2020 Employment Equity Report Highlights Opportunities for Greater Diversity of UBC Workforce, Leadership

Published annually, the Employment Equity Report provides an overview of hiring and employment practices put in place to create and sustain equitable, diverse and inclusive workplaces at UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan. Using the self-identification data provided by UBC’s employees through the employment equity survey, the annual employment equity report provides comparable data on workplace demographics across occupational groups and for each of the five federally designated groups: women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, racialized people and members of 2SLGBTQIA+ community.

Trends and patterns among federally designated groups

Continuing along the trend seen in previous years, staff and faculty identifying as women again have the largest representation on both campuses, among the federally designated groups. The second largest designated group of employees is racialized people, whose representation has increased on Vancouver campus and currently exceeds national but is below regional workforce comparisons. At UBCO, while representation of racialized people has decreased it is above regional but below national comparators.  

The second largest designated group of employees is racialized people, whose representation, at 36.8 per cent, has increased on the Vancouver campus in recent years and currently exceeds national but is below regional workforce comparisons. At UBCO, representation of racialized people increased slightly, at 13.5 per cent in 2020, and is above regional but below national comparators.

People with disabilities continue to experience lower levels of representation on both campuses relative to the regional and national workforce.

The percentage of employees who self-identify as Indigenous at the Vancouver campus is 2.6 per cent, slightly higher than the Vancouver workforce percentage but below the national percentage, with an overall increase of 0.7 per cent since 2015.

The percentage of employees self-identifying as Indigenous at the Okanagan campus is 5.2 per cent slightly below the Kelowna Workforce percentage, however, but is above the national percentage. The proportion of employees identifying as Indigenous has increased since 2015 by 2.5 per cent.

Greater opportunities for diversity in leadership

It is important to note is that the proportional representation of designated groups varies across Employment Equity Occupational Groups, for example in groups such as Senior Managers, University Professors, or Skilled Crafts and Trades.

Particular challenges have been noted in terms of hiring and recruitment of racialized people and persons with disabilities at senior levels. More targeted initiatives are planned and under way on an institutional level to more fully embrace and demonstrate UBC’s commitments to employment equity and inclusion.

This year’s report expands on previous reports by reporting on the status of objectives identified in UBC’s 2019 Employment Equity Plan: 

  1. Ensuring policies and practices support employment opportunities for, and representation of, designated group members at UBC; 
  2.  Fostering and establishing a respectful work environment at UBC that supports the successful integration and engagement of equity group members; and 
  3. Ensuring that learning and progress evaluations are incorporated into UBC’s employment equity program through robust monitoring and accountability mechanisms.

Some notable actions highlighted in this year’s report which promote more equitable hiring, recruitment and retention practices include the launch of the Hiring Equity module through UBC’s Workplace Learning Platform; UBC’s ongoing participation in the federally funded and research-oriented Dimensions pilot program; and comparison of applicant pool demographics to new hires for Canada Research Chair searches.

UBC has administered its Employment Equity Survey in its current form for roughly 10 years and has recently revised and updated the survey to adopt promising practices in demographic data collection and embrace language and concepts that better reflect the way members of the UBC community think and speak of themselves. 

In efforts to enhance data collection, management, and reporting the revised questionnaire is now available exclusively through UBC’s Workday platform. The survey remains a key source of institutional data necessary for informing and advancing a number of strategic initiatives planned and underway at UBC.

Collecting and reporting on employment equity data is valuable as it helps us assess our progress against our commitments to equity, diversity, and inclusion, including in alignment with the Strategic Plan goals number 4 (build a diverse culture), and 7 (first-choice plan to learn and work); and core areas and strategies (People & Places, S4. Inclusive Excellence).

UBC is committed to improving employment equity, protecting the human rights of students, faculty, and staff, and building a community where principles of inclusion are embedded across all aspects of university life. 

Access the full 2020 Employment Equity Report.