Employment Equity Promotion Rate Study

Summary from the Public Service Commission’s report on promotion rates of employment equity groups, showing women have greater promotion rates than men, comparable promotion rates of visible minorities compared to not visible minorities, and lower rates among Indigenous peoples and persons with disabilities.

Curious to see if and how the government implements recommendation 2 to breakdown the data into sub-groups such as visible minority without either asking public servants to self-identify or using name recognition technology to approximate the groups:

Part 1: Analysis of recent employment equity promotion rates

Part 1 of the study is based on 172 125 promotions from 230 310 indeterminate employees. Our findings present a mixed picture in terms of promotion rates across employment equity groups. Our public service-wide results indicate that women have a higher promotion rate when compared to men. This contrasts with Indigenous people and with persons with disabilities, who both experienced lower promotion rates than their respective counterparts. We found no appreciable difference between members of visible minorities and their counterparts.

Results also show variations for some employment equity groups across occupational categories. For example, despite having a higher overall promotion rate when compared to men, women have a lower promotion rate in the Scientific and Professional and the Technical categories. These lower promotion rates are offset by higher relative promotion rates for women in the Administrative Support and Administrative and Foreign Service occupational categories.

Part 2: Analysis of promotion rates of employment equity new hires across 2 time periods

Part 2 of the study relied on 74 762 promotions from 112 667 indeterminate employees and 97 856 promotions from 141 836 indeterminate employees for the first and second time periods respectively. Our results on the promotion rates of new hires across time periods (from April 1991 to March 2005 and from April 2005 to March 2018) suggest an improvement over time in the relative promotion rates of women, Indigenous people and persons with disabilities. However, promotion rates for Indigenous people and persons with disabilities remain below those of their counterparts. For members of visible minorities, there are no appreciable differences in promotion rates relative to their counterparts in either of the 2 time periods.

Part 3: Employment equity applicant representation and shares of promotions

Our analysis suggests that women and members of visible minorities apply at a higher rate than their rate of representation in the federal public service. Women’s share of promotions is roughly equivalent to their representation as applicants, while members of visible minorities exhibit a share of promotions that is lower than their representation as applicants.

A different pattern emerges for Indigenous people and persons with disabilities, whose representation as applicants is below their representation rates in the federal public service, while their share of promotions is on par or above their representation as applicants. This may, in part, explain differences in the promotion rates of these 2 employment equity groups as compared to their counterparts.

In response to these findings, we are recommending that, in consultation with stakeholders and employment equity community members:

  • Recommendation 1: further research be conducted to better understand underlying barriers that contribute to lower promotion rates for some employment equity groups
    • for example, the upcoming Staffing and Non-Partisanship Survey (Spring 2020) should be leveraged to gain insight into employment equity group views on barriers to career progression
  • Recommendation 2: work be undertaken to break down employment equity category data by sub-groups to allow for a more comprehensive and accurate identification of barriers that are unique to individual sub-groups, including their intersectionality
  • Recommendation 3: further outreach be provided to federal departments and agencies in order to increase awareness of the range of policy, service and program options aimed at supporting a diverse workplace
  • Recommendation 4: public service-wide approaches to career progression be explored including broadening access to existing successful programs and services such as the Aboriginal Leadership Development Initiative and the Accommodation and Adaptive Computer Technology Program at Shared Services Canada
  • Recommendation 5: concerted efforts across central agencies be undertaken to explore how we can learn from the Aboriginal Leadership Development Initiative and extend similarly targeted services and development opportunities to all employment equity groups, including development programs and career support services that are specifically designed with, and for, employment equity groups

We extend our thanks to Professor Marcel Voia and Statistics Canada who have reviewed this study and provided insightful suggestions, comments and feedback.

Non-advertised appointments on the rise in the public service, PSC data show

I have been hearing about the impact of this policy change for some time and PSC was kind enough to send me an incredibly rich and detailed dataset that I will be analyzing the change by occupational group and department over the next few months, along with the impact on the representation of employment equity groups.

One striking initial finding, not covered in this article, is the relatively high number of “unknowns” in the data, compared to advertised and non-advertised positions, about 30 percent compared to 23 percent previously, raising questions regarding the quality and consistency of data entry:

An increased proportion of federal public servants is being appointed directly to positions that have never been advertised as vacant.

Since the launch of a new policy framework for public service staffing in 2016, the use of non-advertised processes for internal appointments has increased, new data show, raising concerns about fairness and transparency.

According to data released by the Public Service Commission, the federal bureaucracy’s staffing watchdog, 34 per cent of internal appointments — promotions and acting appointments longer than four months — were non-advertised in 2015-16. Two years later, in 2017-18, that figure had increased to 47 per cent.

At the executive level, the increase is even steeper. Between 2015-16 and 2017-18, non-advertised processes jumped from being used in 28 per cent of internal appointments, to 55 per cent.

Statistics were not provided on the use — or not — of advertisements for external hiring.

The Public Service Commission readily admits that the uptick in non-advertised appointments can be linked to its New Direction In Staffing, explaining in an emailed statement that it “has noted an increase” since the policy framework’s implementation in April 2016.

Before that time, “a preference for advertised processes was established,” said the PSC, though both were and continue to be allowed under the Public Service Employment Act.

Now, “the PSC no longer sets a preference and leaves deputy heads with the discretion to determine the appropriate balance between advertised and non-advertised processes.”

Billed as “the most significant change to the staffing system in 10 years,” according to the PSC’s 2016-17 annual report, the New Direction in Staffing sought to streamline and simplify staffing policies and offer federal departments and agencies more room to customize staffing approaches to meet their varying needs.

“At its core, the New Direction in Staffing represents a shift away from a focus on rules to a system that encourages managers to exercise their discretion when making staffing decisions, while meeting the simplified policy requirements in ways adapted to their organizations.”

For example, reporting requirements were reduced under the new framework. Departments were to conduct their own ongoing monitoring of staffing, rather than having it prescribed by the PSC. And hiring managers were allowed more room to apply their own judgment.

But public service employee representatives are raising red flags. They expressed concerns last week that the New Direction’s provision for flexibility is leading to opaque and inequitable hiring and promotion practices. And it’s demoralizing for many public servants, they say.

“What I’m hearing from my members and my representatives is the deputy head basically has a free and clear right to make a choice on the process, advertised versus non-advertised, and they don’t have to consider anything other than their convenience and ease of process and getting what they want,” said Debi Daviau, president of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, one of the largest public service unions.

“The result is that you may not actually be getting the best candidate in those positions. You’re just getting the person that that person (directing hiring) likes the best.”

Michel Vermette, chief executive of the Association of Professional Executives of the Public Service of Canada, said he’s hearing frustration from executives he represents that they’re being sidelined from opportunities for promotion without even being given the chance to throw their hats into the ring.

“I can promote you through a non-advertised process, and not to have to tell anybody that I’ve considered you, or that there was an opportunity here.”

“That’s what’s happening more and more. Those processes are simply publications of appointments,” Vermette said.

“Our community is saying, ‘I never had an opportunity to apply for that.’”

Asked about these concerns, the PSC pointed out that it completed a system-wide staffing audit in 2016, after the New Direction framework came into effect. “Both advertised and non-advertised processes were merit-based and compliant with staffing legislation and policy in the vast majority of cases,” the PSC said.

The Public Service Employment Act requires that all appointments be based on merit. That means the person being appointed must at least meet the essential qualifications of the work they’re to perform, plus any “asset qualifications, operational requirements and/or organizational needs,” when applicable, the audit report explains.

“The PSC recognizes that organizations are adjusting to the new policy framework and we continue to encourage managers to consider their staffing choices and communicate their decisions,” the PSC said, in an emailed statement. “Additionally, we are continuing to monitor the staffing system — both in terms of compliance and perceptions — and are working with organizations to improve both.”

Vermette points to the Staffing and Non-Partisanship Survey, commissioned by the PSC for the first time in 2018, to illustrate his belief that concerns about merit, fairness and transparency in public service staffing have become widespread, and are potentially linked to the increased use of non-advertised staffing processes. More than 100,000 employees completed the survey, an overall response rate of almost 48 per cent, and the PSC said results can be generalized to the federal public service population across the vast majority of departments and agencies.

More than half of employee respondents indicated that, in their work units, appointments depend on whom you know. A similar proportion — 54 per cent — said that people hired in their work units are capable of doing the job they were hired to.

Less than half said that in their work units, staffing activities are conducted fairly and carried out in a transparent way.

Meanwhile, more than 90 per cent of managers believed that appointees meet the performance expectations of the positions for which they were hired, and that appointees are a good fit within the team.

Asked about these survey results, the PSC said an analysis was conducted to look specifically at the connection between employee perceptions of merit, fairness and transparency and the use of non-advertised appointments in departments and agencies, and found they weren’t linked.

Rather, there appeared to be an association between organizations that had more hiring managers with a good understanding of the New Direction in Staffing, and employees with a higher perception of merit in staffing, “irrespective of percentage of non-advertised appointments,” PSC said.

The analysis pondered whether better understanding of the staffing framework allowed managers to better explain their choice of appointment process and appointment decisions to employees — who would then, presumably, have more faith in the process.

“The PSC will be conducting further research to better understand what is contributing to these perceptions. We will also continue to work with departments to support them in improving their staffing systems,” the watchdog promised.

For his part, Vermette thinks concerns about merit and fairness in staffing go deeper than public servants failing to comprehend hiring policies. He called the PSC’s conclusion, “a bit dismissive.”

“If half the employees who took the time to answer say they’re worried about merit in a professional public service, is there fire under that smoke?”

Daviau, the PIPSC president, also referenced statistics she thinks reflect issues with the new approach to staffing since 2016.

In its 2017-18 annual report, the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board noted that the past two years had seen “a significant increase” in the number of complaints about non-advertised staffing processes. Of all staffing complaints received in 2015-16, complaints about non-advertised processes accounted for 24 per cent. That figure rose to 47 per cent the following year, and remained similar at 44 per cent in 2017-18.

“It has been surmised that this surge can be linked to the Public Service Commission’s new appointment policy, introduced in 2016, to modernize, simplify, and streamline the public service staffing process,” the report concludes.

The PSC pointed out that in addition to complaints to the labour relations board, employees who take issue with internal appointment processes can also request a departmental investigation. The PSC said it has the authority to investigate external appointments “when there is alleged errors or improper conduct.”

Staffing is not a new area of focus for the Government of Canada. Last fall, two days of testimony at the House of Commons Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates were devoted to looking at the public service hiring process.

PSC president Patrick Borbey pointed out that it takes, on average, 197 days to hire a new employee using an external advertised competitive process and that as a result good candidates are often lost along the way.

“The cumbersome staffing culture that has developed over time will not change overnight, and it is something we are committed to improve in every way,” he said, after referencing the 2016 New Direction in Staffing.

“I’m convinced … that we can modernize and speed up the hiring process while maintaining and, in fact, strengthening merit, transparency, fairness, diversity and regional representation.”

Doing so will also support “efforts to improve diversity and inclusion within the public service,” Borbey said.

Daviau, meanwhile, believes non-advertised appointments, while reasonable in some circumstances — positions that require highly-specialized skills for example — typically run counter to all of these public service values.

“The Government of Canada ought to be a leading employer when it comes to things like employment equity, and individual managers can’t possibly have the right perspective to know what the Government of Canada as a whole needs,” she said.

“They’re sort of seeing the world through a very tiny lens, and they know what they need to get Project A done, but that starts to undermine an entire system that’s designed to be fair and transparent and merit-based and with proper oversight.”

Further, Daviau added, “People hire people like themselves. We know this.

“The government needs to be a leader in breaking down those barriers.”

Source: Non-advertised appointments on the rise in the public service, PSC data show

Andrew Coyne: Ex-Liberal candidate’s only crime was engaging in ethnic politics — out loud

More piling on with respect to former Liberal candidate Wang (the replacement candidate, Richard Lee, also a Chinese Canadian, has provincial political experience).

Coyne ends this column with the quasi-ideological twist that favouring greater representation of under-represented groups is somehow more undermining of social cohesion than not doing so, and that bias is not a factor in hiring and other practices:

You have to feel for the Liberal Party of Canada, who are surely the real victims in the Karen Wang affair.

The party had innocently selected the B.C. daycare operator to run in next month’s byelection in Burnaby South based solely on her obvious merits as a failed former candidate for the provincial Liberals in 2017, and without the slightest regard to her Chinese ethnicity, in a riding in which, according to the 2016 census, nearly 40 per cent of residents identify as ethnically Chinese.

Imagine their shock when they discovered that she was engaging in ethnic politics.

In a now-infamous post on WeChat, a Chinese-language social media site, Wang boasted of being “the only Chinese candidate” in the byelection, whereas her main opponent — NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh — is “of Indian descent.”

The party was instantly and publicly aghast. Pausing only to dictate an apology to be put out under her name (“I believe in the progress that Justin Trudeau and the Liberal team are making for British Columbians and all Canadians, and I do not wish for any of my comments to be a distraction,” etc etc), party officials issued a statement in which they “accepted her resignation.” Her online comments, the statement noted, “are not aligned with the values of the Liberal Party of Canada.”

Certainly not! How she got the idea that the Liberal Party of Canada was in any way a home for ethnic power-brokers prized for their ability to recruit members and raise funds from certain ethnic groups, or that it would even think of campaigning in ridings with heavy concentrations of voters from a given ethnic group by crude appeals to their ethnic identity — for example by nominating a candidate of the same ethnicity — must remain forever a mystery.

Unless, of course, her real crime was to have said out loud what everybody in politics knows to be the practice, not just of the Liberals but of every party, but prefers not to mention. But the thing having been said, the party had no alternative but to pretend to be appalled, just as the other parties had no alternative but to pretend to be outraged.

There is, after all, a script for these things. Usually it is performed at the expense of the Conservatives, as in the controversy a few years back over a leaked party memo proposing an advertising strategy for “very ethnic” ridings, or another that urged a candidate’s photo include voters of different ethnic backgrounds — as if every party did not do this, every day. Again, the crime was to have said what must be left unsaid, or rather to have been caught doing so.

The only difference in this case is that it involves the Liberals, usually the first to feign such outrage, now forced to yield the stage to the NDP. Thus the NDP’s Nathan Cullen was quoted saying Wang’s post was “the worst kind of politics there is,” while Singh himself observed how “politics that divide along racial lines hurt our communities… I want to focus in on politics that bring people together.”

It takes some effort, hearing such admirable sentiments, to recall NDP officials’ open speculation, after Singh was elected party leader, that this would improve their chances in cities such as Brampton, Ont., or Surrey, B.C., with large numbers of Sikh voters. It doesn’t necessarily follow, of course: voters of all ethnicities display a stubborn tendency to think and vote as individuals, frustrating parties’ efforts to sort them into little boxes. But that doesn’t mean the parties don’t think that way, or act accordingly.

For her part, the lesson Wang drew from the controversy was that she should have limited herself to stressing her own ethnicity, without mentioning Singh’s. “As a Canadian with a Chinese background, normally, obviously, you are trying to gain people’s support from the same cultural background,” she told her post-resignation news conference.

Which at least has the virtue of honesty. The hypocrisy of the universal outrage over Wang’s appeal to tribalism is not just that all the parties do it, as a matter of practical politics, but that much respectable opinion believes it to be right and proper as a matter of principle. Thus, for example, electoral boundaries are supposed to be drawn in conformity with what is delicately called “community of interest,” on the precise understanding to which Wang sought to appeal: that membership in an ethnic or other identity group trumps. At the limit, it emerges in calls for special dedicated ridings — even a separate Parliament — for Indigenous voters.

This is hardly confined to politics: across society, progressive ideology has lately taught us, not to emphasize our common humanity, but the opposite: that people of one group may not — cannot — be represented by those of another; that they are to be judged, not as individuals, but on the basis of their race, gender and so on. The current generation of federal Liberals, in particular, has made hiring quotas the defining principle of their government, to be institutionalized from top to bottom.

It is lovely to hear Liberal ministers proclaim, in response to the Wang affair, that “the value we stand for is representing all Canadians,” just as it is heartening to read an NDP commentator denounce the idea of reducing voters to “a passive, two-dimensional identity to be exploited for someone else’s elevation to the political class.” If only they meant it.

Source: Andrew Coyne: Ex-Liberal candidate’s only crime was engaging in ethnic politics — out loud

Can we avoid bias in hiring practices?


Good analysis of some of the weaknesses in the Treasury Board and selected departments piloting of masking applicant names to remove hiring bias.

That being said, federal government representation of visible minorities, at 15.9 percent (2016 Census public administration less Canadian Forces, a number slightly higher than the most recent federal employment equity data), is relatively close to the percentage who are also Canadian citizens (17.2 percent, 2016 Census):

Ottawa’s Name-Blind Recruitment Pilot Project was launched in April 2017 to explore whether masking applicants’ names would remove bias in the hiring process for the federal public service. There was a lot to praise in this initiative of the Public Service Commission (PSC). Previous research, including some of our own, has shown that recruiters often react to the name on a resumé, independently of other factors such as education and experience. Our most recent publication (in the March issue of Canadian Public Policy) suggests that much of this discrimination is unconscious and unintentional, so employers actually could benefit from better hires by taking relatively straightforward steps to remove names during the initial stages of the selection process.

One similar and important example is the case of musicians auditioning for positions in popular orchestras in the United States. Traditionally orchestras have been male dominated, and criticized for discriminating against women. Researchers showed convincingly that orchestras that held auditions with the applicants performing behind a screen began to hire more women. Given that auditions are an effective means to observe productivity (music quality), the fact that more women were hired under this method suggests that orchestras previously were missing out on better musicians when gender was known. Most orchestras now audition using screens, showing a desire to avoid discrimination and make better hires. It’s a classic case of win-win-win: a win for women musicians getting more equal opportunity, a win for orchestras tapping a larger talent pool and a win for audiences enjoying better music.

However, the PSC’s hiring bias experiment has yet to yield such positive results. When the project report was released in January 2018, it appeared to show there was in fact “no bias” in federal public service hiring in the first place. This led Treasury Board President Scott Brison to write, “The project did not uncover bias.” National media disseminated this story. The CBC, for example, ran with the headline “No Sign of Bias against Government Job-Seekers with Ethnic-Sounding Names, Pilot Project Finds.” The article states that hiding ethnic-sounding names on resumés was found to have “no real bearing on who’s picked from the pile of applications.”

Unfortunately, this version of the results significantly misrepresents the actual findings of the pilot project. A careful reading of the report indicates that the pilot project was not really designed as a test of discrimination, and the report clearly acknowledged this fact.

The design of the pilot project included two features that would undermine its relevance in assessing the broader use of name-blind hiring. First, the project relied on departments within PSC that volunteered to take part, and within those, job openings were considered for inclusion as they arose; both features introduce a non-random element that undermines the value of the results. Second, and more important, all hiring managers in the project made their decisions knowing that they would be subject to review. For the managers using the traditional method, the awareness that their decisions would be scrutinized and compared with results from name-blind hiring made them more likely to be conscious of bias, and therefore more likely to alter their hiring decisions accordingly.

The procedure in the PSC pilot removed more than the applicant’s name; it also took out all other potentially identifying information — information that might have been useful in assessing the resumé. This was likely why anonymized applications in the pilot were less likely to lead to call-backs.

The report points out that a different study approach used to measure bias, called audit methodology, would have lessened the effect of managers’ awareness of being in a comparative study. Our own study used the audit methodology, in which employers are selected at random and are sent computer-generated resumés for assessment without advance notification. Such a procedure has been employed many times, in a number of countries.

Of course, it’s possible that discrimination against applicants with ethnic-sounding names doesn’t exist in the federal public service. For name-blinding to influence hiring decisions, there must be a problem to begin with. As the report mentions, the PSC is already taking steps to help ensure that the federal government is practising unbiased hiring, and it outlines several important initiatives.

Our research found that bias varies considerably among organizations. We’ve shown in data from Toronto and Montreal that large organizations with over 500 employees practise discrimination against applicants with Asian names about half as often as smaller organizations. This difference may well arise from a tendency for large organizations to have more policies in place to help avoid discriminatory behaviour. The potential benefits from name-blinding may be minimal for the federal government if it is already doing a good job minimizing bias.

However, to conclude that there is no bias in hiring within the federal public service on the basis of the January report — which clearly indicates that the pilot project was not designed to test bias effectively — may move efforts to promote fairness backward rather than forward. There is still a need to follow through on the good intentions that seemed to motivate the name-blind hiring pilot when it was first announced. Ideally, a study on the impact of name-blinding would first identify an organization where clear discrimination occurs, as shown through an audit, and then explore how name-blinding affects the chances of applicants getting an interview, and ultimately getting hired. Tellingly, the report suggested an audit study as a good next step “to improve the understanding of any potential bias during selection of candidates.” In fact, any organization, including the federal public service, that wishes to consider name-blind recruitment as a way to broaden its talent pool would be well-advised to consider an audit as a first step to test for bias.

It can be quite challenging to design an effective name-blind hiring procedure. The procedure in the PSC pilot removed more than just the applicant’s name; it also took out all other potentially identifying information — information that might have been useful in assessing the resumé. This was most likely the reason that anonymized applications in the pilot were less likely to lead to call-backs than traditional applications. One option would be to remove only the name, or only a very limited amount of other information in the resumés that might give away the visible minority status of the applicant. An automated tool for reviewing submitted resumés might be developed to facilitate this approach.

It’s critical that the desire of an organization to burnish its public image not stand in the way of ensuring a fair and equitable process of finding the best candidates for available jobs. It may feel great to say, “We didn’t uncover any bias.” But if bias does exist, it’s better to be able to say, “We found bias and we’ve taken meaningful steps to eliminate it.”

Source: Can we avoid bias in hiring practices?

Québec solidaire dévoile sa politique en matière d’inclusion

Quebec does not require Canadian citizenship as a pre-condition (Permanent Residents acceptable), nor make it a preference as does the federal government. Hence the overall number of visible minorities is a valid benchmark although I would still argue a more realistic one would the visible minority citizenship benchmark (9.9 percent):

Le Québec a un tel retard à corriger en matière d’inclusion qu’il faudrait que le secteur public se fixe un taux d’embauche de 25 % au sein des minorités visibles et ethniques jusqu’à ce que celles-ci représentent 18 % de la main-d’œuvre, affirme Québec solidaire (QS).

Convaincu d’un « coup de barre » à donner, le parti a dévoilé dimanche une politique qui, s’il était porté au pouvoir, prévoirait aussi la création de « Carrefours d’accueil en immigration ». Ceux-ci joueraient un rôle de « guichet unique » permettant d’orienter les nouveaux arrivants vers des services comme l’aide à l’emploi ou des cours de francisation.

« C’est là que le Parti libéral, qui est là depuis 15 ans, a le plus échoué : face aux nouveaux arrivants et arrivantes, face aux gens de la diversité culturelle, des minorités visibles », a dit la députée de Sainte-Marie–Saint-Jacques, Manon Massé, lors de la présentation de la politique dimanche en compagnie du député Amir Khadir, d’Andres Fontecilla, qui se présentera dans Laurier-Dorion, et de plusieurs autres candidats.

« Dans la fonction publique, il y a des règles. Elles sont à peine respectées. D’ailleurs, il manque énormément d’employés issus de la diversité culturelle au sein du secteur public », a ajouté Mme Massé. « Il faut un coup de barre. » Québec solidaire souhaite que le taux de représentation des communautés culturelles soit le même que dans la société, soit d’environ 18 %. D’ici 2024, la fonction publique devrait embaucher un « minimum » de 3750 personnes, a-t-elle dit. Le parti politique souhaite aussi travailler à la reconnaissance des compétences de l’étranger.

En mars 2017, les communautés culturelles comptaient pour 9,4 % des employés du secteur public, selon le Secrétariat du Conseil du trésor. Le gouvernement Couillard a déjà affirmé que le taux d’emploi des immigrants qui sont au Québec depuis plus de dix ans (81,9 %) est inférieur à celui des gens nés au Canada (86,2 %).

À quelques mois des élections, les annonces se succèdent. Le gouvernement Couillard a récemment annoncé une stratégie de la main-d’œuvre 2018-2023 qui promet une somme de 1,3 milliard sur cinq ans. Le plan insiste sur la francisation, mais aussi sur la réduction des délais dans la remise des certificats de sélection.

Le Parti québécois a proposé il y a deux semaines de travailler sur la sélection des immigrants en fonction notamment de leur connaissance du français. Il souhaite aussi qu’ils choisissent de s’installer pas seulement à Montréal, mais en région.

Du côté de la CAQ, des documents révélés récemment par L’actualité montrent que le parti veut mettre un accent particulier sur la francisation et souhaite réformer « en profondeur » le ministère de l’Immigration.

Outre les investissements supplémentaires en francisation, QS souhaite impliquer les entreprises. Par exemple, l’application de la loi 101, qui vise actuellement les entreprises de 50 employés et plus, couvrirait désormais les sociétés de 20 employés et plus.

Source: Québec solidaire dévoile sa politique en matière d’inclusion

Quebec: 3% de minorité visible dans la haute fonction publique

While I do not have breakdowns for senior management in all provinces (not all provide a breakdown like Quebec), this comparative chart on provincial and municipal diversity captures the overall picture (Census 2016 NAICS, visible minority numbers adjusted for citizenship):

Quelque 3% de personnes issues des minorités visibles ont été nommées à des postes de la haute fonction publique depuis 2014. Selon les données compilées par Québec solidaire (QS), parmi les 2330 personnes nommées à ces postes, seulement 72 proviennent des minorités visibles alors que celles-ci représentent 13 % de la population québécoise.

À Montréal, ce taux grimpe toutefois à 22,6 %. Bon an mal an, ce pourcentage est resté le même. De 2014 jusqu’à février 2017, le taux était de 3,7 % . En y ajoutant l’année 2018, en cours, ce taux s’établit à 3 %, selon les calculs de QS, chiffres qu’avait reconnus le Conseil exécutif.

Pour le député de QS Amir Khadir, c’est là un « constat d’échec lamentable » du gouvernement libéral au pouvoir. « Quand on parle de racisme systémique, c’est ça. La machine est structurée de telle sorte qu’elle discrimine, de manière systématique, tout ce qui n’est pas conforme. Ça vient par les accointances et les copinages au sommet », a-t-il déploré. « Si [Philippe Couillard] est sincère, il doit commencer à changer, au lieu de continuer avec des nominations partisanes et intéressées. »

En ce qui concerne plus largement la fonction publique, 9 % des effectifs sont des membres de communautés culturelles, ce qui comprend les minorités visibles et les minorités ethniques (dont la langue maternelle n’est ni le français ni l’anglais). Le gouvernement s’est engagé la semaine dernière à doubler ce pourcentage pour atteindre une cible de représentativité de 18 % des minorités.

via 3% de minorité visible dans la haute fonction publique | Le Devoir

Employment Equity in the Public Service of Canada for Fiscal Year 2016 to 2017: 2016-17 data delayed

Highly unusual for the EE data not to be included in the annual report (can’t recall this happening in recent years). The report’s explanation suggests that this is collateral damage of the Phoenix pay system.

That being said, better to take the necessary time for data verification than publish inaccurate data:

The 2016 to 2017 annual report features a 10-year trend analysis of the representation of the 4 designated groups and reports on results of initiatives that advance employment equity, diversity and inclusion. (Data for 2016 to 2017 will be provided at a later date and included with the report as an annex.) Over the past 4 years, the representation of each employment equity group in the core public administration has exceeded workforce availability. However, gaps persist in some departments and in certain occupational groups. We will continue our efforts to close these gaps.

…. Statistical tables for the 2016 to 2017 fiscal year in 7 areas will be published following:

  • retrieval of data from the Phoenix pay system
  • reconciliation of data with sources from the Public Service Commission of Canada and from departments and agencies
  • validation of the accuracy of the data to be published

via Employment Equity in the Public Service of Canada for Fiscal Year 2016 to 2017 – Canada.ca

No sign of bias against government job-seekers with ethnic-sounding names, pilot project finds

Given the overall employment equity numbers, and how representation at both the all employee and executive levels has continued to increase, not overly surprising but nevertheless helpful to have tested for bias:

Hiding ethnic-sounding names from resumes has no real bearing on who’s picked from the pile of applications for jobs in the federal public service, according to a pilot project on blind hiring.

A report released Tuesday by the Public Service Commission shows visible minorities were short-listed at roughly the same rate through a name-blind recruitment process (46 per cent) as through a traditional process (47 per cent).

“For visible minorities, results indicated no significant effect on the screening decisions of applications,” the report concludes.

The federal government launched the name-blind hiring pilot project last April to reduce bias in recruitment based on the names and ethnic origins of potential candidates.

In a blog post today, Treasury Board president Scott Brison said the pilot project aimed to see if unconscious bias was undermining hiring processes and the government’s efforts to build a more diverse public service.

He called the pilot “ground-breaking” and says it’s in line with the government’s focus on innovation and experimentation.

“The project did not uncover bias, but the findings do contribute to a growing body of knowledge,” he wrote.

“They provide us with insights to further explore in our steadfast support of diversity and inclusion in the public service; two critical characteristics of an energized, innovative and effective workforce, able to meet the demands of our ever-changing world.”

17 departments participated

The pilot project included 17 departments and 27 external hiring processes between April and October 2017. It had a sample of 2,226 applicants, including 685 members of visible minorities (just under 31 per cent.)

Jobs were in the scientific and professional, administrative and foreign service, technical and administrative support, and operational fields.

Applications in the blind process had the name, citizenship, country of origin, mailing address, spoken languages, references to religion, and names of educational institutions removed. The objective was to determine if applicants with ethnic-sounding names were disadvantaged in the screening process.

While the findings did not reveal any bias, the report notes that reviewers were aware they were participating in the blind recruitment project, and that “this awareness could have potentially affected their assessment.”

Because the number of candidates who self-declared as Indigenous (73, or three per cent), or disabled (102, or five per cent,) was small, the analysis was limited to visible minorities.

Among the participating departments were National Defence; Natural Resources; Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship; Global Affairs, the RCMP and Statistics Canada.

Similar studies

The report notes other studies on blind hiring have had mixed results.

A 2011 study in the Australian Public Service found that de-identifying applications at the short-listing stage did not appear to help promote diversity.

“In fact, when all candidate’s information was made available, reviewers discriminated in favour of female and visible minority candidates,” the report reads.

Benefits of name-blind recruitment may be partly dependent on the context of the organization, including whether discrimination is present in the hiring process and whether the organization has policies aimed at improving diversity.

In October 2015, the U.K. Civil Service implemented name-blind recruitment to reduce unconscious bias and boost diversity, but no systematic review of the impact has been carried out yet.

via No sign of bias against government job-seekers with ethnic-sounding names, pilot project finds – Politics – CBC News

ICYMI – Immigration: Gérard Bouchard plaide pour des quotas d’embauche | Réjean Bourdeau | Actualités

Interesting. Personally, I favour the federal approach of transparency and annual reporting for the public service and federally-regulated sectors, which has worked reasonably well over the last 25 years or so but Quebec numbers, last time I checked, are particularly low:

Que faut-il faire pour voir grandir le sentiment d’appartenance des immigrants à l’égard du Québec?

Il faut réussir leur intégration économique et sociale. Quelqu’un d’exclu et victime de discrimination ne développera jamais de sentiment d’appartenance. Pour sensibiliser quelqu’un et pour le faire vibrer à nos valeurs, il faut d’abord lui donner un travail. Et là-dessus, on a vraiment mal joué nos cartes. Le sous-emploi chez les immigrants bouge peu parce qu’on ne fait pas ce qu’il faut. Le gouvernement pourrait mettre en oeuvre des programmes. Une espèce d’affirmative action, comme ils ont fait aux États-Unis pour créer une classe moyenne afro-américaine. Ça prendrait quelque chose de massif, de déterminé. Qui serait soutenu par la population. Qui serait enveloppé dans un discours. Mais nous, on ne le fait pas.

Pourquoi on ne le fait pas?

Il n’y a pas de volonté politique pour ça. Quand il y a eu la tuerie dans la mosquée de Québec en janvier dernier, le premier ministre Couillard a dit : «Il y a eu un avant et il y aura un après.» Ça laissait entendre que cet événement avait été d’une horreur telle que plus rien n’allait se passer de la même manière. Qu’on allait changer les choses en profondeur. Mais il n’y a rien eu. Ce n’est pas la loi 62 (respect de la neutralité religieuse de l’État) qui va régler les problèmes. Et la Consultation sur la discrimination systémique et le racisme n’a pas levé. Ça s’est transformé en Forum sur la valorisation de la diversité et la lutte contre la discrimination qui a lui-même commencé à branler.

Quel type de politique d’intégration faut-il mettre en oeuvre pour offrir des emplois aux immigrants?

Il faut créer des conditions favorables pour réparer le retard social qu’ils ont accusé. Alors, ça va prendre un discours politique qui a beaucoup d’autorité pour faire accepter ça à la population. Parce que plusieurs pourraient dire : «Non, non, l’égalité, ce sont les mêmes conditions pour tout le monde.» Mais il va falloir faire plus que ça, parce que là, c’est quelque chose de structurel.

Que proposez-vous?

Il faut instituer des quotas. Un peu comme on l’a fait pour l’égalité hommes-femmes. Ça, ce sont des choses très concrètes. On fixe la barre. Par exemple, il faut qu’il y ait la moitié des femmes dans les conseils d’administration. Et il y a des organismes de surveillance pour voir comment ça se passe. Pour les travailleurs immigrants, on pourrait soumettre les entreprises à certaines règles pour l’embauche. Bref, il y a plein de mesures qui pourraient être appliquées. Mais il faudrait que ce soit enveloppé dans un discours politique qui rend la chose acceptable à l’ensemble de la population. Autrement, ça va passer pour une injustice, pour des privilèges aux immigrants. Et ce discours-là est déjà présent.

Pourquoi les travailleurs immigrants sont-ils moins recherchés?

D’abord, il y a une forme de corporatisme quand vient le temps de reconnaître les diplômes obtenus à l’étranger. De plus, il y a, étrangement, certaines résistances syndicales à l’embauche d’immigrants dans la fonction publique. Ensuite, du côté des PME, on se tourne souvent vers des connaissances, des parents (appelons ça «le facteur cousin»), quand vient le temps d’engager. Ce facteur est beaucoup moins présent dans les multinationales.

Quels sont les impacts de ce type de discrimination?

Je me suis souvent fait dire par des immigrants, ou par des membres des minorités, qui étaient sans emploi : «M. Bouchard, votre modèle d’interculturalisme, ça a du bon sens, mais pourquoi ce serait très important pour nous… on n’a pas d’emplois. Nos enfants nous regardent et nous demandent pourquoi on ne travaille pas.» Si quelqu’un n’a pas d’emploi, il ne peut pas rêver. Le sensibiliser à nos symboles, à nos valeurs, à nos combats, ça ne marche pas. Il faut d’abord qu’il retrouve un sens de la dignité. Un grand nombre d’immigrants sont humiliés de ne pas avoir d’emploi et de vivre aux crochets de la société dans laquelle ils vivent.

via Immigration: Gérard Bouchard plaide pour des quotas d’embauche | Réjean Bourdeau | Actualités

Diversity in the public service’s executive ranks

My latest, looking at how women, visible minorities and Indigenous people are represented in the highest ranks of the federal public service (DMs and EXs).

The following two charts summarize the historical evolution of how transparency and regular reporting have resulted in a more diverse public service at the overall and executive levels:

Source: Diversity in the public service’s executive ranks