Employment Equity Policy

Final Approval Body: Senior Leadership Team (SLT)

Senior Administrative Position with Responsibility for Policy: Principal and Vice-Chancellor

Date:  1998, February 2014, Revised November 2021



Designated Groups is a term that refers to women, members of visible minorities and racialized groups, Indigenous peoples, and persons with disabilities (and such other groups as may be included in the definition of 'designated groups' in the Employment Equity Act, S.C. 1995, c.46, as amended from time to time).

Diversity is about what makes each of us unique and includes our backgrounds, personality, life experiences and beliefs. It is a combination of the visible and invisible differences that shape our view of the world, our perspective and our approach.

Employment equity is a program that contributes to the overall effectiveness of an organization because it is a human resource planning tool designed to eliminate barriers in the workplace that may prevent the full participation of all employees and potential employees, including designated and equity-deserving group members.

Equity-deserving Groups is a term which includes the four designated groups plus persons who identify as 2SLGBTQ+ in the context of the Queen's University workplace.

Federal Contractors Program (FCP) is a program that requires provincial organizations with 100 or more employees and who receive an initial federal government goods and services contract valued at $1 million or more to commit to implementing employment equity with regard to four designated groups: Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities and racialized groups, and women. Queen's University is a contractor under the FCP.

Special Programs are programs that help disadvantaged groups improve their situation. It is not discrimination to put in place a 'special program’ if it is designed to improve equality of opportunity and help eliminate discrimination for such groups. Special Programs are protected by the Ontario Human Rights Code and The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom.

Under-representation is defined by the FCP as having a significantly lower percentage of designated group members in a particular occupational group than would reasonably be expected in comparison to their known availability in the Canadian workforce.

Purpose of Policy


  • In Canada it is public policy, supported by law, to recognize the dignity and worth of every person, and to provide for equal rights and opportunities without discrimination with the aim of enabling the full participation of every individual in the development of our community. Queen's has embraced the principles of equity underlying the Federal Contractors Program (FCP) whereby organizations make a commitment to implement an employment equity program. The University hires and makes employment and promotion decisions on the basis of qualifications and merit. Employment equity is about hiring and promoting the best-qualified candidate while ensuring fair and equitable processes for all persons
  • To establish the policy framework within which the University's employment equity program will be managed, implemented, and monitored
  • To outline the principles of equity and diversity in the workplace underlying the Queen's employment equity program
  • To identify the roles and responsibilities connected to the implementation of the Queen's employment equity program

Scope of Policy

This Policy applies to all Queen's University employees.


Policy Statement: Queen's university recognizes and appreciates the value that diversity adds to its activities and initiatives. The University is committed to a workplace free of discrimination that is supportive and respectful of employees with diverse backgrounds and that ensures everyone at Queen's has a full and enriching experience.

The University acknowledges its responsibility to maintain an employment equity program, including processes, plans and procedures, that addresses the historic under-representation in the employment of women, members of visible minorities and racialized groups, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, 2SLGBTQ+ persons and other such groups designated by legislation or otherwise.

All members of the Queen's community play a role in the success of employment equity. Each member of the community is responsible and has a role to play in fostering and maintaining a supportive and inclusive workplace.

The Principal, Provost, Vice-Principals, Deans, Senior Administrators including Unit Heads and all other managers who have obligations for employment actions and share responsibility and accountability for the outcomes of the employment equity plan are expected to foster and endorse attitudes and behaviours within their respective divisions that advance employment equity.

The Human Rights and Equity Office (HREO), under the leadership and direction of the Associate Vice Principal (Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion) is mandated to manage and monitor the University's employment equity program and to report on compliance with all legal requirements. The HREO coordinates the development of the University’s annual employment equity plan which establishes quantitative and qualitative measures and reflects the findings of the ongoing employment systems reviews. The annual employment equity plan is developed in consultation with appropriate academic and administrative departments and the Faculty and Staff, Recruitment, Retention and Support Sub-Council of the University Council on Anti-Racism and Equity (UCARE). Final accountability for the University's employment equity policy rests with the Principal of the University. The Principal will ensure open communications on this policy and on the results of the employment equity plan by reporting annually to the Senate and the Board of Trustees.

Related Policies, Procedures and Guidelines:  Employment Equity Procedure, the Queen's Equity Appointments Process (QEAP)

Policies Superseded by this Policy: None

Responsible Officer: AVP (Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion)

Contact: Manager, Data and Administration

Date for Next Review: November, 2026