonton Business Diversity Network”)

Members of the EBDN have access to a private LinkedIn group.  This group is used as the main source of communication to and between members; members are encouraged to join and set their settings to receive updates. Members use the LinkedIn group to share:

  • Information about upcoming network meetings (location, topic, etc.)
  • Materials from EBDN network meetings
  • Resources and/or events members would like to share with other members
  • Interesting articles/websites and/or questions and discussion on various topics

Website (www.ebdiversityn.wordpress.com)

This webpage provide information about EBDN to interested parties.  It can include:

  • The Terms of Reference
  • Board Member profiles and member lists
  • EBDN Board contact information (i.e. Gmail address)
  • Membership application form


Members can use the hashtag #EBDNYEG if they would like to tweet about the Network and its activities, keeping confidentiality guidelines in mind.

Appendix A – Privacy Statement

Edmonton Business Diversity Network (EBDN) Privacy Statement

EBDN respects your privacy.

The Network:  EBDN is an informal network of companies and organizations interested in advancing and shaping the diversity and inclusion environment in the Edmonton region.  We require that our members are committed to honouring and respecting the privacy of other members of the group ensuring that the information shared within the network is kept confidential and will not be disclosed to other parties outside of the network, without prior authorization from the member and the network.

Personal Information: On a personal level, we will only collect and use your personal information for the following defined purposes. We use your information to support and enhance our relationship with you, for example, to share interesting information, links to resources, and of course to remind you of the bi-monthly EBDN meetings. Your personal information will not be shared outside of the membership of the EBDN Board without consent as required by law. At any time you may contact EBDN with privacy questions or concerns you may have. You also may ask at any time to see the personal information you have provided us and request correction or deletion. We strive to maintain a reasonable level of security and confidentiality with respect to the storage of your personal information.