Military trying to cut recruitment targets for women despite expert’s report

Military, RCMP, CSIS.001RCMP envy (the RCMP successfully managed to negotiate lower targets). Declaring victory by changing the goalposts.

Seriously, there are particular challenges for both the Canadian Forces and the RCMP, but this approach only gives the impression that changing the targets is more important than improving recruitment and retention.

The above chart summarizes the Canadian Forces, the RCMP and CSIS. Only CSIS has a strong employment equity record, but the nature of their work, analogous to much policy work and IT makes it that much easier.

Interestingly, all three organizations do not post their reports. These have to be requested from the Library of Parliament (which is efficient in providing them):

The Canadian Armed Forces is now in consultations with Employment and Social Development Canada and the Canadian Human Rights Commission over how those targets are calculated in hopes they can be brought down to what the military argues are more realistic levels.

Lt.-Cmdr. Meghan Marsaw said in an email that the most recent consultations with ESDC and the human rights commission were held over the winter, though she couldn’t say when any new targets would be set “as further consultation is required both internally and externally.”

Documents obtained by the Citizen last year showed the Canadian Armed Forces wanting to cut the target for women from 25.1 per cent to 17.6 per cent. It also wanted to change the targets for visible minorities from 11.7 per cent to 8.2 per cent, and for aboriginals from 3.3 per cent to 2.6 per cent.

Military officials would not confirm whether those are still the proposed targets.

The Canadian Human Rights Commission is currently conducting an audit of the Canadian Armed Forces to determine if the military is taking adequate action to increase diversity within the ranks. The commission regularly audits all federal departments and agencies.

Some have previously cautioned against cutting the targets for fear the Canadian Armed Forces will then scale back efforts to increase the number of women as well as visible minorities and aboriginals in uniform. They say the military should strive to represent the country’s demographic make-up.

However, others say that maintaining unrealistic targets could force the military to dilute recruiting standards. They also say it could draw away resources better put to other uses.

Military trying to cut recruitment targets for women despite expert’s report | Ottawa Citizen.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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