Evaluation of the Employment Equity Programs

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

Official title: Evaluation of the Employment Equity Programs (EEP) 2011-2012 to 2015-2016

The Legislated Employment Equity Program, the Federal Contractors Program, and the Workplace Opportunities Program support the Employment Equity Act by improving workplace equity for designated groups in private-sector workplaces. Designated groups include: women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilitiesFootnote 1 and members of visible minorities.

Key findings

The Programs promoted equitable representation and adherence to obligations under the Act:

  • By 2015 to 2016, representation of each designated group increased substantially; yet only members of visible minorities reached levels of labour market availability.
  • Women earned lower salaries than men across all the designated groups. For example, there was a sizeable gap (approximatively 15%) in earnings between men and women in the top salary range ($60,000 and above) in 2015.
  • The salary gap was more pronounced among Indigenous women in that year. For example, there were 9.1% fewer Indigenous women making $60,000 compared to all women at that salary range, and 24.4% fewer than all men.
  • Earnings were also substantially lower for women with disabilities in 2015. In particular, there were 3.6% fewer women with disabilities making $60,000 compared to all women at that salary range, and 18.9% fewer than all men.
  • The vast majority of employers understood their employment equity obligations under the Act, according to survey results. As well, administrative data indicated that 100% of employer reports had been submitted on time.

Observations for program improvement

  • re-examining definitions of the designated groups;
  • the need for greater capacity/resources; and
  • enhancing performance measurement and access to information for the next evaluation period.

The full Employment Equity Program evaluation is available on Employment and Social Development Canada’s website.

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