March 30, 2021

UCalgary launches data dashboard to promote equity, diversity and inclusion

Collecting key demographic data is vital step in creating equitable pathways on campus
Malinda Smith
Malinda Smith. Stephanie Jager

This month, the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion launched a new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) dashboard with key metrics for students, faculty and staff using categories referenced within Statistics Canada. High-quality data, gathered campus-wide will be shown in various tables within the dashboard, helping to identify gaps and inform policy moving forward. By launching the EDI dashboard, UCalgary is increasing its transparency to key demographic data as part of its commitment to creating equitable pathways for all.

“This equity, diversity and inclusion dashboard is a vital step in creating equitable pathways on campus. We can act on what we track,” says Dr. Malinda Smith, vice-provost (equity, diversity and inclusion). “Data can help reveal systemic inequities, the hidden barriers and obstacles that may block entry to the academy for historically under-represented groups. It can help identify diversity gaps, pay gaps, obstacles to entry or hurdles to promotion for specific groups,” she says. Data are important for helping us identifying problems and, more, for crafting proactive measures and policies to ensure all members of our community can flourish.

The EDI dashboard itself was established through a collaboration between the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and the Office of Institutional Analysis.  

“This dashboard draws from data collected across campus to provide a comprehensive look at equity, diversity and inclusion at UCalgary,” says Bruce Evelyn, vice-provost (planning and resource allocation).

It has been designed so that the information collected will help inform the development of policies and procedures to foster inclusion across campus. In the spirit of transparency and accountability, the data is being made available to the campus community and the public.

While the dashboard represents a step forward for UCalgary EDI metrics, data collection continues to evolve on campus, says Smith.

For instance, there is currently no information tracking intersectionality of individuals who are part of more than one marginalized group. Gender data is also currently collected in a binary form, with little information about our trans-community currently collected.  The intention is for both of these gaps to be remedied in future as the EDI dashboard continues to evolve. 

EDI dashboard is only the beginning

“Achieving equity is more than just measuring who is accepted into the University of Calgary, or who is hired to work here. We also need to monitor how equity-deserving groups — women, visible minorities, Indigenous peoples, LGBTQ2S+, and persons with disabilities — progress through our institution. Are there hidden obstacles to admissions, or to completing a degree or being hired and promoted or recognized for an award? These are tough questions we need to ask ourselves,” says Smith.

“High-quality EDI data will be critical to helping us identify and then eradicate obstacles to success for all,” she says.