Shereen Samuels Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Speaks:  English

Primary office:  Calgary

Shereen Samuels

"Equity and inclusion are the goal, but they are also the process. We must attempt to embody the future we wish to create, and engage with each other with honesty and humility, to make meaningful, sustainable change." ~ Shereen Samuels

Head of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) at Gowling WLG, Shereen Samuels has over 23 years of experience in DEI change work, curriculum development, and group process facilitation. She offers over 20 years of experience in leadership, policy development, strategic planning, communications, board governance, and risk management. She also has 10 years of experience in senior management and academic research.

Shereen identifies as a Black, queer, first-generation immigrant ciswoman of South African heritage. She is grateful to live and work in Moh'kinstsis (also known as Calgary), in the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy, Treaty 7 territory, which is also home to the Tsuu T'ina and Iyarhe Nakoda nations, and the Metis nation, Region 3.

Prior to joining the firm, Shereen gained over 17 years of progressive leadership experience, working collaboratively to build inclusive community resources, spaces and programs in a post-secondary campus environment. This included her role as both a member and subcommittee chair of Mount Royal University's Indigenization Strategic Plan Steering Committee.

In her past role as an DEI consultant, she designed and facilitated DEI learning sessions for clients such as the City of Vernon, the Social Planning Council of the North Okanagan, CMHA Vernon, the Okanagan College Library and the Calgary Folk Music Festival Society. She was also a chair of the Calgary Public Library Governance Committee, and achieved the board's inclusive recruitment goal to diversify representation to include Indigenous, youth and newcomer perspectives.

Shereen is the creator of the Meaningful Inclusion Matrix, a framework to guide organizations in becoming more inclusive.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2019

    • Community
      Association of Managers in Canadian College and University Student Centres (AMICCUS-C) Committee member, Ethics and Accreditation Committee
  • 2018

    • Community
      Mount Royal University: Indigenization Strategic Plan Implementation Committee
  • 2014

    • Community
      Mount Royal University: Diversity and Meaningful Inclusion Plan Implementation Committee
    • Community
      Mount Royal University: Indigenization Strategic Plan Steering Committee
    • Community
      Calgary Public Library: Board of Directors (volunteer)
    • Community
      Mount Royal University: Student Clubs Policy Development Committee
  • 2012

    • Community
      Mount Royal University: Institutional Response to Crisis Committee
  • 2011

    • Education
      Royal Roads University, MA, Professional Communications,
  • 2010

    • Community
      Mount Royal University: Diversity and Meaningful Inclusion Plan Development Committee
    • Community
      Mount Royal University: Positive Space Committee
  • 2006

    • Community
      Calgary Folk Music Festival Society: Board of Directors (volunteer)
  • 2002

    • Community
      Calgary Sexual Health Centre (then CBCA): Board of Directors (volunteer)
  • 2001

    • Community
      CUSO: CUPE 2440 union representative/Chapter co-chair

Insights & Resources

Text overlay with title of event - The future of DEI: How far have we come, and what comes next? On-demand webinar
04 October 2022 The future of DEI: How far have we come, and what comes next? CLE/CPD:1 hour

Articles & presentations

Author: Creating more inclusive and equitable organizations: A practical roadmap, article, January 2021

Speaker: More inclusion, diverse leadership in corporate Calgary, video interview, October 2020

Author: Plural - A World of Difference, written interview, Sept 2020