CHRC to audit the representation of racialized people in the federal public service

Employment equity audit will look at representation of racialized people in management and executive positions across Canada’s federal public service

July 16, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Human Rights Commission

The Canadian Human Rights Commission has launched an employment equity audit that will look at the representation of racialized persons in management and executive roles across Canada’s federal public service.

The audit will focus on departments and agencies that comprise 500+ employees.

This horizontal audit will identify key employment gaps as well as barriers to the recruitment, promotion and retention of racialized employees in management and executive positions in the federal public service. It will also identify best practices.

This audit comes after years of preparation to develop a new horizontal audit process that focuses on identifying systemic barriers in specific industries, and that promotes more diverse representation, especially in management positions.

While racialized people are relatively well represented within the public sector in general, there are significant differences in representation rates between departments, regions and occupational groups, notably at the executive and management levels. This audit will help us identify and examine gaps in representation rates to ensure that concrete measures are taken towards progress for racialized people in the public service.

When preparations for this audit began in 2018, the Commission was at the same time embarking on an internal review of its own processes. It decided it needed to walk the talk. While the Commission has a high overall representation of employees in all four designated groups, we know there is still work to do at our management and executive levels. That is why the Commission has decided it will also undergo an independent employment equity audit. In the coming year, a third-party auditor will examine the representation of racialized people, Indigenous people and persons with disabilities within the Commission, using a GBA+ lens, to help identify barriers to employment at senior levels for designated employment equity groups.

Ultimately, this horizontal audit is about furthering the goal of Canada’s Employment Equity Act1, which is to ensure that federally regulated workplaces are a reflection of the diverse society they serve. The intent of the Act is to promote representation while eliminating systemic discrimination in employment for four main groups: Indigenous people, people with disabilities, women, and racialized people.

The findings from this horizontal audit will be made public in 2022.

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Employment Equity Act

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