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University of Waterloo
University of Waterloo students on campus near the Quantum Nano Centre   (Photo credit: Jessica Darmanin)

Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2019) and Waterloo Area's Top Employers (2019):

Here are some of the reasons why University of Waterloo was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2019) and Waterloo Area's Top Employers (2019):

  • Along with a broad charitable focus that includes the arts, culture and diversity, economic development, health and well-being, environmental sustainability and youth engagement, the University of Waterloo recently launched a unique "Volunteer Centre" to help engage students and employees with causes that are of the greatest importance to them
  • In keeping with its raison d'être, the University of Waterloo encourages ongoing employee development through its Organizational and Human Development Office, which offers a wide range of training programs on topics including business communications, leadership development, information technology, diversity and inclusivity
  • University of Waterloo encourages employees to prepare for the future with contributions to a defined benefit pension plan, retirement planning assistance and health benefits that extend to retirees (with no age limit) -- additionally, the university maintains a retiree association to help retirees stay connected and represent their concerns related to pension and benefit matters, human resource issues and university policy changes
University of Waterloo staff participating in a development activity organized by the school's Organizational and Human Development department  

Employer Background

Industry Post secondary schools, university
Established in Canada 1957
Major Canadian hiring locations Waterloo ON, Cambridge ON, Kitchener ON, Stratford ON
Full-time employees in Canada 5,355
Part-time employees in Canada 491
Full-time employees worldwide 5,356
Workforce engaged on a contract basis 29%
Average age of employees in Canada 42 years
Longest serving employee 49 years

Physical Workplace Rating: A+

Commuter amenities transit subsidies, online car-pool sign-up, electric vehicle charging stations, secure/sheltered bicycle parking
Workplace features spread over 400 hectares of former farmland, University of Waterloo's campus is comprised of buildings varying in age, from a historic farmhouse to the first LEED Platinum-certified building on an Ontario campus, a unique centrally-located rock garden, seasonal farmers' market (with 100 per cent local produce), campus art galleries and uniquely branded cafés (such as the Browsers Café in the Library and the Eye Opener Café in the Optometry building), as well as Starbucks, Tim Hortons and other quick-service outlets, telecommuter workstations, sit-stand workstations, nap room, religious observance room, outdoor patio, self-serve lunchroom, outdoor barbecue, discounts at local restaurants
Employee lounge amenities comfortable seating, fireplace
Onsite cafeteria healthy menus, special diet menus, subsidized meals, take-home meals
Onsite fitness facility shared-use facility, subsidized membership, treadmills, stationary bikes, stairmasters, instructor-led classes (Zumba, yoga, warrior workouts), rowing machines, weights, basketball court, sauna, shower facilities, squash courts, golf simulator, indoor turf field, swimming pool, hockey rink, bouldering wall, and a centrally-located Bike Centre (which has offered repair, maintenance and training since 1995), employee memberships cost $20 per month
Other nearby amenities YMCA, Waterloo Memorial Recreation Centre, fitness club, Laurel Creek Conservation Area, Columbia Lake, Waterloo Park, daycare, restaurants, shopping mall, St. Jacob's Farmers Market, golf courses

Work Atmosphere & Communications Rating: B+

Employee social committee name UW Recreation Committee (est. 2004)
Recent social events annual "Keystone" summer picnic, service recognition events, Canada Day celebrations (with over 60,000 guests), W3 (Waterloo Women's Wednesdays), golf tournaments, shopping trips and wine tours, various faculty events and the annual "President's Holiday Reception" for all employees and faculty members
Cultural aspects employee sports teams, dress-for-your-day policy, casual dress (e.g. jeans) daily, casual dress Fridays, music while working, organized social activities for retirees
Employee communications intranet site, company newsletter

Financial Benefits & Compensation Rating: A

Financial benefits note University of Waterloo has multiple employee groups, financial benefits may vary by position
Outside salary surveys participates in outside salary surveys every 12 months
Employee salary reviews individual salaries are reviewed every 12 months
Long-term savings defined-benefit (DB) pension
Long-term planning retirement planning assistance, phased-in retirement work options, life & disability insurance
Additional financial benefits subsidized home internet for those working from home offices, tuition subsidies extend to retirees (100%) and dependant family members (50%)

Health & Family-Friendly Benefits Rating: A

Health plan note University of Waterloo has multiple employee groups, health plans may vary by position
Health plan premium as part of the health plan, the employer pays up to 100% of the premiums
Minimum hours worked for coverage 12 hours per week
Waiting period there is no waiting period for coverage
Family coverage option yes
Retiree coverage with no age limit yes
Dental coverage routine, restorative, orthodontics
Traditional coverage (e.g. prescription drugs) yes
Other health plan information employee assistance (EAP) plan, semi-private hospital room, physiotherapy, medical travel insurance, homecare, medical equipment and supplies, massage therapy, nutrition planning, podiatrist, osteopathy, chiropractor, alternative coverage (e.g. accupuncture, naturopathy)
Additional health and wellness information free flu shot clinic
Family-friendly benefits note University of Waterloo has multiple employee groups, family-friendly policies may vary by position
In vitro fertilization (IVF) $3,000 per lifetime
Maternity top-up (mothers) up to 100% of salary for 6 weeks
Parental top-up (mothers) up to 95% of salary for 17 weeks
Parental top-up (fathers) up to 95% of salary for 17 weeks
Adoption top-up up to 95% of salary for 17 weeks
Additional family-friendly benefits extended parental leave to unpaid leave, daycare centre onsite, emergency short-term daycare, academic scholarships of up to $500 per child
Alternative work options flexible work hours, 35-hour work week (with full pay), shortened work week (fewer hours with less pay), compressed work week, telecommuting, earned days off program
Additional family-friendly information summer camp program for children

Vacation & Personal Time-Off Rating: B+

Vacation note University of Waterloo has multiple employee groups, vacation policies may vary by position
Vacation allowance new employees receive 3 weeks of paid vacation after their first year on the job
Vacation jump vacation increases after 4 years of employment
Maximum vacation allowance employees move to a maximum of 6 weeks of vacation over their career
Paid holiday shutdown during the Christmas to New Year's holiday break, employees receive an additional 3 days off
Company paid days off employees receive 1 personal day off, as determined by their employer
Unpaid leave maximum 12 months
Self-funded/deferred salary leave maximum 12 months
Additional time-off information faculty employees receive 4 weeks of paid vacation

Employee Engagement & Performance Rating: B+

Employee performance reviews employees receive individual performance reviews every 12 months
Managers receive performance review training yes
360° feedback option as part of the review process, performance feedback is also solicited from co-workers and other managers familiar with each employee's work
Confidential employee feedback employees can also provide confidential feedback on their manager's performance
Exit interview exit interview option is available for departing employees
Performance recognition long-service awards, teaching awards, intellectual property rights policy (grants ownership to the inventor as incentive)

Training & Skills Development Rating: A+

Career planning in-house career planning services
In-house training initiatives apprenticeship/skilled trades programs, mentoring, in-house training, online training, leadership training, subsidies for professional accreditation, mentoring to transfer retirees' skills
Related tuition subsidies employer covers up to 100% of tuition per year
Unrelated tuition subsidies employer covers up to 100% of tuition per year for courses unrelated to current position
Unique training & development programs Organizational and Human Development (OHD) office offers employees a wide range of programs for employees, including core development, leadership training, communications, information technology as well as equity and inclusiveness training, over 3,000 online courses freely available to all employees through the "" service, and a number of other initiatives, such as the Staff International Experience Fund (SIEF) in support of international experiential opportunities, the Staff Enhancement Experience (SEE) Canada Grants program for exchange and learning opportunities with counterparts at other academic and industry organizations, and the Staff Enhancement Grant (SEG) program to help employees pursue personal development opportunities

Community Involvement Rating: B+

Scope of charitable involvement local, national, international
Total number of charities supported last year approximately 100 charitable and community organizations were supported last year
Some of the community organizations supported United Way, Habitat for Humanity, Children's Christmas Project, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation's "Think Pink" campaign, Canadian Blood Services, Random Acts of Kindness Day (each year, over 7,000 acts of kindness are performed)
Community highlight University of Waterloo's charitable program focuses on arts, culture and diversity, economic development, health and well-being, sustainability and youth engagement. The University launched a Volunteer Centre to help match students and staff with causes that are of interest to them.

Recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2019):

Here are some of the reasons why University of Waterloo was selected as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2019):

  • University of Waterloo participates in the HeForShe campaign and committed to boosting female participation in STEM experiences, enhancing female faculty representation to 30 per cent by 2020 (currently at 29.6 per cent), and supporting the advancement of women to leadership roles
  • Additionally, the university's Pay Equity Office funds initiatives that advance and promote wage equality between women and men -- and the organization recently established a research grant of $80,000 per year for the next 5 years to support research and scholarship focused on gender equality
  • University of Waterloo's Status of Women and Equity Committee created the Equity and Inclusivity Award to recognize a member or affiliate of the university community whose actions have demonstrated exemplary commitment to improving equity, inclusivity and diversity on campus
University of Waterloo supports the HeForShe campaign  


Industry Post secondary schools, university
Major Canadian hiring locations Waterloo ON, Cambridge ON, Kitchener ON, Stratford ON
Full-time employees in Canada 5,355
Formal diversity strategy has a defined strategy to achieve diversity and inclusion goals
Senior executive who oversees diversity initiatives Associate Vice-President of Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion, President's Advisor on Gender and Women's Issues
Formal commitment Equity Office, Provost's Advisory Committee on Equity, Status of Women and Equity Committee, Indigenous Advisory Circle, Working Group on Sexual and Gender Diversity (LGBTTTQQIPA+)
Diversity training and awareness training on a variety of topics including addressing unconscious bias, inclusivity, equity, diversity and inclusion for students, duty to accommodate, and making spaces for members of the LGBT community
Diversity highlights award-winning Principles of Inclusivity certificate program, developing Indigenization strategy which includes response to the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Making Spaces program (for LGBTQ+), Glow Centre for Sexual and Gender Identity (established in 1971, run by student volunteers), mental health awareness initiatives, monthly W3 gatherings (Waterloo Women's Wednesdays), HeForShe IMPACT scholarships for 24 high-potential female students

The Career Directory

University of Waterloo has been selected for The Career Directory, our guide to entry-level recruitment for recent college and university graduates.
University of Waterloo staff during the school's Mental Health Wellness Day

Highlights for New Grads

Industry Post secondary schools, university
Full-time employees in Canada 5,001 to 10,000
Major Canadian hiring locations Waterloo ON, Cambridge ON, Kitchener ON, Stratford ON
Student opportunities paid internships, co-op opportunities
Training subsidies for professional accreditation, orientation program, online training, in-house training, mentoring, in-house career planning services, leadership training
Tuition subsidies (related to job) yes
Starting salary $50K to $55K
Work benefits health benefits for new employees, flexible work hours, telecommuting, transit subsidies
Vacation allowance new employees receive 3 weeks of paid vacation after their first year on the job

Academic fields recruited

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