9 Things to Know About the Workforce Diversity Census

On Tuesday of next week (November 26), the University of Alberta's new Workforce Diversity Census will hit your inbox.

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On Tuesday of next week (November 26), the University of Alberta's new Workforce Diversity Census will hit your inbox.

The census will give us a clear picture of the demographic makeup of the university community, and help us to promote a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive U of A over the long term. It's the most recent chapter in a long history of supporting equity, diversity, and inclusivity in the U of A's programming, services, teaching, learning, and scholarship.

Here are nine things you should know about the Workforce Diversity Census:

1) The census is new this year

It replaces a demographic survey that was previously done by Human Resource Services, and collects more data on relevant measures that will help to promote equity, diversity, and inclusivity.

The census is also different from the recent Faculty & Staff Engagement Survey.

2) It should take less than 5 minutes

There are as few as 11 multiple choice questions on the census, depending on your responses (maximum 17 questions).

There's also space to leave any comments at the end.

3) Your answers matter

Each member of the University of Alberta holds a unique perspective, so we need and value your participation to get a more complete picture of our university community.

Your answers will not only contribute to U of A initiatives, but also help to meet expectations set by our partners and funders, such as Universities Canada's principles on equity, diversity and inclusion and the Canadian Tri-Agency Council's commitment to EDI.

4) Most employees will receive the census by email on November 26

The census link you get by email will be unique, so please don't forward it.

5) The data will help shape a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive university

We launched our EDI Strategic Plan earlier this calendar year, and the census date will enable us to refine, work towards, and evaluate the goals and objectives we laid out in that plan.

By providing a better understanding our current environment, the data can both guide and support our next steps moving forward.

6) Census data will be held confidentially and securely

The data will remain separate from your formal employment record. It will be connected to some employee data for analysis only - and this will be done with confidential, secure, and anonymized staff identifiers (not official employee IDs).

Access to the data will be strictly limited to those few people who actually manage the census - in other words, supervisors and co-workers will not see the data.

Lastly, any publicly reported results will appear as aggregated totals only.

7) A team of subject-matter experts helped to build the census

We're fortunate to have many EDI experts right here at the U of A, several of whom consulted on and helped to build the census (the advisory group members are listed below).

The U of A census is also informed by Statistics Canada methodology, which will help to support comparisons with the broader population.

8) We have a few ways to keep the census data current

Moving forward, new employees will receive the census when they first arrive at the U of A. We'll also plan to repeat the full census every 3-5 years or so to keep our data current.

You will be able to update your personal data at any time by contacting equity@ualberta.ca.

9) You can decline to answer questions

"I prefer not to answer" is an available option for every question on the survey.

If you want to decline participation completely, the marked checkbox on the first page of the census will keep you from getting reminder emails.

More Resources

EDI Strategic Plan

EDI at the U of A

Workforce Diversity Census webpage



Workforce Diversity Census - Advisory Group

  • Wendy Rodgers
  • Chris Andersen
  • Malinda Smith
  • Helly Goez
  • Ania Ulrich
  • Harvey Krahn
  • Catherine Anley
  • Deborah Williams
  • Logan Mardhani-Bayne
  • Jason Michael
  • Michael Rausch
  • Deb Kershaw
  • Matthew McCreary