Learn more about the Equity Survey

Jump to: Development and Implementation Timeline | Collecting Equity Data | Developing the Survey | Frequently Asked Questions

Explore this page to learn more about the development of Waterloo’s Equity Survey, and watch this short video (run time, about 10 minutes), which provides insight into

  • what equity data is;
  • what equity data Waterloo already has;
  • what is the equity survey;
  • why Waterloo is doing this;
  • when we are running the survey;
  • how it was developed;
  • who developed it;
  • what comes next; and,
  • what happens after that?

To complement this video, we have also include some of the most frequently asked questions.pdf

Equity Survey Development and Implementation Timeline

  1. 2020
    1. Aug
      1. Equity Data Survey Project Charter initiated and consultation begins

    2. Sep
      1. Senior leadership supports gathering equity data across campus; initiate passed through Senate

    3. Oct
      1. Consultations, Survey and Data Security Development

        • Equity Data Advisory Group forms and meets for the first time
        • From consultations and Equity Data Advisory Group, first draft of the Equity Data Survey is created
        • Privacy and data security protocols are established

  2. 2021
    1. Jun
      1. Equity Data Survey is Launched

        • Almost 50,000 students and employees receive the survey through their @uwaterloo email address
        • Reminders to participate in the survey were scheduled for each month (mid-month)

    2. Oct
      1. Equity data collection is paused and data analysis begins

    3. Dec
      1. Initial data available

        Additional reports will be released through the Winter of 2022

  3. 2022
    1. Jan
      1. Equity Survey migration to enterprise systems planning

        • Decision to move data collection to enterprise systems 

    2. May
      1. Survey re-opened for employees

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Collecting Equity Data

We have been collecting some equity data in recent years, but we need to expand the data we collect. This survey will be asking for more comprehensive voluntary self-identification in the following areas:  

  • disability
  • Indigenous identity
  • racial identity
  • gender identity
  • sexual identity
  • religious or spiritual affiliation
  • family education background
  • Canadian residency status

Creating a more comprehensive data set about the people at Waterloo will help address any areas where we are not serving members of our community.

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Developing the Survey

This survey is the next step in the work of many groups on campus. The Equity Office and Institutional Analysis & Planning developed the survey instrument through consultation with an Equity Data Advisory Group. This group is made up of students, faculty, and staff with expertise in equity and related data collection. Many members also have lived experience as a member of an under-represented group. In addition, the Equity Office worked with Indigenous representatives, and groups such as the President’s Anti-Racism Taskforce (PART), the Black Faculty Collective, along with student groups and associations, to ensure that they informed how the survey was developed.

Per Policy 55, the University of Waterloo Survey Advisory Committee provided oversight for the survey. This committee includes the University’s Information Stewards, Privacy Coordinator, Office of Research Ethics, and an expert in survey methodologies.   

Once collected, we will use equity data alongside other data and information to answer the following vital questions: 

  1. How does the makeup of Waterloo's community compare to Waterloo Region, Ontario and Canada?
  2. Are equity-deserving groups participating in the programs and services that Waterloo offers, and how does their participation compare to other groups and the overall university community? What are the gaps and how can they be addressed?
  3. Do some groups experience fewer benefits or more barriers while learning or working at Waterloo, compared with the overall university community? What can be done to improve any gaps?

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Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

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 Basic Survey Information

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