Employment Equity Partnership

Partners’ Roundtable: Day 2

Day 2: The Business Case for
Employment Equity

There appears to be a gradual shift in Canadian organizations from a compliance-driven focus to a business-driven focus on workplace diversity. However, the data is clear on employment equity for Indigenous, Black and other racialized. Leadership in most Canadian organizations are not reflective of the diversity of the Canadian population. There is a unique opportunity for organizations to strategic advantage in the competition for talent from an increasingly diverse labour market.

Day 2 Schedule

What is the data saying?

  • In the 2016 Census, the employment rate of Black men aged 25 to 59 was 78%, compared with 83% for other men—a difference of 5 percentage points.
  • Unemployment rate among Black populations was higher than that of their counterparts in the rest of the population, regardless of sex or generation.
  • According to the first Statistics Canada job data broken down by race in July 2020, several groups had rates of joblessness that were much higher – South Asian (17.8%), Arab (17.3%), and Black (16.8%), than the national unemployment rate of 9.3%.
  • Figures from December 2019 to February 2020 show the Indigenous unemployment rate at 10% while it was just 5.5% for non-Indigenous people. During the pandemic, indigenous unemployment was at 16.6% while non-Indigenous sat at 11.7%.2.
  • 1 out of 5 people in Canada’s population is foreign-born - the highest proportion among the G8 countries. Though POC make up more than 60% of the immigrant population, they find it hard to integrate into Canadian society due to lack of equal employment opportunities.
  • The unemployment rates of new immigrants exceeded the rate of the Canadian-born throughout the 2006 to 2019 period – by 2019 the unemployment rates still exceeded the rate of the Canadian-born by 4%.3
  • Racialized women earn 33% less than non-racialized men, earning 67 cents to the dollar.
  • Racialized immigrant men earned 71 cents for every dollar that non-racialized immigrant men earned.
  • Racialized immigrant women earned 79 cents for every dollar that non-racialized immigrant women earned.
  • The rate of unemployment among Black women was roughly twice the rate for White women; 12.2% vs 6.4%
  • A recent Diversity Institute Report by Ryerson institute surveyed 9843 board members across 5 sectors and 8 cities and found4 while racialized people represent 28.4% of the population across the areas studied, they occupy only 10.4% of board positions overall.
  • Universities and colleges in the education sector have the highest level of representation of racialized people in board roles (14.6%), while the corporate sector has the lowest level of representation (4.5%).
  • Black leaders are deeply underrepresented on boards across Canada and are even outnumbered by other racialized groups
  • When considered from an intersectional lens, it is found that non-racialized women outnumber racialized women by a substantial margin – For example, in Toronto, where there are more racialized women than non-racialized women in the population, non-racialized women still outnumber racialized women in corporate leadership roles 12:1