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Employment Equity in the Public Service of Canada 2006–2007 and 2007–2008


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President's Message

The Honourable Vic Toews, P.C.,Q.C.,M.P. President of the Treasury BoardAs President of the Treasury Board of Canada, I am pleased to present this report on employment equity in the Public Service of Canada, which combines the 15th and 16th annual reports for 2006–2007 and 2007–2008.

This report details the continuing progress of the Public Service of Canada toward becoming a workplace that is fully representative of Canadian society. We are committed to drawing on the talents, ideas, experiences and perspectives of Canadians of all origins, cultures and views. Only in this way can we ensure that the Government’s policies, programs and services reflect the expectations of all Canadians.

We continue to make progress. The representation of women, persons with disabilities and Aboriginal peoples continues to meet or exceed estimates of their availability in the Canadian workforce. Representation of visible minority groups is increasing; their members participate fully in the Executive cadre and in some occupational categories. We must continue to work to ensure that they are fully represented in all occupational categories.

I am firmly convinced that our partnerships and broad measures will continue to improve the diversity of the Public Service. Our goal is an institution that is dynamic, fresh, respected and more responsive to all Canadians.

The Honourable Vic Toews, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
President of the Treasury Board

2009

Speaker of the Senate

Dear Mr. Speaker:

Pursuant to subsection 21(1) of the Employment Equity Act, I have the honour of submitting to Parliament, through your good offices, a report on employment equity in the Public Service of Canada combining the annual reports of 2006–2007 and 2007–2008.

Yours sincerely,

The Honourable Vic Toews, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
President of the Treasury Board

2009

Speaker of the House of Commons

Dear Mr. Speaker:

Pursuant to subsection 21(1) of the Employment Equity Act , I have the honour of submitting to Parliament, through your good offices, a report on employment equity in the Public Service of Canada combining the annual reports of 2006–2007 and 2007–2008.

Yours sincerely,

The Honourable Vic Toews, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
President of the Treasury Board

2009

Introduction


Employment equity contributes to a strong and sustainable Public Service of Canada [1] by ensuring that the workforce reflects the rich diversity of Canada’s population. The achievement of employment equity continues to be an objective of the Public Service and is closely aligned with the Government’s objective of Public Service renewal.

In the Fourteenth Annual Report to the Prime Minister on the Public Service of Canada, Mr. Kevin Lynch, Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet, described the benefits of a workforce that is diverse in origins, cultures, views, ideas, experiences and perspectives, and identified workforce diversity as central to Public Service renewal. In his report, Mr. Lynch reiterated the importance of working toward the equitable representation across the federal public service of women, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minority groups in accordance with the requirements of the Employment Equity Act.

The federal public service continues to work toward closing gaps in the representation of the four designated employment equity groups and in creating a truly inclusive and diverse workplace.

An Overview of Employment Equity from April 2006 through March 2008

This report covers two fiscal years, 2006–2007 and 2007–2008.

The Employment Equity Act requires the employer to provide consolidation and analysis of a great deal of numerical information. It is important, therefore, to explain from where and how this data is derived.

The Employment Equity Act requires the Public Service to monitor and, where necessary, enhance the representativeness of its workforce. Workforce availability estimates assist in this process by allowing a comparison between representation in the Public Service workforce of the designated employment equity groups (women, Aboriginal peoples, members of visible minorities and persons with disabilities) and workforce availability of these groups in the labour pool from which the Public Service can recruit.

Workforce availability estimates shown in this report are derived from the population aged 15 years and older who have had some work experience in the 16 months prior to the 2001 Census (for women, Aboriginal peoples, and members of a visible minority group) and in the five years prior to the 2001 post-censal Participation and Limitation Survey (PALS) for persons with a disability. Workforce availability estimates also take into account the preference accorded to Canadian citizens when making external-to-government hiring decisions and are also based on the population of Canadian citizens from designated groups with the skills and work experience relevant to the occupational groups found in the Public Service.

Currently, representation related to Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minority groups rely on the self-identification process. Pursuant to the Employment Equity Act, this process is voluntary with limits put on how this information may be used. Unlike the calculation of the representation of women in the Public Service, which comes from the pay file and is, therefore, reliable, the voluntary nature of the self-identification process makes the determination of the representation of the other three groups less precise. Work began in 2007–2008 and continues today to improve the process for voluntary self-identification.

Over the two-year period of this report, three of the four designated groups remained well represented when compared with workforce availability estimates derived from the 2001 Census and the PALS for persons with disabilities. The representation of women increased to 53.9 percent by March 2007 and further still to 54.4 percent by the end of March 2008. Although at March 31, 2007, Aboriginal representation had not increased from the 4.2 percent level first established in March 2005, by the end of 2007–2008, Aboriginal representation had increased to 4.4 percent. The representation of persons with disabilities decreased for the first time in 2006–2007 from 5.8 percent to 5.7 percent. In 2007–2008, however, the representation rebounded to its highest level at 5.9 percent. These representation levels exceed their respective workforce availability estimates of 52.2 percent (women), 2.5 percent (Aboriginal peoples) and 3.6 percent (persons with disabilities).

The Public Service still has work to do in various aspects for all four groups, but especially for members of visible minority groups. The representation of employees from visible minority groups increased to 8.8 percent in 2006–2007 and again to 9.2 percent in 2007–2008. Although representation continues to climb, its level continues to be well below a workforce availability estimate of 10.4 percent as derived from the 2001 Census.

The workforce availability estimates derived from the 2006 Census and post-censal PALS were not yet available when this report was drafted. However, these data are expected to reveal an even greater gap between the workforce availability estimates of visible minority Canadians and their representation in the Public Service. Departments and agencies are strongly encouraged to consider this fact as they prepare their employment equity plans and/or integrated human resources plans.

There has been a steady increase in the representation of visible minorities in the Executive category, currently at 6.7 percent (up from 5.5 percent in 2005–2006 and 6.2 percent in 2006–2007). Since 2000, the number of executives from visible minority groups has more than trebled, increasing from 103 to 326.

In the Executive category there have been year-over-year increases in the representation of women in that category, bringing the representation to 41.7 percent. This level, however, is still below workforce availability estimates. The representation of Aboriginal executives remained the same at 3.4 percent for both 2006–2007 and 2007–2008, while persons with disabilities in executive positions increased from 5.5 percent in 2005–2006 to 5.8 percent in 2006–2007 and then decreased to 5.7 percent in 2007–2008.

The issue of an aging Canadian society and Public Service brings our attention to the differing demographics within designated groups and their respective opportunities and challenges. On the one hand, members of visible minority groups and Aboriginal peoples are younger than the general Canadian population and therefore represent a significant labour pool from which to draw. On the other hand, persons with disabilities tend to be older than the average Public Service employee and therefore are more likely to retire in the near future. The recruitment rate of persons with disabilities has not kept pace with their workforce availability estimates, and concerted efforts will be needed to maintain existing representation levels.

[1] The term “Public Service” used throughout this report refers to the population of employees (indeterminate, terms of three months or more and seasonal employees) for whom the Treasury Board is the employer as set out in the Financial Administration Act (FAA), schedules I and IV. This population is also known as Canada’s Core Public Administration. [return]



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