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ACSESS 10 th Anniversary Conference May 7-9, 2008 RACISM-FREE WORKPLACE STRATEGY HRSDC – Labour Program Syed Naseem Manager.

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Presentation on theme: "ACSESS 10 th Anniversary Conference May 7-9, 2008 RACISM-FREE WORKPLACE STRATEGY HRSDC – Labour Program Syed Naseem Manager."— Presentation transcript:

1 ACSESS 10 th Anniversary Conference May 7-9, 2008 RACISM-FREE WORKPLACE STRATEGY HRSDC – Labour Program Syed Naseem Manager

2 2 OVERVIEW  The Racism-Free Workplace Strategy (RFWS)  Changing Demographics  RFWS Challenges  Educating and Engaging  Building Strategic Partnerships  Looking Forward  Benefits of a Racism-Free Workplace

3 3 RFWS LAUNCH – 2005  Federal Government launches Canada’s Action Plan Against Racism (CAPAR) on March 21, 2005  The Racism-Free Workplace Strategy is HRSDC-Labour Program’s component of CAPAR  CAPAR is a horizontal initiative (Citizenship and Immigration, Justice Canada, Canadian Heritage, and HRSDC-Labour) designed to strengthen social cohesion, further Canada's human rights framework, and demonstrate leadership against racism and hate- motivated crime

4 4 RFWS Mandate  The RFWS promotes fair, inclusive and racism-free workplaces  Elimination of discriminatory employment barriers facing visible minorities and Aboriginal peoples  Focus is on private-sector workplaces under the jurisdiction of the Employment Equity Act (LEEP) and the Federal Contractors Program (FCP), but initiatives are designed to reach employers and Canadians generally  LEEP and FCP employers account for approximately 10% of Canada’s workforce or just over 1.5 million workers

5 5 CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS  2006 Census indicates that Canada’s face is changing  19.8 % or over 6 million foreign-born people in Canada (highest proportion in 75 years); over 200 ethnic origins  Over one million immigrants came to Canada between Jan 1, 2001 and May 16, 2006 (3.6% total population)  Recent immigrants born in Asia (including Middle East) made up largest proportion of newcomers  Significant increase in visible minority population (five times faster than growth rate of total population); largely due to high proportion of newcomers belonging to visible minorities ….. Continued

6 6 CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS  Visible minorities account for 16.2% of Canada’s population (up from 13.4% in 2001)  Large increase in Aboriginal population in past decade (grew six times faster than non-Aboriginal population)  In 2006, Aboriginal people accounted for almost 4% of Canada’s population  Aboriginal people increasingly urban and younger than non-Aboriginal population; unemployment rates remain relatively high compared with non-Aboriginal population

7 7 RFWS CHALLENGES  2003 Statistics Canada’s Ethnic Diversity Survey indicated that one in five visible minorities reported experiencing discrimination or unfair treatment, most commonly at work or when applying for a job or promotion  2003 Ekos survey, indicates 46% of Aboriginal Peoples living off-reserve are victims of racism or discrimination  2005 Ipsos-Reid survey finds that 17% of Canadians believe they have been victims of racism

8 8 RFWS CHALLENGES  2007 Léger Marketing found 47% of Canadians admit to be at least slightly racist, and 92% have witnessed racist behaviour; 66% of visible minorities who responded felt they had been a victim of racial comments or behaviours  2008 Globe and Mail survey indicates that while 48% of Canadian citizens who responded view the latest census numbers of 5 million members of visible minority groups as a positive development, 42% are not sure

9 9 EDUCATING AND ENGAGING  RFWS promotes fair, inclusive and racism-free workplaces by: –Raising awareness of workplace racial discrimination –Building networks between community groups, unions, employers and key stakeholders in the employment community

10 10 EDUCATING AND ENGAGING  Providing tools, resources and direct support to employers and other clients on racism-free workplace issues  Assisting employers in their recruitment, retention and advancement efforts in relation to visible minorities and Aboriginal peoples and with the prevention of workplace conflict through regional Racism Prevention Officers

11 11 RFWS ACTIVITIES  August Minister Blackburn’s Canadian tour to promote the Racism-Free Workplace Strategy  December 2006 with NFB creation of a DVD (6 films) focusing on issue of racism in the workplace; launch of NFB “Work for All” website to educate and engage on issues of racism  February-April awareness sessions to FCP and LEEP employers across Canada (600 participants)  April Aboriginal employment workshop at Aboriginal Human Resources Council conference in Ottawa  November “Open Session” with employers, unions, community groups and employees in Halifax … Continued

12 12 RFWS ACTIVITIES  December Nine (9) Racism Prevention Officers hired in regional offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax to assist employers in their recruitment, retention and advancement of visible minorities and Aboriginal peoples and with workplace racism-related conflict prevention  February Minister Blackburn’s visit to Halifax to promote Aboriginal employment  April RFWS workshops at Metropolis Conference in Halifax  May-June “Open Sessions” scheduled in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto and Montreal  Continued development of RFWS resources, including tipsheets, cultural competency module, business case, resource lists, online mentoring program

13 13 BUILDING STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS  National Film Board  Federal Government Departments  Metropolis Project (CIC)  Human Resources Sector Council  Canadian Race Relations Foundation  Canadian Human Rights Commission  Provincial Human Rights Commissions  Private Sector (ACSESS)

14 14 LOOKING FORWARD  Continued development of RFWS resources, including tip sheets, cultural competency module, business case, resource lists, online e-learning and mentoring program  Continue to build awareness of barriers facing Aboriginal peoples and visible minorities in Canadian workplaces  Research on costs of racism to Canadian economy/businesses  Continued work developing strategic partnerships in public and private sector  Forging links with staffing and employment sector

15 15 BENEFITS OF A RACISM-FREE WORKPLACE  Economic integration is a precursor for social and cultural integration  A business case for diversity and inclusiveness, particularly in the face of changing demographics  Fosters a sense of shared identity and belonging in Canadian society  Racism has negative effect on Canadian economy and GDP: –“It is estimated that the elimination of the wage gap between visible minorities and the average wage of all Canadian workers would increase real GDP 1 percent by To a lesser extent, the impact is similar for Aboriginal peoples. The challenge is to engage every sector of Canadian society in building equal opportunities in the labour market for all…” (Making a Visible Difference: The Contribution of Visible Minorities to Canada’s Economic Growth, Conference Board of Canada, April 2004.)

16 16 THANK YOU Questions/Comments


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