Waterloo’s Employee Equity Census

Sunday, September 24, 2023

A message from Michelle Hollis, Interim Chief Human Resources Officer, and Dr. Christopher Taylor, Associate Vice-President, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism.

Notice of Collection of Personal Information 

What is the Employee Equity Census? 

Please take a few minutes to complete the University of Waterloo Employee Equity Census form. The University of Waterloo collects personal information, such as gender identity, racial identity, and Indigenous identity, to understand the composition of our community. This will also help us plan and improve programs and services to make the University a place where everyone can work, grow, and thrive. 

This form takes about 5 minutes to complete, and you will have an opportunity to update it every year. Data collection for this year’s annual report will close on October 31, 2023.  

Please complete and submit this form, and answer as honestly and accurately as possible. You may choose not to answer any question by selecting the “I prefer not to answer” option. There are no consequences for choosing this option, aside from the University missing your contribution in identifying equity gaps.  

Watch this short video on how to access the Employee Equity Census in Workday or follow the steps below. 

1. Click the following link:  


2. Login to Workday. 

A University of Waterloo sign-in box

3. The Create Request textbox will appear. Click on the Request Type drop-down menu.

Create Request window

4. Select All.

Create Request window showing "all" selected.

5. Select Employee Equity Census and then click OK.

Create Request window showing the Employee Equity Census selection.

Why does my participation matter? 

The Equity Census helps the University create an equitable campus by informing decisions on how to address barriers that exclude or marginalize certain groups.  

The de-identified, summarized information collected by this census will help to identify what portion of Waterloo employees are from Black, Indigenous, or other historically underrepresented, or otherwise excluded groups, and the representation of these groups in specific programs, units, and faculties. With this information, we will explore ways to enhance access to programs and career pathways for under-represented groups and improve the opportunities for employees to reach their potential. Summarized information is also used for required government reporting.  

How is the information collected, stored, and protected? 

The information on the form is collected under the authority of s. 3, 4 and 14 of the University of Waterloo Act and is used by the institution in a protected manner (see Policy 46) to inform administration, programming, support, planning, and evaluation activities. Your answers will be maintained as confidential. Individual records collected will be maintained until outdated, or required to be deleted by law, whichever is earlier. 

The Employee Equity Census is handled with the use of strict protocols to minimize identification of individuals. Individual level data will be available only to a small number of qualified staff in Human Resources, in partnership with additional qualified individuals in Institutional Analysis and Planning. Pseudo-IDs are used to prevent any unnecessary individual identification beyond this small group of qualified individuals. The Workday database is accessible only to members of the Human Resources department by double password and key locked terminals. The system work of the Human Resources department is contained within a computer network which is not accessible to outside users.  

De-identified data from the form will be transferred and stored on a secure server. Access will be limited only to those who support institutional analysis and reporting. Unapproved individuals, including Waterloo staff (e.g., managers, department heads, professors, teaching assistants, academic advisors), will not have access to your data. 

Additional data security procedures including 2FA, and secure key-locked virtual machines used by a small number of qualified staff are in place to ensure that personal identifiers are protected when linked to other administrative data for analysis. Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for examples of the types of questions this information may help answer. 

Individual, or potentially identifiable data will never be publicly released to anyone (e.g., to family, professors, employers). Reports and presentations will contain only summarized information provided in this form.  

Your responses may be combined with additional information found in University records (such as citizenship status in Canada, unit or faculty, length of time at the University, USG level, rank, and salary) to help us improve our employee programs and outcomes.  

For more information about this data collection, we encourage you to visit the Equity Data Strategy website and read through the Frequently Asked Questions.

By completing the Employee Equity Census, you confirm that you have read the information above and have answered as honestly and accurately as possible.   

If you would like to request an alternate format of the form, have questions, or require assistance completing it, please email analysis@uwaterloo.ca.