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Equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging

Equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging

The City of Calgary is committed to building and sustaining an inclusive work environment - one that welcomes, supports, respects and values individuals for their unique experiences, perspectives, talents and contributions.

Our definition of diversity includes anything that makes us unique, including visible characteristics such as gender expression or race as well as non-visible ones like diversity of thought and gender identity.

Inclusion is enabling these diverse forces and talent in an environment where the richness of ideas, background and perspectives are cultivated to create business value and achieve outstanding results.

The City must continually create and maintain a culture of inclusion by ensuring our policies, practices and processes are inclusive, unbiased and create fair opportunities for everyone. This is an important part of our organizational culture, strategy and business operations and it supports our commitment to make life better every day for all Calgarians.

Our diversity and inclusion framework

The City’s diversity and inclusion in the workplace framework and action plan has gained a significant amount of exposure, momentum and support since it was introduced in 2011. The journey to inclusion is constantly evolving, therefore we designed our strategy to be fluid and responsive to change. The four enduring pillars within it stay the same, however, our approach to supporting them change as new, leading practices and technology emerges.

Below are some of the ways we advance the conversation and demonstrate our commitment to diversity and inclusion:

Education and awareness

The City’s diversity and inclusion framework is based on various educational and development approaches that provide practical and experiential learning opportunities for City employees and leaders in a respectful environment. Education and awareness are an important part of shifting mindsets. Learning on unconscious bias, cultural and generational differences, human rights and other topics are offered on a constant basis. The City also hosts an annual event for employees to share and learn called Experience Inclusion.

Human rights, equity and inclusion

The principles of inclusion and human rights are discussed throughout the year, often tied to designated dates such as Holocaust Remembrance Day, Black History Month, International Day of the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, International Women’s Day, Orange Shirt Day and many others. These dates are shared with employees, along with resources that may include speakers, educational resources and specific information. Diversity and Inclusion is more than just the recognition of a day, however, these allow us to push the boundaries of comfort to encourage self-reflection and courageous conversations in a respectful way.

Reducing barriers to participation

The City practices ongoing review of policies, systems and programs using a diversity and inclusion lens and providing recommendations to:

  • Ensure fair, accessible and unbiased policies, programs and practices.
  • Identify and address barriers to be able to ensure we are providing accessible and inclusive services and can proactively respond to identified challenges.

Examples of recent work include reviewing recruitment and selection systems, practices and processes to determine if real or perceived systemic barriers exist. The City also reviews and refreshes its programs and training using a diversity and inclusion lens. Our Respectful Workplace, Code of Conduct and Recognition Program have benefited from these reviews in the past few years. The City has also conducted a Gender Inclusion Audit as part of the GEDI (Gender Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) strategy development.

Partnership and programs

Diversity and Inclusion principles are very complex and there are a variety of collaborative partnerships with internal and external partners. This engagement advances our inclusion journey and helps to ensure equitable and accessible services to all Calgarians.

in the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation, the Diversity and Inclusion office has partnered with internal and community partners to develop Indigenous Awareness to all employees as the foundation for meaningful long-term relationships and ways of knowing, contributing to providing inclusive and equitable services guided by The City of Calgary's Indigenous Policy and Indigenous Policy Framework.

Measuring diversity and inclusion

The City identified a need to assess the diversity and inclusion of its workforce, in order to examine our inclusivity. Measuring diversity and inclusion is done by using both quantitative (numerical) data and qualitative (non-numerical) measures.

The City collects and analyzes data through the Corporate Employee Survey. Data is used to inform decision making and assess the progress of Diversity and Inclusion initiatives. The City started collecting demographic data in 2015, and introduced an Inclusion Index the following year. This index measures how groups of employees perceive their workplace differently and identifies areas requiring support and focus.


We make life better every day by continuing to learn, challenging the status quo and having meaningful conversations about diversity and inclusion. Listening and learning helps us all understand our unconscious biases and how to overcome them. If we interact in a healthy, respectful and inclusive environment that provides accessible and inclusive services we make life better every day for everyone!

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