Women’s College Research Institute (WCRI) is a leader in the promotion of SGBA+ (sex- and gender-based analysis plus) across all health research. This idea is embedded into our DNA at Women’s College Hospital (WCH) and aligns with our wider organizational mandate – the pursuit of equity for all. Inclusive health research that incorporates diversity by taking factors beyond sex and gender into account has the capacity to benefit everyone.
SGBA+: A strategy to advance equity, diversity and inclusion in health research
What is sex- and gender-based analysis plus (SGBA+)?
SGBA+ is the process of integrating sex, gender and key factors of identity throughout the research process, from conceptualizing (e.g. - research question development) to completion (e.g. - knowledge translation).
What does the “plus” refer to in SGBA+?
We know that sex (biological differences) and gender (socially constructed roles, behaviours, expressions and identities) are two important socio-demographic factors that affect health experiences and outcomes. The inclusion of “plus” in SGBA+ points to the many key social determinants that may affect health, including ethnicity, income, age, race and education. This idea is at the heart of the work our WCRI scientists are doing; from research design to measurement, analysis and implementation. We know health research that includes an SGBA+ lens is more scientifically rigorous and responsive to the diverse health needs of people in Ontario, across Canada and around the world.
What does SGBA+ mean to research?
Taking SGBA+ into account has the potential to make research more ethically sound, inclusive and effective. The inclusion of an SGBA+ lens into the design, evaluation, implementation and dissemination of research creates evidence-based, effective and appropriate healthcare policies for all. Ultimately, it enhances patient care, program development and treatment. Further, integrating an SGBA+ lens in health research will make proposals stronger and findings more relevant, leading to greater impact which will help advance equitable outcomes for all.
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
For more than a century, Women’s College Hospital (WCH) has been committed to the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI). Just look at our history – WCH was the first place in Toronto where women could study medicine and the first hospital where they could practice this discipline. WCRI is building on this commitment to EDI to generate stronger research outputs, create more inclusive research environments and strengthen the impacts of research. But how exactly do we define equity, diversity and inclusion?
Equity: Equity means fairness. Equity in health means that peoples’ needs guide the distribution of opportunities for well-being.
Diversity: Diversity means having a range of individuals with various racial, ethnic, socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds with various lifestyles, experience and interests.
Inclusion: Inclusion means that all individuals feel respected, recognized, accepted and valued.
Diabetes Action Canada (DAC)
By working with Diabetes Action Canada (DAC), Women’s College Research Institute (WCRI) leads the integration of sex and gender considerations throughout the network’s research processes and products. By partnering with each of DAC’s nine national research teams, we are helping to increase capacity and advance the future of diabetes research in Canada. For more information, visit: diabetesaction.ca
Ontario SPOR Support Unit (OSSU)
With the support from the Ontario SPOR Support Unit (OSSU), WCRI has had the opportunity to expand activities promoting the inclusion of SGBA+ in health research. OSSU supports WCRI’s Sex and Gender Research Support Service (SGRS), which responds to queries from the community of OSSU researchers and others seeking to improve their inclusion of SGBA+. This contributes to our goal of establishing Ontario as the national leader on the integration of SGBA+ in all health research. For more information, visit: CIHR.