Senate home >>

About the Study

What is the Employment Equity Act?

The Employment Equity Act requires the federal public service to implement employment equity measures to “correct the conditions of disadvantage in employment experienced by women, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities” and “to achieve equality in the workplace”.

What is the rate of representation in Canada’s Public Service?

Representation of employment equity groups in the federal public service graph

Why does employment equity matter for Canada’s Public Service?

“There is evidence that a representative bureaucracy is a key element of good governance in a diverse society. … In the eyes of a diverse citizenry, a representative bureaucracy can contribute to the perception that government is both legitimate and accessible. There is a parallel here to the business case for diversity in the private sector, where it is understood that a diverse work force is a competitive advantage that contributes to business success in a diverse society. Representativeness is important in a democratic society as a demonstration to citizens that they and their children have access to government and to the careers it offers, which their taxes support.” – Carol Agócs, Professor Emerita, University of Western Ontario

Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights, Evidence, 22 April 2013

How does the Senate Human Rights Committee monitor employment equity?

Since 2004, the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights has retained an on-going order of reference to monitor issues of discrimination in the hiring and promotion practices of the federal public service and to study the extent to which targets to achieve employment equity are being met. The Committee has produced two previous reports in the course of this study:

What did the Committee discover?

The Committee has learned that much progress has been made in achieving employment equity goals over the years that the Committee has been studying this issue but there is still work to be done to ensure that Canadians have a federal public service that is truly representative of them at all levels.

The full report and list of recommendations can be accessed from the sidebar menu.