Employment equity

Employment equity at the University of Waterloo

The University of Waterloo has a strong commitment to increasing equity, diversity, inclusion and Indigenous initiatives in all facets of its operations and to remove barriers to achieving an equitable academic, research and campus environment. As outlined in it’s 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, Waterloo is committed to being “a people-centered institution committed to genuine care, concern, respect, inclusivity and well-being for all.”

There are several initiatives and training opportunities in place to increase access and inclusion for faculty, staff and students across the campus community. The Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism (EDI-R) office works with stakeholders across campus to advance equity through evidence-based policies, practices and programs. While employment equity and diversity are central to the EDI-R, all members of the university community share the responsibility of creating an equitable and diverse campus.

Like many equity initiatives, employment equity is ongoing, and the University of Waterloo works to identify and eliminate employment barriers that may exist in procedures and policies. An employment equity program attempts to achieve a workforce that reflects the diversity of the available labour force.

Employment equity works to increase the range of applicants to reflect all those – including those from historically under-represented groups – who are qualified candidates. Understanding the employment equity landscape better positions Waterloo to identify and remove barriers that prevent the full participation of members of historically under-represented groups in the workforce.

Employment equity survey

All employees (faculty and staff) are asked to complete a short employment equity census. The answers will:

  • Allow the university to comply with the Federal Contractors Program and Employment Equity Act
  • Provide valuable data on the composition and diversity of Waterloo’s workforce
  • Help set employment equity goals which can improve its hiring, promotion and retention practices
  • Take concrete steps to identify and remove systemic barriers to equity in recruitment, employment, retention, and promotion

The census will only take a few minutes to complete. Individuals can change or update their information at any time.

You can complete the census online or on paper. All full-time regular Faculty, Staff and CUPE members will be requested to complete the census. You can access the census by logging into Workday and accessing the: Cloud icon (top right) > View profile > Job > Additional Data > Edit

Additional Data Section of the workday profile

If you require an alternate format for this census, or have any questions, please contact Human Resources: hrhelp@uwaterloo.ca or 519-888-4567 x 45935.


The information provided through the census is collected under the authority of section 18 and 42 of the Employment Equity Act and will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Please Note: when information is transmitted over the internet, privacy cannot be guaranteed. There is always a risk your responses may be intercepted by a third party (e.g., government agencies, hackers). University of Waterloo researchers will not collect or use internet protocol (IP) addresses or other information which could link your participation to your computer or electronic device without first informing you.

Data collected from the census is analyzed anonymously; no one is identified by name or staff number. Results from the census will not be shared with supervisors/managers and will only be used for the purposes outlined above.

The information you provide will be stored securely in Workday and can only be accessed by designated staff from the Data and Analytics team in Human Resources. Your manager, department head or recruitment personnel do not have access to this information.

The aggregated census data is included in the Employment Equity report provided to the Federal Government. It will also be made available to planning groups on campus (e.g. the Equity Office) as required to inform strategic planning and work toward removing systemic barriers relating to equity, diversity and inclusion. No individual is ever identified through this collection process.

Questions about the collection and use of the information may be forwarded to hrhelp@uwaterloo.ca.

Please refer to the FAQ page for commonly asked questions.