Ontario Working with Multi-Sector Leaders to Improve Diversity in the Workplace
Tools and resources advancing racial equity key to COVID-19 recovery
January 26, 2021
TORONTO — The Ontario government in partnership with CivicAction is bringing public, private and non-profit sector organizations together to identify concrete actions employers can take to enhance workplace opportunities for Indigenous, Black and racialized employees. During the Economic Inclusion virtual roundtable, the province’s Anti-Racism Directorate and CivicAction will draw on the expertise and insights of participants to create digital tools and resources for employers, embedding equity in Ontario’s COVID-19 recovery efforts.
“COVID-19 has exacerbated challenges faced by Indigenous, Black and racialized employees in the workplace, ranging from career progression obstacles to health and safety risks,” said Solicitor General and Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism Sylvia Jones. “To better tackle these challenges, we are bringing together leaders across sectors to develop and share tools to help foster healthier and more equitable workplaces in Ontario.”
The virtual roundtable discussion will focus on:
- Helping employers better understand the distinct experiences and challenges faced by Indigenous, Black and racialized talent in entering the workforce and advancing their careers.
- Identify promising practices and tools to help employers tap into Ontario’s diverse workforce.
“Racism is systemic and shows up in many ways and in many places including in the workplace. Practices in workplaces need to be redesigned and rebuilt for a more inclusive future economy,” said Leslie Woo, CEO, CivicAction. “This roundtable will advance a collective journey to convert good intentions into tangible actions for a more equitable economic recovery.”
“Employers play a unique role in building a more inclusive province, where everyone can contribute to economic recovery and growth,” said Minister Jones. “This new employer resource hub will help create workplaces that work for all.”
- By 2036, racialized people are projected to account for approximately 48 per cent of Ontario’s population.
- According to Statistics Canada, in October 2020, Canadians who belong to groups designated as racialized or Indigenous continued to have a higher unemployment rate (11.7 per cent) compared to Canadians who are not racialized or Indigenous (6.7 per cent).
- As an employer, the Ontario Public Service (OPS) is continuing to take action to diversify senior leadership in the organization and deliver mandatory anti-racism training. The OPS also launched a third-party review of its inclusive workplace policies and programs to better address systemic employment barriers.
- CivicAction is a non-profit organization in Canada with nearly two decades of experience working to boost civic engagement and build better cities by creating and implementing effective solutions to the most pressing challenges in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and beyond.
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