Highlights of the EDI Survey 2021

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Highlights from the Fleming College Equity Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Survey
March 2021

The Fleming Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Council would like to thank all the students and employees who took the time to complete the survey we sent out in March. We are so excited to hear from you and will be taking time over the summer to analyze the data. However, we have pulled together some highlights from each section of the survey that we would like to share with you.

Fleming College is committed to having an equitable, diverse, and inclusive learning and working community. To help us meet this commitment, the EDI Council and Human Resources carried out a voluntary EDI Survey. Specifically, we asked a short set of questions to help us understand how staff and students identify in six dimensions of diversity: indigeneity, racial and ethnic background, disability, gender, sexual orientation, and religion/faith/creed. We also asked for feedback on questions related to Equity, Diversity & Inclusion at Fleming College. This information will help us identify where there are gaps and barriers in equity and representation in both employment and student success. We will then create an action plan to close the gaps and eliminate barriers to equity and inclusion—and build an inclusive sense of belonging. The EDI Survey was open from March 22 to April 9, 2021. The survey was sent to current employees and students via email by the IRO, the VP OEHR and the VP Student Experience.

Overall Survey Results
There were 1052 responses to the EDI Survey administered to staff and students at Fleming College in March 2021. 439 employees (43%) and 613 students (10%) participated in the EDI Survey. This will provide the EDI Council with baseline data, as well as to provide insight into the current state of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion at Fleming College.

Note: 10% student response seems low but, a sample of over 600 still provides insight into the student respondents. Any comparisons between groups is done to give us direction and insight. These comparisons should not be used to draw any conclusions about significant differences between the groups. Similarly, findings from the data cannot be generalized about any group.

The survey contained four sections:
• Six Dimensions of Diversity
• Experience of Discrimination
• Mandate for the EDI Council
• Agreement / Disagreement with Statements

We have a lot of data to analyze, which we will share with the Fleming College community in the fall, but we are reporting here on high level results for each of these four sections of the survey, in the meantime.

Six Dimensions of Diversity

• Students responding to the survey were more diversified than employees who responded on all dimensions of diversity except for Faith, Creed, Religion. This is supported in the survey, with 75% of respondents agreeing that student diversity is evident at Fleming College.
• Women outnumber men 2 to 1 in both employee and student categories. This initial summary of findings shows strong female representation in many areas, but a more detailed report in fall 2021 will explore gender representation across departments, schools and programs and will help us to suggest areas where a better gender balance could be addressed.
• The portrait of our workforce shows a compelling story of white, cisgender, heterosexual privilege that is not in step with our student body, nor with provincial averages in terms of race. Indigenous, racialized, other gender identity and 2SLGBTQ+ are under-represented in the full-time workforce at Fleming College, but somewhat stronger in part-time support staff and faculty positions.
• 87% of employees and 76% of students are white.
• 43% of students (only 13% of employees) identify as 2SLGBTQ+.
Of the 9 provided identities to choose from, respondents added an additional 21 identities.

Experience of Discrimination related to the Six Dimensions of Diversity

  • 24% of survey respondents reported that they experienced discrimination relating to the six dimensions of diversity. For employees, half reported that this occurred in the last 2 years. While there is little difference between the employee and student groups, respondents who identified as full-time faculty, indigenous, racialized, having a disability, other gender identity, or 2SLGBTQ+ reported higher instances of discrimination ranging between 30% to 46%.
  • 46% of respondents with disabilities ‘feel’ discriminated against (71%+ selected mental health issues… or non-visible). How do we resolve this rising concern?

Mandate for the EDI Council

Employee respondents suggest that the Equity Diversity & Inclusion Council might consider the following priorities:

  • Inclusive curriculum, including all aspects of the curriculum such as the course materials, lectures/labs/seminars, tests and assignments and placements
  • Enhance campus community understanding of the importance of EDI
  • Recruitment, retention and advancement of employees from equity-seeking groups
  • Develop accountability mechanisms and benchmarks for action plan progress

Inclusive curriculum was the highest rated priority overall for employees (28%) and students (37%) and supported by many individual comments about the importance of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles and diverse representation across the curriculum, as well as the overall importance of education in building an equitable society. This priority was significantly higher for part-time support staff (39%) and full-time and part-time faculty (33% and 32% respectively).

The second most important priority overall for employees and students is meaningful consultation with students in equity-seeking groups.

Agreement / Disagreement with Statements regarding Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

  • Respondents to the survey call for a more diversified employee group with half of survey respondents in agreement that workforce diversity is evident at Fleming College.
  • Survey respondents agreed that they feel safe at Fleming (81% in agreement), Fleming College has been welcoming (78% in agreement) and they belong at Fleming College (73% in agreement). However, there are differences in agreement levels when examining the data by employee group and respondents that identify within the six dimensions of diversity.