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ARCHIVED - Employment Equity in the Public Service of Canada 2009—10

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I am pleased to present this report providing information on the progress of employment equity (EE) for the core public administration for fiscal year 2009–10 as required by the Employment Equity Act. The report also identifies successful strategies and measures taken by departments to achieve these results.

Respect for human dignity—valuing every person and treating everyone with fairness—is fundamental to the public service values that underlie the way the government recruits, promotes and evaluates its employees. Our values also require us to make appointments based on merit; to open public service employment to all qualified Canadians; and to make efforts to ensure that processes are free of systemic barriers that could restrict opportunities for women, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and members of a visible minority group.

In the study Projections of the diversity of the Canadian population published in March, 2010, Statistics Canada predicted that the diversity of Canada's population would continue to increase significantly during the next two decades, reflecting a rich social, cultural, ethnic, and linguistic makeup. The study shows that by 2031, between 29 per cent and 32 per cent of our population could belong to a visible minority group, nearly doubling the figure reported in the 2006 Census.

The Clerk of the Privy Council continues to communicate the need for the public service at all levels to reflect the diversity of the Canadian population as an ongoing priority of public service renewal. In the 2009–10 Public Service Renewal Action Plan, he stressed the importance of departmental integrated business and human resources plans, indicating that they were to include concrete strategies to address representation and development of EE groups at all levels. In addition, special attention was to be paid to ensure that recruitment reflects the diversity of Canada's workforce, with overall levels of visible minority group representation among post‑secondary recruits to exceed workforce availability (WFA). The plan required deputy heads to provide managers with a set of best practices and practical approaches to improve diversity.

The government's commitment to EE can be fully supported only when all employees "count themselves in," whether they are members of a designated group or not. Self-identification under the Employment Equity Act is entirely voluntary. In accordance with subsection 18(4) of the Act, only those employees who identify themselves to their employer, or agree to be identified by their employer, as Aboriginal peoples, members of a visible minority group, and persons with disabilities can be counted as members of those designated groups for the purposes of this report. The information collected will then be used by the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer (OCHRO) and departments to monitor progress in reaching EE goals. This report describes the departments' efforts to achieve EE results in the context of public service renewal.

Overview of employment equity representation from April 1, 2009, to March 31, 2010

In fiscal year 2009–10, three of the four EE designated groups continued to be well represented relative to their respective WFA: women, Aboriginal peoples and persons with disabilities. Representation of employees in a visible minority group increased by a percentage point of 0.9 over last year, the largest yearly gain compared with previous years' figures over the last ten years. However, the group remained under-represented relative to its WFA.

As of March 31, 2010, women comprised 54.8 per cent of the core public administration, a marginal increase from the previous year at 54.7 per cent. This representation level was above the WFA for women (52.3 per cent).

Aboriginal peoples made up 4.6 per cent of the core public administration, a marginal increase from the previous year at 4.5 per cent. This representation level was above the WFA for Aboriginal peoples (3.0 per cent).

The representation of persons with disabilities was at 5.7 per cent, a slight decrease from the previous year at 5.9 per cent, but still above the WFA for this group (4.0 per cent).

The representation of employees in a visible minority group remained below the WFA of 12.4 per cent for this group. However, it experienced the largest gain of the four designated groups, an increase of 0.9 from 9.8 per cent in 2008–09 to 10.7 per cent in 2009–10.

The representation of EE designated group members in the Executive category has continued to improve and move closer to the WFA for this category. Representation was as follows: women at 44.1 per cent, a percentage point of 0.6 below their WFA (44.7 per cent); Aboriginal peoples at 3.7 per cent, a percentage point of 0.6 below their WFA (4.3 per cent); and members of a visible minority group at 7.3 per cent, a percentage point of 0.3 below their WFA (7.6 per cent). Leadership development program participation for employees in a visible minority group was particularly high for the year 2009–10 at 28.5 per cent. If this pattern continues, full representation at the Executive level could be reached in the near future. Executive representation for persons with disabilities continues to exceed their WFA of 4.0 per cent.