If Corporations Really Want to Address Racial Inequality, Here Are 9 Things That Actually Make a Difference

A few articles of interest regarding racial inequality and options to address it. While largely focussed on Black inequalities and disparities, broadly applicable to most minority groups.

Starting with the most concrete by Darren Walker, the president of the Ford Foundation. While some of the recommendations pertain to the private sector, some are more broadly applicable:

Since protests over the killing of George Floyd erupted across the country, I’ve received numerous calls from corporate CEOs who want to know what they should do, and where can they quickly donate $10 million dollars to advance the cause of racial justice?

The first thing I do is remind them of Martin Luther King Jr.’s caution that philanthropy must not be used to obscure the economic injustices that make it necessary. The frustration and rage we’re seeing across the country aren’t just about a racist system of policing.

It’s also about original sins–a genocide of Native Americans and enslavement of Black Africans whose stolen land and labor built this country’s wealth, enriching countless white people and their descendants in the process. It’s about the predations of modern-day capitalism that have allowed a privileged few to hoard the lion’s share of the nation’s wealth, effectively consigning Black folks to the bottom rung of the economic ladder.

This time the usual corporate playbook–issue a statement, gather a group of Black leaders for a conference call, give a hefty grant to the Urban League, resume business as usual–isn’t going to work. Here are 9 things every corporate leader can do to improve Black lives.

1. Remake your C suite

Change starts at the top. Do you have African-American board members? Black executives in your leadership team? If you do, are they token appointments, or do they have real power to recommend changes that would make your company more racially equitable?

2. Hire and advance more Black people

As leaders of large corporations, you have the power to transform Black lives immediately, simply by hiring and promoting more of us. Blind tests show that when identical resumes are submitted for the same job – one with a white-sounding name, the other with a Black-sounding one – the white applicant receives a callback 50% more often. Taking racial inclusion seriously means telling your managers that they cannot go forward with a hire or a promotion, at any level, unless the candidate pool is racially diverse.

3. Get involved in the Fair Chance Hiring Initiative

One legacy of the “tough on crime” era is that about one-third of American adults now have a criminal record, mostly for minor crimes that nonetheless hamper their ability to get a job. Black people are hugely overrepresented in that group, in significant part because of the kind of over-policing that sparked today’s protests.

That’s why the Society of Human Resource Management has urged employers to take the Getting Talent Back to Work Pledge as part of the Fair Chance Hiring Initiative by employing qualified job applicants with criminal backgrounds. Five years ago, the Ford Foundation committed to hire 10 formerly incarcerated business associates every year, and they are among our most dedicated employees.

4. Pay your employees a living wage

The federal minimum wage–$2.13 per hour for tipped workers and $7.25 per hour for others–is not a living wage. In 2016, nearly half of government public assistance went to people who worked full-time but still fell below the federal poverty line.

Black workers make up about 11% percent of the workforce, but 38% of Black workers who now work for the minimum wage would get a raise. Raising the pay of the workers at the bottom of your scale would disproportionately help people of color.

Commit to paying your workers a living wage of at least $15 per hour, and more in higher-cost parts of the country.

5. Provide a safe and healthy workplace

Valuing Black lives in a pandemic also means doing everything possible to create a safe workplace. Lack of adequate health insurance coverage are big reasons Black, Latinx and Native American people have contracted the coronavirus at a disproportionally higher rate than white Americans, with Black people dying of COVID-19 at a rate of almost 2.5 times the rate of white people. Does your company manipulate the schedules of your workers to fall just below the threshold for health coverage? Does it label people independent contractors even if they spend the bulk of their days working for you? If so, this is what advocates mean when they talk about structural racism.

6. Provide paid sick and family leave

Black workers often cannot afford to take time off to care for a newborn or sick family member. The lack of paid sick leave is another reason so many people of color have suffered higher rates of illness and death from COVID-19. If there were ever a question about whether paid leave is a moral issue, the pandemic should have laid it to rest.

7. Reconsider executive compensation

You might be asking, “but where am I going to find the resources to give my workers more?” Here, CEOs would do well to look in the mirror. According to the Economic Policy Institute, CEO compensation has grown 940% since 1978, while the salary of the average worker has increased only 12%. The economy would suffer zero harm if CEOs were paid less.

We know this, because many of those same executives are steering their excess wealth into philanthropic foundations, which have proliferated in the past two decades as their compensation has skyrocketed. While that charitable instinct benefits some of my foundation’s favorite causes, it would be better for the economy and for racial equity if more of that largesse were directed toward workers.

8. Advocate for a more progressive tax code

Standing up for Black lives means investing in the essential building blocks of social equality, from adequately funded schools to universal health care and affordable housing. These things require government action at scale.

Moving money from police budgets should be just the start. What we really need is a progressive tax code that will reduce income inequality, shore up our crumbling infrastructure, create a proper public health system and provide the social safety net that people need in a crisis. Five months into a pandemic that has shuttered the economy, Canada is subsidizing wages at 75% of full salary, while Americans are left to queue at food banks, wondering whether the next unemployment check will be their last.

Instead of deploying your lobbyists only on issues of narrow self-interest, detail them to advocate for tax reform and the expansion of social programs for poor people.

9. Advocate for shareholder reforms

But I hear you saying, “I have public shareholders to whom I’m accountable. Supporting tax policies that work against my company’s bottom line will only drive down our share price.” Yes, and this is why the current model of shareholder-driven capitalism that puts quarterly profits over people is bad for the long-term social and economic health of the country.

The Business Roundtable acknowledged as much last year, when 181 CEOs signed a statement revising the purpose of a corporation as one that benefits customers, employees, supplies and communities – not just shareholders. This was an important first step. Now, companies must turn that resolution into action, by committing to the kinds of tangible changes in practice and policy that will reduce inequality.

The uncomfortable truth is that if what you’re changing in your corporate practices doesn’t affect your bottom line, you’re not doing enough.

So to my friends in the Fortune 500: while the millions in onetime donations are appreciated, a permanent commitment to reducing racial inequality through changes in your own practices would be more meaningful. Outsourcing the work of racial justice isn’t sufficient when a broken system of capitalism has produced indefensible levels of wealth for owners and daily insecurity for workers. The corporate sector has the responsibility–and the ability–to act now.

Source: If Corporations Really Want to Address Racial Inequality, Here Are 9 Things That Actually Make a Difference

On the more abstract and process side, two examples starting with the call by Mireille Apollon, Sébastien Goupil and David Schimpky of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO:

Earlier this year, the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, put out a call for feedback on efforts underway to achieve the objectives of the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024).

Given the dramatic events and protests that have marked the year so far, one could say that little has been done to advance the spirit of this important Decade. Unfortunately, it remains too-little known among nation states and institutions.

United Nations international years and decades are not celebratory; they are calls to concerted action on issues that need attention over a long period. The International Decade for People of African Descent expresses an urgent need for states to eradicate systemic racism and ensure recognition, justice, and development for Black people and communities.

For some time now, the UN has done its part to sound the alarm and remind us that our world faces a crisis of racism and racial injustice. In 2001, it convened the Durban Conference, which was intended to unite the world around fighting racism, but was overshadowed by strife among the participants and the 9/11 attacks. The conference nonetheless ended with the adoption of a vigorous program of action to be implemented by member states to fight racism and discrimination.

This conference was also the origin of flagship initiatives, such as the creation by UNESCO of the International Coalition of Sustainable and Inclusive Cities, which are across the world. This network includes our own Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities, whose principal objective is expressly to fight racism and discrimination.

The conference also led to the creation of a Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, which looked at the situation in Canada in 2016. Their well-researched and thoughtful report should be mandatory reading for every Canadian. It concludes:

“Despite the reputation for promoting multiculturalism and diversity and the positive measures taken by the national and provincial governments …, the Working Group is deeply concerned by the structural racism that lies at the core of many Canadian institutions and the systemic anti-Black racism that continues to have a negative impact on the human rights situation of African Canadians.”

An important step was taken in 2018, when Canada recognized the International Decade for People of African Descent, and announced significant funding programs and the creation of an Anti-Racism Secretariat. But let’s return again to the question from the high commissioner: how much progress have we seen over the past five years?

The Decade has been embraced by many Black organizations and activists, and there have been remarkable strides in Nova Scotia, which last year launched a historic action plan related to the International Decade. The Michaëlle Jean Foundation and the Federation of Black Canadians convened historic summits to mobilize Black communities and propose concrete actions.

Our Commission has undertaken new partnerships, including working with the Canadian Institute for Identities and Migrations on two special editions of Canadian Diversity dedicated to the voices of African descent leaders, thinkers, and activists. In addition, we are working with the UNESCO Chair on the Prevention of Radicalization leading to Violence and Project SOMEONE on a recently launched toolkit to tackle racial and social profiling.

That said, the International Decade remains largely overlooked. The past few weeks have demonstrated that anti-Black racism is alive and well, and not just south of the border. Black Canadians are right to demand real action, and governments and intuitions everywhere need to respond. We need to implement policies and significant measures that promote diversity and inclusion, and address racism and discrimination in all their forms.

Let’s have the courage in 2020 to go beyond grand words and promises. This is the time for action. The way forward is clear, we just need to take it.

Source: A roadmap already exists to advance the rights of Black communities

Lastly, similarly efforts by DND and the CAF to address anti-Black racism are heavy on process:

Addressing anti-Black racism in the ranks of the Canadian military is a matter of national security, with recent bad press likely to dampen recruitment, says the head of the Federal Black Employee Caucus.

“For a long time this work has been piecemeal and people kind of do it at the corner of their desk, but now there is such a higher level of importance that [is] being put on it and getting it right,” said Richard Sharpe, founder of the Federal Black Employee Caucus (FBEC).

The Department of National Defence convened a meeting on July 27 to have its management “listen and learn directly from visible minority defence team members about the lived experience and systematic barriers that they and other colleagues face on a daily basis,” according to a July 28 statementfrom outgoing chief of the defence staff Jonathan Vance and national defence deputy minister Jody Thomas.

The meeting came after a June 19 letter that Gen. Vance and Ms. Thomas sent to DND members apologizing for the delay in addressing the outpouring of response to the police killing of George Floyd and reports of systematic racism within DND and the Canadian Armed Forces.

Those members of DND who presented gave three recommendations for the Canadian military to implement: establish a secretariat for members of DND to report on racial discrimination, make clear who is responsible for implementing policies and processes to tackle racism, and align DND with the rest of the public service to collect disaggregated data and renew the Employment Equity Act.

“I don’t want to fawn all over them, but I think they’ve been doing a very good job of addressing some of these issues—at least at the senior levels of the organization—head on,” said Mr. Sharpe, who took part in the July 27 meeting. “I appreciate the fact that we had a very frank and open discussion about race and anti-Black racism.”

He said changes to the Employment Equity Act are “long overdue.” The act, which was passed in the 1980s, outlines four classes of people that receive special protections: persons with disabilities, women, Indigenous people, and visible minorities.

“It refers to Black and racialized people as visible minorities and our experiences are masked within that visible minority term,” Mr. Sharpe said.

During the meeting, Gen. Vance and Ms. Thomas wrote, the leadership of the Canadian military heard about the need to “re-imagine and re-design,” so the new policies work for those without power within the structure of DND.

“The experiences they shared exposed persistent and deeply painful occurrences of aggressively racist behaviours, micro-aggressions, and failures of leadership to address both,” Gen. Vance and Ms. Thomas’ statement read.

The statement also referred to the creation of a DND Black Employee Network, something Mr. Sharpe called “really important.”

He noted that FBEC has been pushing for the establishment of Black employee networks—which create a safe place to gather to establish recommendations and have their own voice within institutions to push for change as a distinct group—across the public service.

“So with DND committing to do this, I think it gives great space for this to happen and a focus that we’ve never had. There’s never been a focus on Black employees in the public service,” Mr. Sharpe said.

The DND Black Employee Network is made up of both military and civilian members, who can “come together to share their experiences and discuss ways to respond to anti-Black racism within the Defence Team,” according to a DND spokesperson, who added that the group’s mandate is provide space for Black members of DND and the Canadian Forces to “explore, discuss, and create ways to tackle anti-Black racism.”

It will be made up of departmental volunteers who will act as a consultative body for senior DND and military leaders.

“It really does continue to feel like historic times here, with all that’s been happening, and there’s been movement on this work [that the FBEC] has been pushing for two years,” said Mr. Sharpe.

Given the new territory of DND’s initiative, Mr. Sharpe said it’s difficult to establish concrete timelines, but added he’s heard from DND leadership that they want to enact changes “very quickly.”

“This is a national security threat for DND. …The bad press, the reputational damage impacts on the ability on the organization to recruit people,” he said. “So I think they’re trying to get this stuff in place as soon as possible, addressing any kind of reputational damage that they may be experiencing due to the ongoing incidents of racism within the ranks and intolerance in the various defence [branches].”

Canadian Forces College professor Alan Okros, an expert on diversity in the military, said the networks provide a way for individuals to have a voice and have their concerns illuminated.

“In the current context, there is more of an interest at the senior leadership level in listening to [advisory groups] and hearing what’s going on,” he said.

Gen. Vance and Ms. Thomas said in their statement that National Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan (Vancouver South, B.C.) is “fully seized with addressing racial discrimination” within DND, adding that he “expects bold, decisive action” from both DND and the Canadian Armed Forces.

Mr. Sajjan told CTV last month that during his early days in the Armed Forces he realized “how intense racism can be.”

“I remember one person … saying to me, ‘I let you join my military.’ Just that position of power and privilege that he was throwing in my face, it just upset me so much,” he said.

Prof. Okros said the Black Lives Matter protests in the United States and Canada have given an increased impetus to diversity and inclusion work that started with Marie Deschamps’ 2015 report on sexual assault in the Canadian military, which led the Canadian government to launch Operation Honour to tackle sexual assault and misconduct.

“It’s moved it up a notch in terms of the level of attention and focus on it,” he said, adding that Gen. Vance and Ms. Thomas have made it clear this is how they want to lead.

Prof. Okros said now that the senior leaders have held a meeting to listen, the big question is: what have they heard and what is going to be done?

A DND spokesperson said implementation timelines and funding have not yet been determined.

“As we work towards establishing the appropriate framework and resources for this critical initiative, we are continuing to be open and transparent with the entire Defence Team,” the spokesperson said.

The recommendations being put forward are “good first steps,” Prof. Okros said, adding that there will be individuals who will be expecting more to be done to fully achieve what’s required.

“I think they’re definitely going to be interested in moving as quickly as they can,” he said. “It likely is going to result in some staged or staggered implementation, recognizing that in some of these cases there are legal issues involved and it takes time, and there’s a requirement to be prudent if you are going to make changes that have legal consequences.”

“Creating the secretariat, clarifying roles and responsibilities are things that can be moved forward fairly quickly,” said Prof. Okros. “I think part of what the next steps are is going to depend on having some legal review and some policy review to make sure they get it right.”

Gen. Vance and Ms. Thomas called the July 27 meeting “just a start.”

“We will be meeting with the other defence advisory groups to hear their stories on discrimination and systematic barriers. We know there is so much more to do, and that we will be judged based on our actions and results, not our sentiments and promises.”

Source: ‘It’s a national security threat’: DND launches anti-Black racism initiative

Canadian military works to define ‘hateful conduct’ to help it detect and discipline extremists

Coming up with agreed definitions in a government context is harder than it appears given the range of potential situations beyond the more clear cut cases:

Canada’s military is still defining the term “hateful conduct” as it grapples with how to better detect and discipline white supremacists in its ranks.

In a recent wide-ranging interview with CBC News, military leaders said they have identified areas of improvement and are working toward change. They hope to announce details in the coming months.

“I do understand that sometimes from the outside we might look opaque, but that is due to privacy reasons that we can’t divulge specific information,” Brig.-Gen. Sylvain Menard, the chief of staff operations for military personnel, said at DND headquarters in Ottawa.

“I think the fact that we’re here today trying to demystify and explain what we’re doing is our attempt to say, ‘No, we are open and transparent.'”The military has been grappling with a prominent example of extremism in its ranks, following the high-profile arrest of Patrik Mathews, a former Manitoba-based reservist, as part of an FBI undercover operation into a violent white supremacist group called The Base.

Last month, a federal grand jury in Maryland indicted Mathews, 27, and two U.S. men on firearms- and alien-related charges. His next court appearance there is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

Mathews is also facing additional counts in Delaware. If convicted, he could face up to a maximum of 90 years in U.S. prison.

In court documents, prosecutors say Mathews videotaped himself advocating killing people, poisoning water supplies and derailing trains.

They also allege that Mathews and two other co-accused had been planning to violently disrupt a gun-rights rally in Richmond, Va., in hopes of inciting civil war.

The Canadian military began investigating Mathews in the  spring of 2019, after someone reported comments “incompatible with the Canadian Forces.” At the time, he was a former combat engineer with the 38 Canadian Brigade Group in Winnipeg, with training in explosives.The military fast-tracked his request to be released from the reserves. That officially came through on Aug. 30, 2019.

“It takes a while to conduct these investigations. We have to follow due process, every Canadian has the same right, where innocent until proven guilty, and at the time of release, we just didn’t have enough to do anything about Mr. Mathews,” Menard said.

Brig.-Gen. Sylvain Menard says the military has ‘zero tolerance’ for hateful conduct and describes the Canadian Armed Force’s code of conduct. 1:56

“I think it’s a success story that we were investigating the member, even though we did not have a chance to fully close the loop.”

Defining ‘hateful conduct’

Part of the problem is that the military is still defining and codifying the term “hateful conduct,” something that has to be done in conjunction with the military justice system, Menard said.

Until that’s done, it is hard to discipline members and keep good statistics, he added.

Right now, hateful conduct is lumped into a category of behaviour that doesn’t measure up to expectations. Every year, the military reviews about 200 cases. Of those, approximately half of those are released.

“We have to evolve just as Canadian society evolves,” said Brig.-Gen. Yvonne Thomson, who is responsible for military careers and discipline.

“Adjusting our language is part of the issue we’re trying to solve.”

Brig.-Gen. Yvonne Thomson describes the range of disciplinary and administrative options available for anyone accused or found to be engaged in racist or discriminatory behaviour. 3:01

But retired Col. Michel Drapeau said it’s taking too long.

“You’ve got to have the definition,” he said from his law office in Ottawa.

“Just as an aside, it took them almost a couple of years to define sexual harassment. They didn’t know what that was. …There is no excuse in 2020 for not knowing this. Get on with it.”

However, the military maintains that even without a formal definition of “hateful conduct,” it is taking action.

Retired Col. Michel Drapeau, now a lawyer in Ottawa, says the Canadian reserves are a ‘back door’ for extremists to get into the military, and they do it for weapons training. 1:35

Menard pointed to reports by the Military Police Criminal Intelligence Section on white supremacy in the armed forces. Between 2013 and 2018, there were 16 identified members of extreme hate groups in the Canadian military, and another 35 engaged in racist or hateful behaviour.

As of Dec. 5, 2019, no wrongdoing was found in eight of those cases. Fifteen members still with the CAF received interventions ranging from counselling to disciplinary measures. Three people were discharged because of hateful conduct. Seven investigations are still underway.

Salvaging careers

There is a range of disciplinary and administrative options for anyone accused or found to be engaged in racist or discriminatory behaviour, and Thomson maintains they are effective.

For example, if someone has a problem with alcohol abuse, they could be warned and offered counselling. If they are drunk and get into a fight, they could be charged under the Code of Military Discipline and then offered remediation.

In both cases, the military will give the member an opportunity to correct their behaviour.

“If we can salvage somebody’s career then we’ll take the steps that we think are necessary,” said Thomson, who is responsible for military careers and discipline.

“The punitive issue is the visible signal to the rest of the folks in the unit that this is counter to our behaviour and it needs to be stopped. The administrative measures can be sometimes more quiet and more — I don’t want to say behind closed doors — but they naturally will unfold and they can be more sensitive in nature.”

Administrative measures can ultimately lead to a member’s release from the military, she added.

‘Oh shit. Not again’

The Mathews case has also raised questions about whether the reserves are what Col. Drapeau characterizes as a “back door” for white supremacists to get into the Forces.

“If I were chief of [Canadian military] personnel my first comment, ‘Oh shit. Not again,'” Drapeau said.

“You are a prime target for people who want to come and join and become members of the armed forces. … They have to be more diligent and more alert to a vulnerability in there,” he said.

Tony McAleer agrees.

As he watched the arrests in the U.S., McAleer wasn’t surprised to hear Mathews and a co-accused had ties to their respective militaries.

“Due to the nature of the military and the wide range of people it attracts, I think it always is a problem, but I think as the organizations like The Base or Atomwaffen [Division] become more and more militant, the need for vigilance is heightened,” McAleer said recently from his home in Vancouver.

“You know there’s fine lines between patriotism and nationalism and ultra-nationalism. There’s overlap,” said the former skinhead and organizer for the White Aryan Resistance. He has since de-radicalized, co-founded a nonprofit organization called Life After Hate, and written a book.

Tony McAleer is a former white supremacist who joined the reserves for weapons training. He has some advice for how to identify extremists in the military. 1:37

McAleer knows what he’s talking about. He joined an airborne infantry reserve unit in the 1990s and encouraged other white supremacists to do the same.

“I first joined the reserves infantry for the weapons training. That was the attraction. …  I think the military has always had to guard itself against people joining for the wrong reasons,” McAleer said.

However, there are already steps to identifying recruits with extremist views for both the regular forces and the reserves, said Brig.-Gen. Liam McGarry, the commander responsible for recruiting.

They include an aptitude test, reference and conduct checks, security screenings, and a personal interview.

Recruiters look through social media and even tattoos. If someone has body art deemed to be part of a hateful-conduct organization, that would make them unsuitable, McGarry said.

“Having a level of vagueness or mystery to the whole process actually prevents everyone from ultimately being able to game or have a detailed plan to get through everything. The expectation should be anything that you have done … chances are it will come to light throughout the process,” he said.

Of the 45,000 applications for regular forces last year, 370 were rejected for a category of unsuitability, of which 28 fall under what could be considered hateful conduct. There are no similar statistics for the approximately 15,000 reserve applications every year.

McGarry maintained the Forces are becoming a much more diverse group every year, better reflecting Canadian society and creating a more inclusive atmosphere.

Getting outside help is suggested

In light of what’s become an embarrassing and ongoing problem, Drapeau and others are urging the CAF to get outside help in de-radicalizing members exhibiting hateful conduct.

In Quebec, the Centre for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence, trains organizational leaders to prevent radicalization rather than just reacting to it.

“Even if it’s not a huge number of people that might be connected to violent extremism or who might get radicalized, just a few individuals can actually represent a strong threat because of the training that they have had in the military, and also just a few people can actually really destroy the reputation of the Canadian Forces by just being associated with an extremist group,” research manager Benjamin Ducol said.

Military leadership is acutely aware of that.

It’s why Menard has this message to any extremists currently in CAF ranks:

“You have no place in the military,” he says.

“We have zero tolerance for such behaviour for anything that is discriminatory in nature … and we will get you out of uniform if you don’t correct your behaviour.”

Source: Canadian military works to define ‘hateful conduct’ to help it detect and discipline extremists

Twitter Sets Measurable Hiring Goals for Women and Minorities | Re/code

Setting public goals and reporting on them provides incentives for managers:

A month ago, Twitter’s interim CEO Jack Dorsey told employees that diversity would soon be a company goal. Twitter was fresh off an embarrassing fraternity-themed party that only underscored Silicon Valley’s reputation as a place where women and minorities are often overlooked.

Today, Dorsey and Twitter followed through on that promise, and they’ve got the numbers to back it up.

Twitter reported its diversity metrics Friday, falling in line with the rest of Silicon Valley by reporting a predominantly white and male workforce. Two-thirds of Twitter’s global employee base is male, and men also claim 87 percent of the company’s tech jobs; ninety percent of its U.S. employees are either white or Asian.

Unlike most other tech companies, however, which often provide lip service on how they plan to improve those ratios, Twitter is setting measurable goals for each of these categories as a way to hold itself accountable. For example, it wants to grow its percentage of women in tech roles from 13 percent to 16 percent in the next year. It also wants to grow women in leadership roles from 22 percent to 25 percent.

They’re small increments, sure, but putting tangible numbers out there also puts pressure on the company to deliver. (You can guarantee that if it misses these marks, the media will point it out.) Janet Van Huysse, Twitter’s VP of diversity and inclusion, wrote in a post Friday that the company will start recruiting more heavily at historically black colleges and universities and Latino-serving institutions this fall. It is also working to ensure its job descriptions are written to “appeal to a broad range of applicants.”

Kudos to Twitter for putting a stake in the sand. Perhaps other companies will soon do the same. Now the pressure’s on to actually change things at Twitter.

Perhaps DND and the RCMP could take a similarly public position, starting by posting their employment equity reports on their website, and commit to a more active approach to addressing their poor results for women and visible minorities.

Source: Twitter Sets Measurable Hiring Goals for Women and Minorities | Re/code

Ottawa spends more on military history amid criticism over support for veterans

Seems a bit of a unidimensional celebration of Canada’s history in the lead-up to 2017:

The commemorative budget includes roughly $32-million for the Department of National Defence over seven years and nearly $50-million over three years at the Departments of Veterans Affairs for public education, ceremonies, events and remembrance partnerships, according to figures compiled by The Globe and Mail. The budget also includes several million dollars through the Department of Canadian Heritage, the figures show.

This funding is not a complete tally and is in addition to the tens of millions of dollars the Conservatives already dedicated to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, the conflict with the United States the government billed as “The Fight for Canada.”

National Defence has created a special program called “Operation Distinction” to oversee a spate of commemorations, chiefly important anniversaries of the First World War and Second World War. The initiative spans all the way to 2020, which will mark the 75th anniversary of the Second World War’s Victory in Europe Day and Victory over Japan Day.

Ottawa wants to use these occasions to build a “greater understanding that Canada’s development as an independent country with a unique identity stems in significant part from its achievement in times of war,” according to a January 2014 memo from Chief of the Defence Staff General Tom Lawson obtained under access-to-information law.

The government has made boosting appreciation of Canada’s military tradition a priority, in part to fashion a more conservative national identity. It’s cultivated an image as pro-military since taking power but in recent years has alienated a vocal group of veterans and their families, upset over what they consider insufficient federal support.

Ottawa spends more on military history amid criticism over support for veterans – The Globe and Mail.

And:

Return to old-style uniform insignia costs Canadian Forces millions