Striving for Workplace Equality
DOES ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LAW CREATE AN INCLUSIVE WORKPLACE?
The issue of discrimination in the workplace is an ongoing
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point of discussion and contention. From the evident gen-der
pay gap to the advancement of visible minorities into
C-suite positions, the market continuously experiences di-alogue
as it works toward the goal of equality in the workforce.
The Canadian government has made an effort to establish an-ti-
discrimination law that speaks to this long-term goal. The
Employment Equity Act specifically strives for equality in the
workplace and sets the precedent to correct the disadvantages
experienced by women, visible minorities and others in the work-force
by making it clear that employment equity requires special
Although anti-discrimination law is a promising first step to-wards
equality since it places pressure on organizations to take
action, it does not directly produce inclusive workplaces.
So how can employers move the needle towards workplace
equality where idle employment law cannot?
YOU CAN’T CHANGE WHAT YOU DON’T MEASURE
Implementing policies and programs that support workplace in-clusion
is part of a larger process, which requires understanding
and evaluation. Measuring success involves much more than quo-ta
systems, which can be ineffective and even counter-productive.
Collecting workplace demographics can help an organization un-derstand
the personal characteristics of employees and whether
these have any impact on measures such as retention rates, pro-motions,
rewards and recognition. Although 51 per cent of
organizations define measurable objectives and milestones per-taining
to diversity, only seven per cent measure the effectiveness
of their diversity policies on employees, which illustrates there is
work still to be done.
By Alison Grenier
HRPROFESSIONALNOW.CA ❚ OCTOBER 2017 ❚ 49