Workforce diversity includes, but is not limited to, differences and similarities between employees, with regards to categories like background, religious belief, sexual orientation, sex, race, gender, physical abilities and disabilities and sexual orientation.
Evidently, diversity encompasses a wide range of topics, which can make the topic difficult to fully understand.
That’s why it’s always a good idea to brush up on your understanding of diversity — it will help you approach your job with an informed perspective and sensitivity.
If you’re an experienced job applicant, you’re probably familiar with the line “we are an equitable employer.”
But what exactly is an equitable employer?
It’s an employer whose system operates on merit (how well you perform) and contains no barriers that might have a negative effect on your hiring, retention or growth opportunities.
Additionally, employment equity policies aim to create work environments that end the discrimination that women, members of visible minorities, aboriginal peoples, people with disabilities, and others who are disadvantaged can face.
How is equitable employment enforced?
Equitable employment is enforced via the Employment Equity Act by the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
The act exists to ensure all Canadians have equal access to jobs, and that employers represent the previously mentioned four categories (women, members of visible minorities, aboriginal peoples, and those with disabilities).
If an employer doesn’t follow the Employment Equity Act, then corrective measures will be put in place.
What you need to know
Here are a few more facts about equitable employment in Canada. Whether you’re starting a new job, working away at your current job, or actively seeking employment, you should know your basic rights:
Even if you don’t have a permit to work in Canada, all employees are protected by human rights laws.
You are protected from discrimination no matter what your relationship to the employer is. This includes during the hiring, training, employment and dismissal processes. Simply put, your employer should always treat you with respect.
Your job will be protected if you make a complaint or act as a witness during a human rights case.
Understanding what it means to have an equitable workplace isn’t something you can pick up in a couple of minutes, it takes a real commitment to research and understanding. It’s a commitment well worth making.