Backgrounder: Employment Equity Achievement Awards 2019


The Annual Employment Equity Achievement Awards recognize federally regulated private-sector employers and federal contractors for their efforts in implementing employment equity in their workplaces for the four designated groups under the Employment Equity Act: women, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities.

Recipients and categories

Outstanding Commitment

The Outstanding Commitment to Employment Equity award recognizes employers that have demonstrated outstanding commitment in implementing their employment equity plans by instituting measures to remove barriers, adopting special measures and/or establishing positive policies and practices to achieve tangible results.

Vancouver Airport Authority
: Diversity and top talent are one and the same for YVR: the more diverse we are as an organization, the more creative and successful we are as an airport. We offer training on a variety of different topics including disability awareness, unconscious bias, queer competency, mental health awareness and autism spectrum awareness (to name a few).

Jazz Aviation LP
: Over the last nearly 10 years, we have been on a journey that has seen our culture evolve into one that actively celebrates and values diversity. We have implemented a number of industry-leading initiatives that have contributed to making our workspaces more inclusive and creating a sense of belonging for our employees.

Ontario Power Generation
: Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is dedicated to creating an environment where all employees are accepted and empowered to reach their full potential. To demonstrate that commitment, OPG has established a strategic long-term goal “to create a diverse healthy and engaged workforce and the culture to succeed.” This commitment and strategic goal reflects our values as well as a recognition that OPG's success depends on our ability to maximize our employee's diverse backgrounds, skills and abilities.

Canadian National (CN) Railway Company
: CN recognizes the importance of diversity at all levels of the Company, and of reflecting the customers and communities we serve. It enables us to better understand and respond to the needs of our stakeholders and to access a larger talent pool and a wider range of perspectives, experiences, concerns and sensibilities.

Irving Shipbuilding Inc
.: Under the National Shipbuilding Strategy, Irving Shipbuilding Inc. will build 8 Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships and 15 Canadian Surface Combatants. This long-term commitment to shipbuilding in Canada has allowed a sustained investment in facilities, technology and people, creating opportunities for groups currently under‑represented in shipbuilding and diversifying the workforce at Halifax Shipyard. Pathways to Shipbuilding is part of that commitment. The Pathways program supports classes from groups under‑represented in shipbuilding including women, Indigenous people and African Canadians.

Randstad Canada
: Randstad Canada’s goal is to accurately reflect the diversity of the communities in which we work. The measures undertaken in all our policies, procedures, talent acquisition efforts, internal training, communications and how we do business are a proof to reflect this commitment.


The Innovation award recognizes employers who have been innovative in the implementation of employment equity. This can include creativity in the design and implementation of measures to remove barriers, adoption of special measures and establishment of positive policies or practices, forward-thinking in human resources practices and/or development of new or unique initiatives.

Queen’s University
: At Queen’s University, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is embedded in organizational culture and is not seen as an isolated program but rather as a core value, a source of innovation and a means of growth and success for our students, staff and faculty and the organization as a whole.

Hudbay Minerals Inc.
: This year’s employment equity initiatives have been the most ambitious and successful to date for Hudbay. The implementation of the women’s network and the work that is being done with local Indigenous communities is being encouraged and supported by upper management. The success of this year’s initiatives has not only strengthened Hudbay’s commitment to employment equity, but allowed it to become a deeper part of Hudbay’s organizational culture. By strengthening our relationships with local Indigenous communities, we have created partnerships to improve recruitment and retention rates and have provided these individuals with the tools to be successful.

Sector Distinction

The Sector Distinction award recognizes employers who are inspirational role models in their sector. In addition to demonstrating a strong commitment and achieving success in implementing employment equity in their own organization, these employers also champion employment equity for the sector.

Air Canada
: Air Canada’s Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) approach and goals have significantly impacted Air Canada’s culture transformation. Our strong D&I culture has contributed to an environment in which employees feel valued and supported in their professional development.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) believes that inclusion starts with a safe place to call home, which is why CMHC is removing all barriers to housing affordability. Its mission is to ensure that, by 2030, everyone in Canada has a home that they can afford and that meets their needs. CMHC is proud of its diverse workforce and truly believes that the diversity of thought that results from such richness is an asset to its business activities.

Defence Construction Canada
: Defence Construction Canada (DCC) has made a corporate commitment to diversity and inclusion that encompasses the whole organization. Employees from across the country have become involved in moving the organization beyond simply being home to members of the four designated employment equity groups to building as welcoming, respectful and inclusive a workplace as possible.

HSBC Bank Canada
: We strive to make HSBC a great place to work and we are proud of our inclusive, positive and customer-first work culture. In addition to building diversity representation, HSBC will focus on creating an inclusive workplace where everyone feels they belong, contribute and thrive.

RST Industries and Sunbury Transport Limited
: RST Industries and Sunbury Transport is proud of the progress made as it relates to diversity and inclusion in recent years. Our success can only be attributed to our dedicated employees, who create and foster the inclusive workforce we have today. Overcoming obstacles and breaking down barriers could not be possible without the open-mindedness of those who come to work at RST Sunbury each day.

Atlantic Towing Limited
: While our Diversity and Employment Equity journey began in 2012, we have made significant strides in recent years to create an inclusive workforce. Our recruitment efforts have resulted in significant increases in representation of the designated groups, and our training efforts have resulted in employee development and advancement, including the promotion of female seafarers. As a business, we continue to break down barriers and cultivate an environment of inclusion to ensure that every person, regardless of race, gender or abilities, has the opportunity to thrive.

Employment Equity Champion

The Employment Equity Champion award recognizes an executive or executive team of an employer for their proven track record of championing employment equity within their organization, as well as their overall contribution to diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace.

James Paul and Juliet Woodfield (Defence Construction Canada)
Chris Hatton (HSBC Bank Canada)
Michele Mawhinney (Vancouver Airport Authority)

Page details

Date modified: