Diversity Census Tool and Inclusion Survey


Diversity Census Tool and Inclusion Survey FAQ

The Ontario Museum Association is committed to ensuring museums remain relevant as institutions contributing to stronger societies, and a stronger sense of well-being and belonging to our extended communities. For this reason, our diversity and inclusion initiatives continue to be informed by Ontario’s Museums 2025 and are strongly aligned with Ontario’s Culture Strategy. More importantly, the OMA is dedicated to responding to a clear need for the development of tools, strategies and strong practices that better inform museums on how best to increase their capacity to effectively address accessibility, diversity and inclusion on multiple levels.

 To download or view a full PDF version of the Executive Summary, click here 

To download or view a full PDF version of the FAQ, click here.

The OMA Council invites you to opt-in to participate in the Diversity Census Tool and Inclusion Survey! 













Why are we interested in researching diversity and inclusion in Ontario’s museums?

There is little data surveying the level of diversity and inclusion available in Ontario that is specific to museums. A 2014 report from the Mowat Centre however, did find that the not-for-profit sector in Ontario in general is lacking in diverse leadership and could benefit from developing a stronger commitment to diversity and inclusion at the organizational level. This is not to say that these organizations do not value diversity and inclusion, or are not already engaged in such work, but rather that they could use further support in identifying where and how to improve their efforts. To develop effective practices however, strong data research is critical, and this is where the Ontario Museum Association (OMA) can help!

The OMA wants to work with the museum workforce to help fill the gap in research, and has been working closely with its partners the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI) and the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) to adapt the Diversity Census Tool (DCT) and Inclusion Survey for Ontario’s museum sector. The Diversity Census Tool will be distributed to museum workers and will help establish a demographic profile of the Ontario museum workforce, as well as a baseline of perspectives related to diversity and inclusion within Ontario museums. Establishing this demographic profile is an important step towards understanding the scope of work needed to increase diverse representation in the sector.


What is the Diversity Census Tool?

The Diversity Census Tool (DCT) is a tool developed by our partner the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI), who is recognized as a leader in helping organizations address the full scope of diversity, inclusion and equity in the workplace. The tool is effective in tracking perspectives and demographic data on diversity and inclusion within your organization. Having the goal to make museums more relevant as leaders in fostering belonging and sense of well-being, the OMA and ROM has adapted the Diversity Census Tool for a museum’s perspective to gain insights into the levels of diversity and inclusion within Ontario museums. Results from the DCT will help us understand where diversity and inclusion is being practiced and what areas need further development to help make stronger and more welcoming organizations.


Ensuring Confidentiality, Privacy and Legality

The census is completely confidential and anonymous.  Responses and information provided will only be reviewed and analyzed by the CCDI. The CCDI takes privacy very seriously and has taken steps to comply with privacy laws. At no point will participants or how any one person responded be identified nor shared.

Questions asked are completely legal. If you are uncomfortable with answering a particular question, you are able to choose not to respond by selecting ‘prefer not to answer’.

The DCT has undergone a significant privacy impact analysis and review ensuring that it is 100% legal and meets all Canadian legislation.


Who should participate?

The Diversity Census Tool and Inclusion Survey is open to all institutional members of the Ontario Museum Association and their workforce. Your support and participation is essential to our success. The more people who complete the DCT, the stronger the results and the better we can serve our audiences by making museums more reflective of diverse Ontario’s diverse communities.


Why is participation important?

The Ontario Museum Association (OMA) and its partners want to support museums in making effective change to foster a museum workforce that is stronger and more reflective of Ontario’s diverse communities. Your participation is key as the data collected is fundamental in determining how best to respond to the need for change.  Responding to the needs of the sector, this survey will yield regional data that is essential to helping organizations identify their regional needs, address their diversity issues and to take the necessary steps towards inclusion. So please, join us! Your participation will be a major contribution to further advancing diversity and inclusion within Ontario’s museums, and will help strengthen our communities and the cultural sector.


How Does the Diversity Census Tool and Inclusion Survey benefit you?

Your participation in the DCT helps us all and is a great opportunity for you and your organization. Listed below are just a few ways participation benefits you and your organization.

1. Become Part of the Movement – It is your chance to join a provincial movement that is shifting its focus to the importance of diversity and inclusion in Ontario’s cultural sector. By participating in the Diversity Census Tool and Inclusion Survey you will be taking an important step that is well aligned with the 2016 Ontario Culture Strategy and the goal of strengthening our communities.

2. Learning Opportunity – The tool itself contributes to professional development. By participating, you and your organization will gain an increased awareness on issues of diversity and inclusion and the preferred language used when referring to different communities. Additionally, participation can help you understand unconscious biases that you and your organization might have, and where your diversity and inclusion initiatives can be improved.

3. See the Need for Change – Measuring the level of diversity and inclusion within your organization makes what is working and what is lacking more visible. This visibility makes it easier for senior leadership to see the need for changes to be made. Data like this helps an organization make the case for change!

4. Museum Specific – As mentioned earlier, there is little research like this on diversity and inclusion in the Ontario museum sector. Participation means you have the chance to gain new insights specific to the Ontario museum sector. These new insights into diversity and inclusion will help you to not only meet but also exceed the standards of practice within the museum sector. See http://www.mtc.gov.on.ca/en/museums/museums_standards.shtml

5. Funding – Major funders are interested in supporting initiatives that strive to make positive and effective change responsive to community needs. With the DCT you will be participating in work that positions your organization to receive a boost from major donors and funders as recognition of the great work you are doing.


What are the Gains? Making the Business Case for Diversity and Inclusion

Studies have identified various benefits to taking on diversity and inclusion initiatives for organizations. For instance, The McKinsey Foundation found that ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform their competitors. Overall, it has become clear that diversity and inclusion has a positive impact on organizations.

Below are 6 key benefits of practicing diversity and inclusion we identified with the help of the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion:

1) Higher Employee Engagement

2) Improved Recruitment of New Talent

3) Reflective of Community Voice

4) Become Competitive in New Markets

5) Greater Collaboration, Creativity and Innovation

6) Cultural Competency Builds a Positive Reputation

More importantly, by becoming more diverse and inclusive, you not only reach underrepresented populations, the benefits extend to the entire community. As we know, providing an elevator or ramp for individuals with a disability, you also make a space more accessible for parents with strollers, the aging population and those with temporary injuries.

So take the opportunity and become more diverse and inclusive; make your organization stronger, more competitive, relevant and welcoming!


Our Approach

We recognize that diversity is not one dimensional and want to understand it more broadly. More importantly, we understand and respect that individuals’ identities are multifaceted and that people have shifting frames of reference. For this reason, the Diversity Census Tool and Inclusion Survey takes a multidimensional approach addressing race and ethnicity, Aboriginal or Indigenous identity, religion, gender and sexual orientation, age, disability, level of education and employment, place of origin, relationship status and dependant status, and spoken languages. By looking at these key dimensions of identity, we will better understand and ensure that the multiple ways in which individuals identify is well represented.


What are the steps?

1. Join the Movement and Share the Initiative: Be a champion of diversity and inclusion and share this opportunity with your Senior Leadership. Confirm your participation to the OMA in October. Identify who within your institution will take the lead sharing this initiative to your institution.

2. Opt-In! – We need you and your fellow colleagues to voluntarily opt-in to participate. The Opt-In process will simply ask for names and e-mails.  To get this information an opt-in e-mail will be sent to the identified lead contact in November 2017. The deadline to opt-in will be in December 2017. If you do not opt-in, you will not be able to receive the DCT. Names and e-mails are only required so that you can receive the DCT. Once you receive the DCT, participation is completely anonymous.

3. Complete DCT – Each participant will receive the DCT consisting of key questions that focus on dimensions of diversity. A link to the DCT will be sent by e-mail from the CCDI in February 2018 along with reminders to participate. The DCT closes in March 2018, so you will have approximately 1 month to complete it.

4. Receive the Insights Report – Receive regional demographic data and a report consisting of provincial insights from the DCT by July 2018.

5. Reflect, Relate and Reinforce! – Take the time to go over the insights report and reflect on how they relate to your organizational workforce. Reinforce the findings and share the knowledge with your network.

6. Make a Change! – Attend our Museum Inclusive Leadership Symposium – taking place in the GTA on March 23, 2018 – and learn about our Inclusive Museum Toolkit. Use this toolkit and our resources page to learn more on how to address the need for diversity and inclusion practices within your organization! Want to get a head start? Contact the OMA, we’re happy to help!


What can you expect?

The Diversity Census Tool and Inclusion Survey will be sent out by our partner the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion in February 2018. But you don’t have to wait until then to start thinking about the role and importance of diversity and inclusion in the museum sector. As part of our current initiatives, the Ontario Museum Association will be hosting #InspiredMuseums, a series of webinars that will offer resources and an introduction to using data when building the case for equity and inclusion, practical as well as regional approaches to diversity and inclusion, and how to go about making the change. Additionally, in anticipation of the insights from the DCT and Inclusion Survey, our partners have been collecting resources for the development of the Inclusive Museums Toolkit that can be used to implement diversity and inclusion practices within your organizations. These resources will be made available to our members and will reflect on basic values, principles and guidelines relating to practices of diversity and inclusion. So please check back with the Ontario Museum Association member website and look out for new resources and upcoming webinars!

To access the OMA resources, visit: https://members.museumsontario.ca/resources


How can you help?

Spread the word! In order to get the best results possible, we need as many individuals and institutions from across Ontario to participate. Help us and share this opportunity with your networks and colleagues. Encourage them to contribute to new and innovative research!


For more information, contact Project Coordinator, Rhiannon Myers, at coordination@museumsontario.ca   or Project Assistant, Temma Pinkofsky at projectintern@museumsontario.ca