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IDEA NB student spotlight: Meet the students promoting more inclusive workplaces in NB

Author: Rikkie Guillemette, Jessica Copeland, Kiruthika Krishnasamy and Ruthie Stanley-Blackwell

Posted on Feb 2, 2024

Category: DataNB

Rikkie Guillemette, Jessica Copeland, Kiruthika Krishnasamy and Ruthie Stanley-Blackwell

IDEA.NB is an innovative Future GNB research stream within Pathways to Professions that is focused on fostering Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) within the Government of New Brunswick (GNB). In summer 2023, the IDEA.NB team’s goal was to help address the unique challenges faced by DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity) groups in GNB and provide a roadmap for cultivating a more inclusive and thriving workplace environment.

By analyzing data from the 2022 GNB Employee Experience , IDEA.NB provided valuable insights into the unique challenges faced by DEI groups, including individuals with a disability, visible minorities, sexual and romantic minorities, transgender and gender diverse individuals and Indigenous peoples. Remarkably, 21.5% of employees in ‘Part 1’ of GNB (i.e., Government Departments and Agencies) identify as a member of a DEI group.

To learn about some of the challenges faced by underrepresented groups working in the public sector, explore IDEA.NB's vibrant infographic or read the team’s 2023 report.

Meet the 2023 IDEA.NB Student Team

Rikkie Guillemette is in their third year at Mount Allison University and is working towards a major in music and a minor in Canadian studies. After they graduate, Rikkie hopes to pursue a master’s degree in composition for visual media and to use their music to enrich Canadian media culture. Outside of music, Rikkie’s passions lie in the Pittsburgh Steelers, live entertainment, video games and spending time with friends and family.

Jessica Copeland is currently completing her final semester at Mount Allison University studying English literature and visual and material culture studies. After graduating, she hopes to start a career in social justice and work to diminish the barriers that face marginalized groups across Canada. In her free time, Jessica enjoys taking walks around the Sackville Waterfowl Park, spending time with friends and travelling whenever she can.

Kiruthika Krishnasamy is a dedicated and ambitious student in the final year of a master of business administration at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton. With a strong passion for research and a specialization in human resources, she aspires to merge these two domains. Kiruthika's focus lies in fostering a culture of innovation, nurturing employee growth and driving organizational success. She loves to spend time with her family, listening to music and engaging in outdoor activities.

Ruthie Stanley-Blackwell is a recent graduate of Mount Allison University, having completed her bachelor of arts with an honours in psychology, a major in art history and a minor in museum and curatorial studies. She recently moved to Kingston, Ontario to complete a master of science in social psychology in the hopes of becoming a researcher and educator. As a proud Maritimer originally from Antigonish, NS, she enjoys exploring new parts of the East Coast, watercolour painting, arts and crafts and hiking.

What is Pathways to Professions?

Each summer, NB-IRDT hosts student research teams as part of its  Pathways to Professions (P2P) experiential learning program. For 13 weeks, these students work on projects relevant to New Brunswick while attending a full curriculum of professional skills workshops.

In 2023, NB-IRDT embarked on its second year of partnership with the Government of New Brunswick's Future GNB / Avenir GNB program and launched a new partnership with Ignite to host students working on government and industry research projects. Now that the 2023 program has ended, we are excited to share our students’ projects and their findings.