Research summary - Assessing research designs to explore the impact of the Employment Equity Act

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

Official title: The Causal Impact of Legislated Employment Equity Program and Federal Contractors Program on Employment Opportunities for the Designated Groups

Author of Report: Dionne Pohler (University of Toronto)

Why this study

The Government of Canada enacted the Employment Equity Act in 1995. This study represents the first phase of a research agenda. This agenda seeks to evaluate the broader employment effects of the Act. This first phase examines research methodologies to evaluate the impact of the 2 federal programs that support the enforcement of the Act:

What we did

The study explored and developed causal methodologies to identify the impact of the 2 federal programs on the representation of the 4 designated groups under the Act, including:

The report makes use of the following sources:

What we found

The report begins by defining a framework for finding cause-and-effect connections. It points out 3 criteria that a causal research methodology must meet:

The report then identifies data sources and feasible non-experimental and quasi-experimental methodologies to measure the impact of the Act on women’s representation. Although the focus is on women’s representation, given current data availability, researchers could apply the methods identified to the 3 other designated groups under the Act.

What it means

This report sets forth some feasible ways to measure the impact of the Employment Equity Act on the representation of designated groups.

Contact us

Labour Program, Strategic Policy, Analysis and Workplace Information Directorate, Research and Innovation Division


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