Not to be confused with “Equality”, Equity helps us focus on treating individuals fairly rather than treating everyone the same. Since we all have different abilities, strengths, weaknesses, interests, cultural practices and beliefs, it is important that we attempt to recognize and respect those differences in the way we treat each individual person. Equity involves ensuring that every member of a community is treated fairly according to his or her own personal needs and identities. It is often necessary to ensure that people are treated differently but equitably rather than equally, since equal treatment – enforcing the same rules on everyone – can sometimes lead to unfairness.

Employment Equity

A program designed to address historical disadvantages faced by some members of our society in attempting to take part in the workforce. The University of New Brunswick is a signatory to the Federal Contractors Program (FCP), an employment equity program instituted by the Federal Government that applies to all organizations that have contracts with the Federal Government totaling in excess of $200,000 per year.

The FCP creates four “Designated Groups”, representing communities within our society that have traditionally faced disadvantage in participating in the Canadian workforce. These Designated Groups are Women, Persons with Disabilities, members of Racialized Communities (called “Visible Minorities) and Aboriginal People.

The FCP is not a quota program, nor does it require UNB to hire people who are not qualified for employment positions. It does, however, require UNB to do the following

  1. Conduct surveys of its employees to establish the levels of representation in its workforce of the four Designated Groups;
  2. Keep the data collected in the surveys in a completely confidential database and only use the data in aggregate form;
  3. Analyse the data collected in the surveys to establish the representation of the Designated Groups in various Occupational Groups across the workforce;
  4. Compare the representation of the Designated Groups in the UNB workforce with the representation of the Designated Groups in the pool of qualified people from which UNB hires its employees;
  5. Identify gaps in the UNB workforce, areas where the representation of one or more Designated Groups is significantly lower than it is in the pool of qualified people from which UNB hires employees into that particular Occupational Group;
  6. Where gaps have been identified, conduct Employment Systems Reviews (ESR) to ascertain why each gap has occurred – an ESR involves reviewing every aspect of the employment process (from initial design of each position, through advertising, recruitment, interviewing and hiring, all the way to issues of promotion and retention) for potential barriers to the participation of members of that particular Designated Group;
  7. Create a plan to address the problems identified in the ESRs and to “close the gaps”;
  8. Hire the best qualified candidate for every position but, where a gap has been identified and two or more candidates for a position are relatively equal in qualifications for the position, hire the candidate who is a member of the under-represented Designated Group.