CAF Commitment: Employment Equity Plan 2021-2026
November 5, 2021 - Defence Stories
The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) are fully committed to Employment Equity (EE) throughout the organization. The CAF is dedicated to eliminating employment barriers for Women, Visible Minorities, Indigenous Peoples, Persons with Disabilities and members from the LGBTQ2+ communities. Everyone is entitled to be their authentic selves and to be part of an inclusive work environment that encourages them to contribute and thrive within the Defence Team.
The CAF EE Plan 2021-2026 is critical to achieving the culture change that all of our members in uniform deserve. It builds upon previous efforts and includes the feedback from consultations with CAF leadership, members, Human Resource Specialists, and Defence Advisory Groups (DAGs) in the latest CAF Employment Systems Review.
The CAF EE Plan applies to the Regular Force, the Primary Reserve, the Cadet Organizations Administration and Training Service, and the Canadian Rangers. It will remain evergreen, and will adapt to evolving expectations as culture change discussions and consultations commence and continue across the Defence Team.
The goal of the plan is clear: the CAF must increase the representation, inclusion, and participation of under-represented groups, across all levels of the organization. This requires an action plan aimed at the following six areas:
- Attraction and Recruitment – Targeted efforts through our recruiting processes to reach under-represented groups through continuous community engagement;
- Education and Training – Specific education and training opportunities to increase understanding of EE, diversity and inclusion throughout the organization;
- Policies, Procedures and Accommodations – Improving our policies and procedures, as well as our accommodation opportunities to increase retention and support members throughout their career cycles;
- Maximizing Self-Identification – Modernizing our Self-ID questionnaires to increase the CAF’s understanding of its members;
- Empowering our Defence Advisory Groups (DAGs) – Meaningfully consulting and engaging with DAGs, and understanding the systemic barriers members face. The plan also officially recognizes the Defence Team Pride Advisory Organization (DTPAO) as one of the five DAGs;
- Enabling EE Champions and Promoting Commemorative Events – Empowering our EE Champions to lead by example and foster awareness of the culture and traditions of Designated Group Members, through commemorative events.
Addressing these six areas is critical to changing the CAF culture to one that values members for being their authentic selves. But organizational culture change also requires accountability.
The CAF EE Plan holds Level 1 (L1) organizations accountable to their military members in measurable ways, by laying out specific reporting questions that they must answer and achieve during the annual reporting cycle. These include for example; demonstrating how GBA+ has been applied in recruiting and retention processes (where relevant), whether the CAF is on track to meet its short and long-term representation goals, and how effective communications are in attracting EE groups to the CAF and educating current CAF personnel on the importance of EE.
The Plan also requires L1s to appoint an EE Officer who will ensure program delivery within their organization, in consultation with the Directorate of Human Rights and Diversity. They will play an important role in implementation, as well as familiarizing members with EE policies and practices.
The CAF EE Plan is one important part of the broader culture change efforts taking place throughout the organization – because employment equity is more than numbers and statistics. True employment equity is about creating and setting the conditions for all members to be included and engaged, to have their perspectives and experiences valued, and to achieve their full potential.
More information on Employment Equity, and to read the new Plan (accessible only on the National Defence network).
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