In 2017, the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion conducted a study on behalf of the Commission on matters relating to employment equity and the application of the Employment Equity Act. The Commission got to hear directly from employers from across Canada about what they thought about the employment equity audit process. The results are leading important changes in how the Commission will be conducting and reporting on workplace employment equity audits in the future.

“The last 40 years have seen an avalanche of change when it comes to representation of women, persons with disabilities, Indigenous persons, and visible minorities,” said Chief Commissioner Marie-Claude Landry. “Yet we also know that by enhancing our audit methods, the Commission can move the yardstick and define employment equity standards for the next 40 years.”

To that end, the Commission will conduct, for the first time, horizontal issue-based audits. In addition to the traditional audit of individual employers, the Commission will send auditors to several employers of the same industry to look at a specific gap in representation.

On top of the changes to its employment equity processes in 2017, the Commission also:

  • negotiated agreements with 8 employers that were not in compliance with the Employment Equity Act. Each agreement outlined actions that the employer would take to improve their employment equity performance.
  • produced 31 audit reports for federally regulated employers. These reports acknowledged the actions these employers have taken to fulfill their employment equity obligations.
  • issued 4 status reports for employers that achieved good employment equity results in their industry sectors. The status reports also flag outstanding challenges facing these employers.