With the changing demographics of our city, the Toronto Public Service strives to better reflect Toronto’s population to better serve residents and businesses. A diverse workforce at all levels enables organizations to build more meaningful and productive relationships with communities, leverage the expertise of a diverse range of individuals and enable creativity and innovation to enhance program development and service delivery.

The City’s Workforce Equity and Inclusion Plan, adopted by Toronto City Council on October 2 and 3, 2019, will help to accelerate progress towards the City’s goal of diverse representation at all levels of the organization to reflect the diversity of the population the City serves, as well as building a more inclusive workplace culture. The Workforce Equity and Inclusion Plan involves three strategic areas of focus: Enabling Data Informed Decision-Making, Fostering a Culture of Engagement and Inclusion, and Embedding an Equity Lens throughout the Employee Life Cycle.

By using employee demographic data to enable informed decision-making, the City can move to its goal of building a talented public service that represents the diversity of the population it serves at all levels within the organization.

Theme: Leveraging Data

Objective: Support data informed decision-making.


  • Implement strategies to increase the overall response rate for Count Yourself In, the City’s workforce survey.
    On an annual basis, develop and share divisional aggregated diversity data to help identify opportunities for improvement in recruitment and retention efforts.
  • Disaggregate corporate diversity data to identify systemic barriers experienced by Indigenous, Black and equity-seeking groups.
  • Continue to monitor diversity data across the City, in order to help to inform decision-making and address gaps in representation across all levels of the Public Service.

The City aims to create a more inclusive workplace culture where all employees can experience the benefits of inclusion, while empowering diverse employees to meet their full potential by strengthening their engagement and participation within the organization.

Theme: Building an equitable and inclusive organization

Objective: Ensure all staff are fully able to participate and are meaningfully engaged.


  • Consult, partner and develop actions to increase engagement and build inclusion of Indigenous, Black and equity-seeking groups.
  • Work with City divisions to support areas that have below average scores in the areas of diversity and inclusion by developing action plans to create a more inclusive work environment.
  • Continue to support existing Communities of Inclusion, formally established networks of employees who share a common identity, lived experience and/or set of interests that meet regularly to network, dialogue, share best practices, build capacity, learn and develop, and facilitate the creation of new networks.

At each stage of the Employee Life Cycle, the City plans to embed an equity and inclusion lens.

Theme: Talent Acquisition

Objective: Increase representation of Indigenous, Black and equity-seeking groups through recruitment practices.


  • Implement foundational training for recruitment staff and hiring managers to cover areas including: unconscious bias, diversity and inclusion fundamentals, managing bias in hiring, confronting anti-Black racism, Indigenous cultural competency training, accessibility and human rights education.
  • Broaden outreach to diverse communities and ensure diverse talent pools are aware of City employment opportunities.
  • Apply an equity lens to job postings, assessments and reference checks to remove systemic barriers.
  • Collect diversity data at time of application.
  • Establish divisional talent forums and leadership pipelines.
  • Increase diversity in talent pool for leadership positions through focused and deliberate efforts.
  • Apply a diversity lens to hiring panel compositions.
  • Assess hiring outcomes annually to inform strategies for subsequent years.

Theme: Onboarding

Objective: Educate and provide guidance to new employees at all levels (staff, management, executives) on the City’s equity and human rights policies.


  • Apply inclusive design principles to the new employee orientation program.
  • Include materials regarding diversity and inclusion in pre-boarding materials for new hires and ensure all orientation materials and sessions are AODA compliant.
  • Provide divisional staff with a diversity and inclusion recommendation checklist, including human rights policies, to guide divisional orientation activities.
  • Increase equity, accessibility, human rights and inclusion learning content in the Management and Executive Onboarding curricula.

Theme: Learning and Development

Objective: Develop and track equity learning content.


  • Analyse diversity and inclusion data from the employee engagement survey to inform future programming for Toronto for All learning program, the City’s education initiative to build and maintain an equitable and inclusive workplace.
  • Partner with City divisions to source equity and inclusion learning content and develop learning pathways within the Toronto for All Learning program for all employee levels.
  • Continuously monitor, assess and adjust programming for Toronto for All Learning program.
  • Deliver Indigenous cultural competency training, incorporate Indigenous Land Acknowledgement at each session for all Toronto Public Service training courses and expand Indigenous Cultural Competency training offerings to include an eLearning component and other classroom sessions.
  • Continue to deliver Addressing Anti-Black Racism training with a focus on senior management and expand training offerings to include an eLearning component and a half day session available for all employees.
  • Apply an equity lens to ensure all leadership development programming contains a diversity and inclusion focus, and continuously monitor, assess and adjust programming.
  • Identify priority divisions where equity and inclusion learning opportunities would have the most impact and work with them to develop learning pathways.
  • Identify further learning opportunities to build on the equity and inclusion offerings available to divisions.

Objective: Increase accessibility of learning offerings.


  • Ensure all corporate learning courses are fully accessible, including in-classroom and online courses, course materials and other web-based learning activities beginning with equity and diversity related courses.
  • Conduct ongoing vendor orientation sessions to ensure learning accessibility is addressed with external facilitators.
  • Audit vendor content to ensure equity and inclusion lens criteria are addressed to identify and remove barriers and support an inclusive learning environment.

Objective: Ensure leadership development programs have diverse pool of learners.


  • Implement new application and nomination processes for leadership development programs, which includes a voluntary disclosure for equity-seeking groups and Indigenous employees.
  • Assess diversity of the leadership development learner pool and adjust program accessibility as required.
  • Conduct annual learning needs assessment to:
    • create new leadership development opportunities
    • capture development needs of employees from Indigenous, Black and equity-seeking groups
    • inform coaching, mentoring and training programs and courses
    • create secondment programs and stretch projects

Theme: Performance Management

Objective: Enable leadership to achieve diversity and inclusion goals.


  • Include a new objective in performance planners for division heads to
    • improve the workforce survey participation rates
    • increase representation of Indigenous, Black and equity-seeking groups
    • provide a list of all measures implemented during the review period to promote diversity, equity and inclusion within the division.
  • Include a development goal specifically related to the diversity, equity and inclusion leadership competency in all employee performance planners.
  • Develop a diversity, equity and inclusion capability framework that will define the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to build an inclusive work environment for all non-union employees including leaders.

Theme: Succession Management

Objective: Enable leadership to achieve diversity and inclusion goals in succession planning.


  • Provide tools to incorporate diversity and inclusion objectives in succession planning and talent management discussions.
  • Provide succession related data to divisions to highlight current representation of Indigenous, Black and equity-seeking groups to enable action toward building a more diverse workforce.
  • Conduct consultations to gather information on systemic barriers to advancement and develop new program elements.
  • Identify leadership development opportunities to ensure that a diverse pool of talent is developed.
  • Explore opportunities to ensure employees from Indigenous, Black and equity-seeking groups have access to leadership opportunities.