The Four Designated Groups
Within the Employment Equity Act, an employer’s obligations are defined as:
(a) identifying and eliminating employment barriers against persons in designated groups that result from the employer’s employment systems, policies and practices that are not authorized by law; and
(b) instituting such positive policies and practices and making such reasonable accommodations as will ensure that persons in designated groups achieve a degree of representation in each occupational group in the employer’s workforce that reflects their representation in
- (i) the Canadian workforce, or
- (ii) those segments of the Canadian workforce that are identifiable by qualification, eligibility or geography and from which the employer may reasonably be expected to draw employees.
These obligations may require specific and focused efforts to ensure that you have specific strategies to attract, retain and promote people within the designated groups to achieve the goal outlined in (b) above. The designated groups are as follows:
Based on the 2016 Canadian Census, there were 1.6 million Indigenous peoples in Canada that comprise three groups of people: Inuit, Métis and First Nations. They are the fastest growing demographic in Canada.
People with Disabilities
According to Statistics Canada (2017), close to 4 million people aged 25 to 64 have a disability and 644,640 of those individuals were not working but had the potential to work. As the population ages, the number of people with disabilities is also expected to grow. Many disabilities are invisible – such as diabetes, arthritis, mental illness, sleep apnea, ADHD or dyslexia.
While women represent approximately 52% of employed Canadians, they represent only 15% of the labour force in the trucking and logistics industry and 3.5% are truck drivers. *
More than 7.5 million people identify as a visible minority in Canada. The representation of visible minorities within the trucking and logistics industry mirrors that of the overall economy (26% of the workforce)*.
*Statistics Canada, 2016 Census (A Trucking HR Canada special request from Statistics Canada)
The Business Case for DEI
At the most basic level, leaders understand that having a diverse workforce is a matter of doing the right thing. There are however many other reasons companies may want to be involved in DEI work.
Winning the War for Talent
At its most basic level winning the war for talent is a numbers game – how large is your pool of potential applicants and how many from that pool actually apply? A company can benefit from the implementation of robust DEI practices on both fronts. First, committing to employ a diverse workforce naturally increases the pool of potential applicants. Moreover, fully committing to an equitable and inclusive environment for your diverse workforce makes you a more attractive employer to those you consider viable applicants. This is particularly important within trucking where we are in significant labour shortage.
Maximizing Employee Potential
Fully committing to diversity, equity and inclusion affords greater access to talent. In addition to having more people from which to source talent, these efforts offer greater access to the full potential of the people who you employ. Diversity, equity and inclusion all pay a part in ensuring this happens. Diversity provides the realization of different thoughts and ideas. Equity creates a framework in which there are no structural impediments preventing the most talented from rising to the top; inclusion creates an environment that encourages this to happen. All of these factors lead to higher employee engagement levels that ultimately result in better service, innovation, lower absenteeism and voluntary turnover.
DEI and the bottom line
It stands to reason that an organization that actively employs a workforce that offers diversity of thought and skillsets; develops equitable policies and procedures; and fosters a culture of open-mindedness should see success. More diverse, equitable and inclusive companies have a better image amongst external stakeholders, and more loyalty from customers and employees. All of this reflects on the bottom line. According to a McKinsey study, companies with more gender and ethnic diversity on their executive teams outperformed less diverse companies in the same industry in terms of profitability. Specifically, the likelihood of a company with gender diversity in their executive team financially outperforming their competitors is +25%. The likelihood of a company with ethnic diversity in their executive team financially outperforming their competitors is +36%.