Inclusion in the Workplace for Racialized Employees
Our report on inclusion in the workplace.
None of the initiatives in the public service over decades to address known barriers and inequities in the workplace have resulted in the full removal of barriers and in the achievement of equity;
The accountability rests with senior leaders to guide federal organizations to identify and address the barriers and conditions of disadvantage that racialized employees and other designated groups report experiencing in public service;
6 organizations selected: Canada Border Services Agency, Correctional Service Canada, Justice Canada, Public Prosecution Service of Canada, Public Safety Canada, and Royal Canadian Mounted Police;
Established equity, diversity, and inclusion action plans, there was no measurement of or comprehensive reporting on progress against outcomes for racialized employees in each organization;
Organizations do not use data to understand the lived experiences of racialized employees in the workplace, meaning that organizations and the public service as a whole are missing opportunities to identify and implement changes that could yield improved employment experiences for racialized employees;
Long-known problems with the quality of the organizations’ information technology infrastructure, in particular human resources systems and reporting tools, continued to affect the quality and availability of data. This affected the efficiency and quality of the analysis completed by the 6 organizations, as well as the audit work. Several government-wide initiatives are underway to address these issues.
The 6 organizations had continued to focus on meeting workforce representation goals, including aligning the composition of their workforce with that of Canadian society, however, this does not tangibly shift organizational culture.
Key Facts and Findings
As of 2022, 1 in 5 employees of Canada’s core public administration identified as a member of a visible minority.
In all 6 organizations, a higher percentage of visible minority respondents than non-visible minority respondents indicated in the Public Service Employee Survey (2018–2020) that they were a victim of discrimination on the job.
The 6 organizations were not making sufficient use of available data to identify barriers faced by their racialized staff or inform equity and inclusion strategies and complaint mechanisms.
At the manager level, accountability for behavioural and cultural change throughout the different organizations was limited and not effectively measured.
The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat should provide guidance and share best practices that will help organizations establish performance indicators to measure and report on equity and inclusion outcomes in the federal public service;
All 6 organizations should undertake data-informed analysis to understand how racialized employees experience their workplace in comparison with others. By using quantitative data together with qualitative data, such as the lived experiences of racialized employees and other designated groups, organizations should take concrete and measurable actions to correct situations of employment disadvantage;
All 6 organizations should undertake data-informed analysis to understand how racialized employees experience their workplace in comparison with others. By using quantitative data together with qualitative data, such as the lived experiences of racialized employees and other designated groups, organizations should take concrete and measurable actions to correct situations of employment disadvantage.
All organizations agreed.
To note, The Canada Border Services Agency acknowledges that there are limitations with the collection and use of employee data as restricted by the Privacy Act, the current Employment Equity Act, and technology. Supported by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat and pending the availability of data, the agency is committed to a data-informed approach to decision making.
Each of the 6 organizations and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat should establish expected behaviours needed for an anti-racist and inclusive work environment and against which performance should be assessed for employees. These behaviours should be aligned with specific equity and inclusion outcome indicators and the performance measurement frameworks.
The government’s stated goal of hiring more Black Canadian IT employees was not highlighted in the report;
While the 6 organizations show progress of hiring a diverse workforce that represents Canadian society, data based on lived experience of discrimination or on progress against outcomes for racialized employees in each organization is not collected;
Long-standing problems with the organizations’ IT departments further hindered data collection;
It is difficult to assess whether organizational culture has tangibly shifted to substantially include racialized employees;
Yet, the organizations agreed to implement improved data-informed analyses, supported by technology.