Equity Deserving Groups Definitions

“Equity Deserving Groups” means groups who have historically been denied equal access to employment, education, and other opportunities.

Equity deserving groups includes, without limitation, the following:
  • Indigenous peoples
  • Racialized communities
  • Newcomers, refugees and asylum seekers


  • Persons with disabilities/disabled persons
  • Women
  • Gender Minorities


  • Members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community
  • Others experiencing barriers to economic opportunity and participation

Individuals for Employment Definitions

Indigenous Peoples

First Nations, Métis, Inuit people and communities, including Urban Indigenous communities. Organizations may use the term Aboriginal Peoples but current best practice is Indigenous Peoples.

Racialized Communities

An individual or groups of individuals including those who are perceived as non-white and are therefore subjected to racism and discrimination, including Chinese, South Asian, Black, Filipino, Latin American, Southeast Asian, Arab, West Asian, Japanese, Korean and other communities. Racialized communities also include Indigenous People of nations outside of Canada. Organizations may use the term visible minorities, but current best practice is racialized communities.

Newcomers, Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Newcomer: A person who has been granted the right to live in Canada by immigration authorities and has resided in Canada for less than 5 years.

Refugee: A person who is forced to flee from persecution or who is at risk of serious harm and who is located outside of their home country. A person who has been recognized as a refugee and who has been granted the right to live in Canada by immigration authorities.

Asylum Seeker: A person who is outside their country of origin and who has a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.

Persons with Disabilities/ Disabled Persons

A person with a long-term or recurring physical, mental, psychiatric, intellectual or sensory impairment which, in interaction with various attitudinal and environmental barriers, hinders their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others. This is a self-defined characteristic and does not require an external or formal recognition of disability.



Gender Minorities


Members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ Community

2SLGBTQIA+ is an acronym for Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, and plus (signifying the expansiveness of the community and all the other identities not listed in the acronym).

People identifying as experiencing other barriers to economic opportunity and participation (not included in other Equity-deserving group definitions)

A person who identifies as experiencing barriers to economic opportunity and participation. This could include but is not limited to, an individual with a previous criminal conviction, an individual who identifies as having a substance use disorder that has affected their ability to participate in the economy, a person who has experienced domestic violence that has affected their ability to participate in the economy, a person who is currently experiencing or has experienced homelessness within the last 5 years, single parents, social housing tenants, and youth aging out of the foster care system.

If an employee identifies themselves as experiencing any of the barriers to economic participation mentioned above, you may consider asking for more information on what they consider this barrier to be – this is voluntary information.


Individuals aged 29 and under.


A person who is serving or who has honourably served in the Canadian Armed Forces, the commonwealth or its wartime allies, or as a Regular Member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or as a Peace Officer in a Special Duty Area or on a Special Duty Operation, or who has served in the Merchant Navy or Ferry Command during wartime.