Employment Equity


What is Employment Equity?

Employment Equity is a program designed to ensure that all job applicants and employees have a fair chance in the workplace. It is achieved when no person is denied employment opportunities or benefits for reasons unrelated to their abilities.  

Dalhousie is committed to employment equity and wishes to institute active measures to eliminate discrimination and to reverse the historic under-representation of Indigenous peoples (especially Mi’kmaq), persons of Black/African descent (especially African Nova Scotians), and other members of racialized groups, persons with disabilities, women and persons identifying as members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community within its workforce.   

The ultimate objective of Employment Equity is full participation in employment of all historically under-representation groups according to their availability in the work force.

For more information on employment equity in Canada, please visit the Labour Program’s Employment Equity website.

Definitions of Designated Groups

Racialized Persons

Racialized persons are people (other than Aboriginal/indigenous persons) who are non-white in colour and non-Caucasian in race, regardless of their place of birth or citizenship. (Sometimes referred to as “racially visible” or “visible minority”)

Examples of racial/ethnic groups

  • Person of African ancestry (Black)
  • Person of Historical Black/African Nova Scotian ancestry
  • Person of European ancestry (White)
  • East Asian (e.g., Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese, Korean, etc.)
  • South Asian (e.g., Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Indian, Sri Lankan)
  • South East Asian (e.g., Vietnamese, Thai, Cambodian, Malaysian, Filipino/a, etc.)
  • Non-white West Asian or Arab (e.g., Iranian, Afghani, Lebanese, Egyptian, Iraqi, Armenian, Israeli, etc.)
  • Non-white Latin, South, Central American or Caribbean
  • Multiracial

Indigenous Persons

Indigenous/Aboriginal persons include people who identify as First Nations (Status, non-Status, Treaty), Métis, Inuit, Native or North American Indian (including North and Central America and the Caribbean).  

Persons with a Disability

Persons with a disability are people who have a chronic, long-term or recurring physical, sensory, mental, learning or intellectual impairment, that, in interaction with a barrier, hinders that person’s full and effective participation in society. This
includes, but isn’t limited to, people whose functional limitations due to their impairment have been accommodated in their workplace (ex: by the use of technical aids, changes to equipment or other working arrangements).

Examples of groups of persons with a disability

  • Coordination/dexterity (e.g. cerebral palsy)
  • Blind/visual impairment
  • Speech Impairment
  • Non-visible physical impairment (e.g. hemophilia)
  • Developmental/mental impairment (e.g. Down’s Syndrome)
  • Mobility impairment (e.g. need to use a wheelchair)
  • Learning disability (e.g. dyslexia)
  • Deaf/hearing impairment
  • Psychiatric impairment (e.g. severe depression)


Language, particularly in relation to sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, involves social constructs which evolve over time. The definitions below are not meant to label individuals but are meant to be helpful functional descriptors. They are not standardized and may be used differently by different people.

Examples of gender identity/expression

  • Transgender
  • Gender non-conforming
  • Two Spirit
  • Queer
  • Cisgender (self-identify with your birth sex)

Examples of sexual orientation

  • Lesbian
  • Bisexual
  • Gay
  • Heterosexual
  • Queer
  • Two Spirit
  • Asexual