The City of Toronto, Equity Diversity and Human Rights Division
The Equity & Diversity unit in EDHR has taken an innovative approach to equity work at the City. We have underlined the importance of being able to qualify and quantify the impacts of the City's business on equity-seeking groupsas a measure of the City's effectiveness.
Embedding equity in strategies, policies, programs, services using performance-based questions, developing an equity impacts assessment calculator as part of an intersectional lens, enable staff to identify and remove barriers and address the root causes of inequity. We guide staff and Council in removing barriers and promoting best practices.
The City of Toronto has a strong, inspirational and longstanding commitment to equity, diversity and human rights. Some of the ways we advance our motto "Diversity our Strength" and enhance our capacity to serve Toronto’s Diversity, is by developing and implementing a social procurement policy, meeting the AODA compliance deadlines, and ensuring that access, equity and diversity are advanced through all City services, policies and programs
We currently focus on the following equity-seeking groups:
• Aboriginal Peoples
• Persons with Disabilities
• Racialized group(s)
• LGBT2QS communities
• Undocumented individuals
• Immigrants & Refugees
• Persons with Low Income
• Victims of violence
• Persons who are homeless or under-housed
• Residents in Neighbourhood Improvement Areas
• Religious minorities
We use an intersectional approach that recognizes persons with intersecting identities experience what is called "compound discrimination." They face even more complex challenges in accessing jobs, resources, programs, and services.
It has become important to be able to qualify and quantify the impacts of the City's business on equity-seeking groups, including racialized groups, as a measure of our effectiveness. The new approach supports the City as an employer of choice, leads to customer service excellence and increased public trust and substantive equality. Measuring equity ensures that everyone in the City has equitable access to opportunities and benefits.
Making a Difference:
We have embedded equity measures in many City strategies, frameworks, policies, programs, and services. Performance-based questions, a factsheet on equity-seeking groups, a glossary of equity terms, an equity impacts assessment calculator and using an intersectional lens; allows staff to identify, remove, and address root causes of inequity. Our practice helps guide staff and Council in removing diversity, equity, accessibility and human rights barriers and promoting best practices.
Making equity central to City of Toronto staff decision-making requires developing easy-to-use resources. Given this, enabling staff to conduct equity impacts assessments using equity-based decision-making is a challenge. All City divisions and some agencies and corporations have started reporting their achievements using performance-based results which show measurable improvements to their equity performance. Our aim is to build a culture and practice of using an intersectional gender-based, antiracist, and antipoverty analysis of the City’s budget, policies, services, resources and programs.
Vision for the Future:
Equity Impacts Measurements help the City identify and address the root causes of the needs and barriers faced by different equity-seeking groups. Through this, the City can measure its effectiveness across divisions in meeting community needs by examining the impacts on equity-seeking groups. Complaints, workforce diversity and engagement data correlated to performance reporting and equity impacts information give us a clearer sense of how the City is performing and how it can further strengthen positive equity impacts in specific areas.
The equity impacts assessment framework is results-oriented and leads to demonstrable beneficial outcomes that are tangible and measurable. The highest levels of positive impacts result in not just meeting the current identified need but in addressing root causes of the needs faced by equity-seeking groups. The highest level of positive impacts in the Equity Impacts Calculator lead to fundamental and long-reaching systemic change in how they City reaches out, involves, supports and serves various populations that make our diverse City.
About the City of Toronto, Equity Diversity and Human Rights Division
• Embedding access, equity, diversity and human rights practices in all Toronto Public Service (TPS) activities leading to equitable outcomes.