Monday, July 15, 2024

Hiring discrimination in the federal government

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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A report by the Public Service Commission (PSC) released Thursday showed that visible minorities, indigenous people, and people with disabilities still face obstacles working in the Canadian government. They are relatively less likely to be hired than to apply.

For example, 30.4% of public service candidates were members of apparent minorities, according to the Hiring Equity Audit Report. However, they only represented 24.7% of appointments. This decrease was especially noticeable for black people, whose percentage decreased from 10.3% to 6.6% between the beginning and the end of the selection process. To reach their conclusions, the report’s authors compiled information from 15,285 job applications and 181 hiring processes from 30 federal departments and agencies, completed in 2016-2017. The report details the evolution of the situation in the five stages of the employment process for these specific groups under the Employment Equality Act. For the women who make up the fourth group, the situation is the opposite. They are relatively more likely to get a position than to apply.

For Quebec’s Black League, these figures show that systemic discrimination interferes with the recruitment process. Visible minorities want to have the same opportunities as other citizens and not be seen as second-class citizens or worse. It is time to take the next step and make sure, for once, that there is a real change and not just a cosmetic change, ”its boss Max Stanley Bazin argued.

Marie-Therese Chicha, holder of the Race Relations Chair at the University of Montreal, agrees. She also says that cultural differences are often an obstacle during exams or job interviews. “Indigenous people or people from the Middle East tend to hesitate to talk about their personal characteristics,” she cites as an example.

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For his part, PSC President Patrick Burby said that several factors were involved and that further investigation would be necessary to clarify them. However, he points to the Public Service Employment Act, which states that Canadian citizens have priority.

Thousands of permanent residents are applying for office, but due to Canadian preference, their candidacy has not been accepted and we know that visible minorities are overrepresented in this group. On Thursday, Mr. Burby said, “It is a systematic procedure that is a barrier to minorities,” who would like the government to consider removing this element of the law. “Our country must integrate newcomers into our society and our workplaces, and we deprive ourselves of certain talents,” he continues.

In response to the report, the PSC calls on managers of government agencies to review their practices in order to remove barriers to minorities. It will also require unintended bias training for all hiring managers.

MI am Chicha believes that for things to change, managers must be responsible for the performance of their organizations in terms of equal employment. In other words, their salaries and promotions depend on it.

In addition, the problem of discrimination in employment is not a problem of the federal government, as Mr. Bazin and Mr.I am Shisha. They hope that other employers will also analyze their practices, as diagnosis is the first step toward treatment.

This is the wish of Manon Poirier, Director General of the Certified Human Resources Consultants of Quebec rank. “It’s a model that can inspire organizations to have the courage to do this as well. It can allow them to realize that something has eluded them and act in favor of diversity.”

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