Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is employment equity?
Employment equity practices seek to ensure that no one is denied employment opportunities or benefits for reasons not related to one’s ability. They also seek to correct disadvantages in employment experienced by members of designated equity groups, which under McGill’s Employment Equity Policy include:
- Racialized persons/visible minorities
- Indigenous persons
- Persons with a disability
- Ethnic minorities
- LGBTT2SQ* People
Note that employment equity is distinct from “pay equity,” which addresses gender-based wage discrimination.
2. Why are we running this survey, and how will the results be used?
This survey is intended to help the University ensure the full participation and career advancement of all groups within the McGill workforce. It will help McGill identify and remove employment barriers for underrepresented groups, and ensure their appropriate representation at McGill.
3. If I’ve already filled out an employment equity survey in the past, do I have to fill this one out too?
Yes, you are encouraged to fill out this survey even if you’ve completed similar ones in the past. To ensure that this data can meaningfully inform policies and procedures at McGill, full participation from the McGill community is necessary.
4. Who should complete this survey?
All regular and term faculty and staff. For the moment, we will not be surveying casual employees, or employees holding academic student appointments. If you have questions about your participation, please contact the Employment Equity Advisor.
5. Who has access to the survey results?
The results are confidential, and will only be used for the purposes of implementing McGill's Employment Equity program. Your individual survey responses will never be shared with your manager, supervisor, Chair or Dean. The data from your responses is aggregated and summarized within statistical reports as required by the federal and provincial governments. McGill also reports aggregate data to its Senate as required by McGill’s Employment Equity Policy, and relies on this data to inform strategies and goals aimed at making McGill’s workforce more representative.
6. Why does the survey ask about my sexual orientation and gender identity, when government regulations don’t require this?
McGill’s Employment Equity Policy includes sexual orientation and gender identity minorities as protected groups. The intention is to ensure that LGBTT2SQ* people are well-represented in our workforce. This is in line with emerging practices at peer institutions across Canada.
7. Why does the survey ask about my race, ethnicity, gender identity, etc., but not my religion?
Survey questions reflect the designated equity groups within federal and provincial legislation and in McGill’s Employment Equity Policy. These are groups that have faced disadvantages within the Canadian labour market. Employment equity measures advance fairness in the workplace and should not be confused with human rights protections, which prohibit discrimination based on religion, race, ethnicity, and other grounds.
8. I feel that my circumstances are unique - I’m not sure how to answer a question.
Additional information and definitions related to the designated groups can be found here. Please read the definitions carefully, and then answer to the best of your ability. Any remaining questions may be directed, in confidence, to the Employment Equity Advisor.
9. Are racial, ethnic, gender and other designated groups well-represented at McGill?
Like other universities, McGill has a smaller proportion of Indigenous people, people with disabilities, and racialized people/visible minorities in its workforce than is found in the labour market. Women are underrepresented in some key areas and ranks. The University is constantly striving to enhance its levels of representation, and employment equity measures are one means of doing so. For more detail, please see the most recent Senate Report on Employment Equity.
10. Concretely, how will this survey help remove barriers to inequitable/discriminatory hiring?
The survey will provide the University with key data on McGill’s workforce, and will inform action plans and strategies to address underrepresentation in identified areas. It will also allow for progress to be measured over time.
11. If I self-identify as a member of a designated group, am I more likely to get hired/promoted? (And if I don’t, is career advancement less likely?)
No. Your survey responses will not be shared with supervisors, and will not directly affect your career opportunities. The survey is designed to create a big-picture snapshot of McGill’s workforce for use in institutional reporting and to inform policy and practice on a broad scale – not to influence individual hiring/promotion processes.
12. Do other institutions collect this type of information as well?
13. Can I update my information if it changes?
Yes, you can update your survey responses at any time. Simply visit Minerva, navigate to the survey form (Employee > Employment Equity Survey), update your answers and re-submit the form.
14. Is this survey available in French?
Yes. Click here for the French survey.
15. Do I have to answer all the questions?
You may skip any questions that you choose, and answer only those questions to which you wish to respond.
16. Who can I contact if I have questions or comments, or if I need technical assistance with the survey?
The Employment Equity Advisor is here to assist you.