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Employment Equity Census

2021 Employment Equity Census

In February 2021, Concordia faculty and staff were invited to participate in a university-wide equity census.

Collecting and analysing this sociodemographic information is an essential first step for the university to meaningfully address underrepresentation and examine institutional barriers that prevent employees and students from fully participating in university life.

While employment equity legislation requires that Concordia collect data with respect to designated groups (i.e., women, Indigenous persons, linguistic minorities, racialized persons, and persons with disabilities), Concordia’s census exercise also invited other equity-deserving groups to self-identify such as members of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities.

Data collection

The census was sent to 6,722 active faculty and staff.

A total of 2,687 respondents completed the census, distributed as follows, which represents a 40% response rate:

  • Academic staff: 1,424
  • Non-academic staff: 1,263


The data was analysed by SOM, an independent firm. The maximum margin of error for all respondents is 1.5 percent (with a 95 percent confidence level).

Cross tabulation

The census data, when sample sizes permitted, were also cross tabulated by employee group, type of position, sector, faculty and department.

The cross tabulated results (where available) were presented to the leadership teams of Concordia’s sectors, Faculties, and departments.


Representation of women

Nearly six out of ten employees at Concordia are women (58%), which is higher than in the Canadian population (50.6%), in the Canadian workforce (47%), and in the populations of Quebec and Montréal (50%). 

2SLGBTQIA+ representation

About 12% of Concordia employees identify as a member of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities, which is higher than in the Canadian population (3.3%). Respondents who identified as members of 2SLGBTQ+ communities also responded to questions pertaining to sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Indigenous peoples

1.2% (+ 0.3%) of Concordia’s employees identified as Indigenous, higher than the proportion of Indigenous people in Montréal (0.7% in 2016). The proportion of Indigenous people among Concordia’s employees is nevertheless lower than proportions amongst Canada’s population (4.9%) and in the Canadian workforce (3.6%).

Racialized peoples

25% (+ 1.3%) of Concordia employees identified as a racialized person. This is lower than the Montréal population (34.2%), but similar to the Canadian population (22.3%) and workforce (21.3%) and slightly higher than in Canadian universities (21%). The proportion of racialized people among Concordia’s personnel is higher than the proportions in Quebec’s population (12.9%).

Linguistic minorities

31% (+ 1.4%) of Concordia's personnel identify as linguistic minorities. This is higher than both the proportion in Canada’s population (23.4%) and Quebec’s population (15.4%).

People living with disabilities

5.7% (+ 0.7%) of Concordia’s employees reported a disability. This is lower than Montréal and Quebec (16%), the Canadian population (22%) and the national workforce (16%).

Note: The Statistics Canada definition of disability may include more people, which means the gap observed here may be lower in reality. Further data collection will generate more insight. 

Summary of findings

The results represent a snapshot of Concordia’s employee population in time. Due to small samples sizes in some cases, we were not able to generate detailed data specific to Faculties and sectors. With continued iterations of this exercise, we will be able to conduct more localized analyses as well as monitor enduring trends and new shifts concerning the demographics of our community. This information gathering will better inform the university’s equity goals and strategy.

A note about the data: The census may have attracted more respondents who are members of underrepresented communities in the Quebec and/or Canadian population. As such, the picture presented by the data may be influenced by increased representation of certain subgroups. Results should be interpreted with this in mind; future census exercises will provide more data to analyze with a higher degree of certainty.

The report also indicates the need for a more nuanced understanding around the multiplicity of identities within broad groups (e.g., racialized persons, linguistic minorities, and 2SLGBTQIA+ communities) as well as a better comprehension regarding the representation of these groups in leadership positions and other roles at Concordia.

Data collected within the survey were also compared with information regarding the general Canadian population (for example, the 2016 Canadian census), Canadian workforce, Quebec population, and Montreal population. It is important to note here that for some of the survey topics, data from those populations were unavailable.

The census therefore provides a strong starting point to better understand the makeup of our community as well as affirms the need to be iterative in our data collection approaches.

Process and next steps

Concordia will continue to conduct this exercise on a regular basis and share the results with the community so we can collectively track our progress and be data informed in our next steps. 

The process for the census will unfold in cycles and evolve over time to meet the changing needs of the Concordia community. 

The aim is to remain in dialogue with all constituencies, including ongoing consultations with campus units, faculty, staff, students, and the broader university community.

Concordia will consider modifications to the census content at particular intervals so that it continues to reflect the demographics, experiences and aspirations of the university.

Questions? Contact us

Please contact for any questions or concerns regarding the Concordia equity census.

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