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Time to revisit employment equity for women, other protected groups?

By April 15, 2010August 6th, 2019Uncategorized

A couple of days ago I read that female executives in the federal public service are on the rise.

This prompted Maria Barrados, president of the Public Service Commission, to state that “given the representation of women, I think it’s fair to look at the act.” The act she is referring to, of course, is employment equity law.

The bureaucracy’s watchdog is saying that now is the time to consider whether women should still receive preferential treatment under the law, and many agree.

This prompted the National Post’s editorial board to write, “just hire the best person for the job” on their blog this morning, saying that while parliamentarians are reexamining policies around women, they should take the next step and repeal protections for the other three “favoured” groups – aboriginals, visible minorities and the disabled.

The article went on to say, “If a general mentality of prejudice in favour of men – i.e. a systemic discrimination – ever existed, it is long gone.”

Is it?

While women have made strides in Canadian government, they are still underrepresented in corporate Canada, particularly in executive roles and on boards.

Aboriginals, persons with disabilities and visible minorities continue to be underrepresented in all sectors.

Most importantly, while diversity can perhaps be measured in numbers, inclusion is a different story.

Equity laws should be looked at as training wheels for organizations it looks like the Federal Government is ready to have them removed, where hiring practices for women are concerned. But this should be done with caution and each of the protected groups deserves its own careful considering.

Anyone who remembers learning how to ride a bike knows that if the training wheels come off too soon, well, down we go!

What do you think? Tell us by leaving a comment below.