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Equity, diversity, inclusion & accessibility at work

You bring unique strengths, qualities and lived experiences to the workplace. As an employee, you have the right to be:

  • treated equitably
  • safe
  • comfortable
  • supported at work

We recognize that you may face barriers and that you do your best work when you have the right tools and support.

Our EDI team supports all students and alumni, including co-op students. We can meet with you to discuss your specific needs and find a comfortable path forward.

Finding inclusive employers

As you search for work, you can follow these tips to determine if employers provide an inclusive hiring process and workplace environment.

Pay attention to job posting language

Does the posting:

  • encourage people with diversity backgrounds to apply?
  • mention additional supports and accommodations available for employees and job seekers?

It is illegal for employers in Canada to use discriminatory language in job postings. See other ways to make the most of a job posting.

Research the company's reputation

Learn about the company's leadership team

  • use social media and look at news stories to learn about the company's leadership team and board (these folks are likely to influence the company's decision-making and values)
  • take a look at how these people engage with community to learn more about them as leaders and individuals

Look into Canada's top 100 employers

Every year,Canada's Top 100 Employers lists the top 100 Canadian employers that intentionally embrace diversity and promote inclusion and belonging within their organizations.

Learn about this year's employers and the practices they put into place.

Share resources with employers

Our team has been involved in creating two key resource hubs that can help employers create safe work process and work places:

  • 6 Tools for Diversity: This tool kit helps employers recruit, hire and retain students who come from international pathways.
  • Indigenous Work-Integrated Learning Resource Hub: Although this resources were created to support Indigenous students taking part in work-integrated programs like co-op, they can be used by all employers. Resources include:
    • self-identifying on a job application
    • tokenism
    • partnership and representation
    • program accessibility
    • responding to the TRC Calls to Action

Questions to ask employers

You can learn a lot about a company's culture and focus during an interview. You could ask:

  • what are your company's most important values?
  • can you share some examples of how your company demonstrates its commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace?
  • how does your leadership team demonstrate its commitment to diversity and inclusion?
  • how do you make sure that every employee feels included and valued?
  • can you share data on the leadership team's diversity?
  • what diversity, inclusion or cultural competence training do you offer to employees and their supervisors?
  • what inclusive initiative do you feel most proud of in your company?

See other questions to ask employers during an interview.

Disclosing information to your employer

We've developed a tool to help people from diverse backgrounds decide whether they want to share important personal information at work.

Sharing this information can help you feel like you belong, be safe, and receive supports to succeed. Remember, it's your choice and can vary depending on the situation. 

Disclosing a disability

Deciding whether or not to disclose your disability to your current or prospective employer is complex and personal. It can be a non-linear process, so we've put together a guide to help.

This guide is not meant to replace your own critical reflection process and should be considered as complementary information as you make your own decision.

Accessibility resources

You do your best work when you have the right tools and support. If you identify as having a disability or a mental health condition, you may be unsure about how to raise this with your employer.

Telling your employer about a disability or mental health condition is a personal choice. You are not required to disclose that you have a disability and we can help you make a plan. Some reasons you might choose to share include: 

  • to access reasonable accommodations from your employer
  • if your disability has implications for your health or safety
  • if your potential employer has a commitment to hiring members of equity groups, including people with disabilities

These external resources may be helpful as you explore your next steps.

Connect with us

We’re here to support you in the world of work. We can chat about your specific experiences and find a comfortable path forward.

We are constantly learning and evolving in how we support students at work related to equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility.

Contact us if you’d like to:

  • take part in this conversation
  • offer feedback
  • have resources to share

Accessibility & inclusion co-op coordinator

Neils

Niels Melis De-Lamper (he/him)
250-853-3172
CSR 007

Niels’ focus is to help students that identify as having a disability and/or mental health challenges find meaningful and paid work experience while completing their education program. Connect with Niels to discuss how you can navigate your personal situation, learn if and how to request workplace accommodations and find out why accessibility is part of the conversation. 

UVic's EDI action plan

UVic's Equity Action Plan centres on 5 goals, which are echoed in the work we do through the UVic Co-op and Career office. Our team strives to:

  • take action to advance equity by listening to our community and making real change
  • understand differences in lived experience and increase access for diverse communities 
  • create conditions where peoples' true selves are included and can fulfill their goals
  • make sure everyone experiences a sense of belonging, respect and connection

Communities of support

  • If you identify as having a disability or mental health condition, you can get support related to your academic experiences through UVic’s Centre for Accessible Learning.
  • BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of colour) students can access resources collected through the UVSS BIPOC Support Hub. Indigenous students can also connect with the Native Students Union and the Office of Indigenous, Academic and Community Engagement.
  • UVic Pride celebrates sexual, gender and romantic diversity. You can find resources, chat online, take workshops and take part in events.
  • The Gender Empowerment Centre is a space for self-identified women, non-binary and gender non-conforming folks. It’s a place where you can organize, network, access resources, attend workshops and events, study and relax.
  • If you seek advice or support relating to sexualized violence, discrimination, and/or harassment, you can contact someone in the Equity and Human Rights office.

Other support

Mental health at work

When you are experiencing a mental health challenge, you have the right to reasonable accommodation.

Find out what resources and support are available to you through your employer, such as Employment Assistance programs and counselling. 

Related resources:

Sexualized violence

  • If you experience or witness sexualized violence of any kind, you can contact UVic's Sexualized Violence Resource OfficeSexualized violence is any non-consensual, unwanted actual, attempted or threatened act or behaviour, that is carried out through sexual means or by targeting a person’s sex, sexual or gender identity, or gender expression.

EDI safety resources (on campus)

Employment resources (BC)