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Diversity and employment equity

The Public Service ensures inclusive and representative hiring practices to respond to the constantly changing fabric of Canadian society. Employment equity in the Public Service means eliminating barriers to employment for four designated groups: women, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities.

At the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer we:

  • act as an advocate for diversity and employment equity
  • develop, implement and evaluate the policies and programs intended to ensure that the Public Service is being inclusive and representative of the diversity of Canada
  • operate an interdepartmental forum that helps departments and agencies achieve employment equity objectives
International Women's Day - Transcript

With piano background music

Text on white background appears: They have overcome obstacles.

Newspaper clipping showing a photo of Mrs. Anna Minerva Henderson. Superimposed text over the image says that Mrs. Henderson was the first Black woman to obtain a permanent position in the public service, in 1912.

Video excerpt of Mrs. Helen Small and the Treasury Board Secretary, Mrs. Yaprak Baltacioğlu sitting in armchairs, having a discussion. Mrs. Small explains that the main obstacle in the pursuit of her career in the public service was marriage.

Fixed black and white image of Mrs. Small appears on the screen with superimposed text. The text says that thanks to Mrs. Small, the Public Service Commission regulations that required women to quit their jobs once married were abolished in 1955.

Floating text on white background saying: They paved the way for others.

Photo of Mrs. Jean Edmonds. To the left of the photo, superimposed text appears: In 1966, Jean Edmonds became the first woman executive in the federal government. She was a member of the Task Force on Barriers to Women in the Public Service.

Video excerpt of Mrs. Sylvia Ostry, Ph.D. introducing herself. Superimposed text describing her as the first woman to occupy the position of Deputy Minister in the Government of Canada, as Chief Statistician in 1972.

Photo of the Honorable Jocelyne Bourgon, P.C., O.C. To the left of the photo, superimposed text describes her as the first woman appointed to the position of Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet in 1994.

Floating text on white background saying: They were pioneers.

Video excerpt of Major Deanna Brasseur introducing herself. Superimposed text appears on the screen describing her as the first woman fighter pilot in Canada in 1989.

Floating text on white background saying: They conquered new territories.

Video excerpt of Dr. Roberta Bondar in an astronaut suit with arms lifted in a victory sign preparing to enter the space shuttle. Superimposed text appears on screen introducing her as the first Canadian woman astronaut and first neurologist to go into space, 1992.

Video excerpt of Mrs. Donna Kirkwood, Ph.D. naming herself, with superimposed text to the right explaining that in 2010, she became the first director general of the Geological Survey of Canada since the creation of the organization in 1842.

Video excerpt of Colonel M.H.L. Bourgon, 12 Wing Shearwater Commander in a pilot suit standing in front of a SeaKing helicopter. She introduces herself. Superimposed text appears indicating that in 2011 she was the first woman pilot promoted to the rank of colonel.

Sitting in an armchair, Mrs. Yaprak Baltacioğlu, the Secretary of the Treasury Board, and the first woman Deputy Minister at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, thanks all the women mentioned in this video and stresses how they continue to inspire us.

Floating text on white background: Thank you

Rolling credits on screen.

Special thanks to:

  • Mrs. Helen Small
  • Dr. Sylvia Ostry
  • Major Deanna Brasseur
  • Dr. Roberta Bondar
  • Dr. Donna Kirkwood
  • Colonel Lise Bourgon

For their gracious collaboration in the production of this video, thank you to the following:

  • Museum of Nature
  • Aviation Museum
  • Royal Canadian Air Force
  • LCol George Taylor Denison III Armoury
  • 12 Wing Imagerie
  • Department of National Defence
  • Natural Resources Canada
  • Statistics Canada

Photo credits

  • Library and Archives Canada
  • Privy Council Office
  • Fade to black
  • Canada Wordmark
  • End of music

Activities and partners

Employment Equity Champions and Chairs Committees

Recently a change has been made to the governance around employment equity obligations in the public service. This is subsequent to a Public Service Management Advisory Committee (PSMAC) decision to create a Champions and Chairs Committee for each of the following employment equity groups.

  • Aboriginal persons
  • Persons with disabilities
  • Members of a visible minority

In the former model, these groups were represented by the three National Employment Equity Councils (the National Council for Visible Minorities, the National Council for Federal Employees with Disabilities and the National Council for Aboriginal Federal Employees).

The Committees – each chaired by a Deputy Minister Champion— will identify issues, develop strategies and report on results through the Treasury Board Secretariat's Annual Report on Employment Equity.

This new governance model presents many advantages in support of meeting public service employment equity objectives. It will:

  • allow for better networking and sharing of best practices among departments;
  • offer a common approach for all three groups; and
  • allow better and more direct access for employees to employment equity Deputy Minister Champions and departmental management, who are in a position to act on recommendations.

If you have any questions about the new governance model or on our departmental strategy for employment equity, please contact your employment equity representative.

Related Documents

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