Equity plans focus on identifying and removing specific barriers to success experienced by groups of individuals known as the equity groups. To date, the Commission has identified Aboriginal people, women, persons with disabilities, and visible minorities/racialized groups as appropriate subjects for equity plans.
Equity groups face more disadvantages than others in education, employment and other public areas of life. Widespread negative attitudes can limit the opportunities of many people. Other barriers may be rooted in historical or unintentional discrimination. For example, word-of-mouth hiring can continue to affect groups who were once deliberately excluded from the workplace. Parts of the physical environment can exclude persons with disabilities, and “one size fits all” teaching methods fail to meet the needs of many students.
By drawing underrepresented groups into the classroom and workplace and promoting their success, equity plans promote both fairness and economic success. Equity plans help create a provincial culture of inclusion while giving individuals equal opportunities to participate, benefit and make a contribution.
To help equity partners, the Commission has developed policy definitions of aboriginal people, women, persons with disabilities, and visible minorities/racialized groups for the purposes of equity plans. The equity program is also open to new equity groups. The Commission will consider approving equity plans related to any of the prohibited grounds of discrimination, as set out in its Policy on Equity Programs, Part 6. Organizations do not need to develop plans addressing the needs of all equity groups. They are free to develop plans addressing the needs of only one group or of several groups.