The Media: Diversity Issues on Radio Canada

Radio Canada’s visible minority employees feel neglected and fear expressing their thoughts. A study commissioned by an outside company revealed serious gaps in diversity within the public broadcaster, while its executives saw no problems.

The study attempted to define what the “DNA of Canadian radio”, based on a survey conducted by RH on September 24, in November, among 1,383 French-speaking employees. Instead, he showed that systemic racism is present on Radio Canada, by admitting the chief of the French services, Michel Bessonette.

“I think there is systemic racism in the country, and I think there is systemic racism in most of the big organizations. […] Are there people in the organization who find it more difficult to get promotions, and therefore more difficult to recruit? Are there any comments and prejudices [qui sont] Unconscious? The answer is yes, “he explained in an interview with Task.

According to a summary shared with and from employees last month duty Copy, “There seem to be a lot of things that don’t respect fairness in the organization.” Some employees feel stigmatized or perceived as always biased if they share their views, and even fear the consequences when they speak up. This finding is described as “of particular concern”. Unlike their subordinates, managers feel “well open to new ideas.”

Additionally, employees who belong to “equity groups,” which include visible minorities, but also persons with disabilities, those from LGBTQ + communities and indigenous people, are significantly less likely to recommend Radio Canada as an employer. These employees were usually victims or witnesses of “partial assault” about their disagreement and were denied opportunities to advance without justification. Very few of them made it to senior positions. One in five employees is reported to be the victim of unfair behavior, but this is mainly due to anti-aging or sexual discrimination.

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Company culture

Three current employees and one former employee of R.-C. From the diversity that before you trust me TaskWithout revealing their identity, they painted a picture of a rather rigid institutional culture, not suited to differences, but where everything is not negative.

An employee confirmed that she was the target of comments indicating that her skin tone had biased her judgment on certain issues, such as those related to the black community in her boycott of her work. “At a meeting, I was told that I had a bias. As if I were biased! It was also said that she was the target of unpleasant comments from colleagues under which her promotions were guaranteed by the company’s affirmative action policy. But she points out that the problem of diversity is present in all media in Quebec And not just Radio Canada.

“Sometimes, when you are a cultural minority, you don’t want to go to a remote area and be the only blacks,” notes a former employee, referring to the practice of starting young journalists away from centers for big boys. “During my years in office, I have never had a black president,” he concluded, adding that he generally has a very positive experience working with Radio Canada.

For his part, a current Crown employee with a disability believes that “you often have to meet with the right boss to have a good work experience.” He says his requests to adapt his workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic have been met sometimes with rejection, and sometimes with a lot of understanding, according to the director. “I was already told, ‘We are not going to change the way we operate because you arrived.

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It is precisely this company culture that promises to replace Senior Vice President of French Services, Michel Bessonette, who, according to the report, created a “shock” for senior management. Very amazed at learning of these conclusions, Mr. Bisonnet attributes part of Radio Canada’s lag in terms of diversity to the difference, in general, in the representation of minorities between Quebec and English Canada. “Toronto is a more multicultural city than Montreal can be. CBC in Toronto already has equity groups already organized.” […] We had the impression that everything was fine. “

Time the interview with dutyBissonnette believes the conclusions of Radio-Canadiens’ DNA study only apply to Quebec. Once verified, the study includes French services for all stations in the country, including the Toronto station. Since its publication, Radio-Canada has created a new business group and executive position responsible for diversity and inclusion, as well as keeping the services of a niche company to help it improve.


Even so, upper management could have been aware of these inclusion problems for several years, says Des Traveler de Radio Canada, which includes Crown employees in Quebec and Acadia. “Historically, there has never been an effort by Radio Canada and the French service to be receptive and open. I have more horror stories than happy stories from my minority colleagues,” says its president, Pierre Tousinant. He attributes the misery of diversity groups to the larger context of the problem. Department of “Children” of public radio, where “everyone has his own problem”.

Seule note positive pour la société d’État, le rapport “l’ADN des Radio-Canadiens» rapporte que ses employés sont malgré tout fiers et loyaux à l’entreprise, et considèrent que Radio-Canada a un rôle important à jouer dans la association.

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