Employers recognized for their outstanding leadership in employment equity

News release

October 3, 2018           Ottawa, Ontario Employment and Social Development Canada

The Government of Canada acknowledges the important role that employers play in helping underrepresented groups achieve success in the workplace and in contributing meaningfully to Canada’s economic growth.

Through the Employment Equity Achievement Awards, federally regulated private sector employers and provincially regulated employers that contract with the federal government are recognized for making real strides toward ensuring that their workplaces are diverse and inclusive. The awards highlight the Government’s commitment to continuing to work with employers to make further progress on equity and inclusion for designated groups under to the Employment Equity Act.

Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour presented recipients with Employment Equity Achievement Awards at the third annual event held in Ottawa. Sixteen employers from across the country received Canada’s recognition for Outstanding Commitment to Employment Equity, Innovation, Sector Distinction and Employment Equity Champion. New this year, the Employment Equity Champion category recognizes an executive or executive team for their proven track record of championing employment equity within their organization, as well as their overall contribution to employment equity in the workplace.

The Minister acknowledged a range of initiatives undertaken in the past year that had a positive impact in workplaces such as encouraging the professional advancement of women and finding ways to create long-lasting, meaningful relationships with Indigenous communities. Recipients were also recognized for their work in recruiting and retaining people with disabilities in the workplace, as well as creating cultures of inclusion and belonging.

The full-day event also provided a forum for showcasing and sharing best practices in implementing employment equity.


“When everyone is on an equal footing, they can contribute to the best of their abilities. Employers must stay alert to barriers that can keep members of the four designated groups—women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities—from participating fully in the workplace. By making sure every Canadian has an equal and fair chance at success, employers contribute meaningfully to Canada’s economic growth.”
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

Quick facts

  • The Employment Equity Act seeks to correct disadvantages experienced in employment by members of four designated groups: women, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities.

  • There are two legislated programs under the Act: the Legislated Employment Equity Program (LEEP) and the Federal Contractors Program (FCP).

  • The LEEP applies to over 500 federally regulated private-sector employers that have 100 or more employees with a combined workforce of approximately 720,000 employees.

  • The FCP applies to employers who receive contracts with the Government of Canada valued at $1 million or more (including applicable taxes) and who have a workforce of 100 employees or more.

  • Under the Act, LEEP and FCP employers are expected to actively identify and remove barriers to the recruitment, promotion and retention of members of designated group so that employment equity can be achieved.

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Véronique Simard
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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