Backgrounder: Projects funded through 2021 solicited call for proposals to reduce barriers to employment in federally regulated workplaces


Launched in 2014, the Workplace Opportunities: Removing Barriers to Equity (WORBE) program supports federally regulated employers subject to the Employment Equity Act in their efforts to improve the representation of the four equity-seeking groups designated under the Act in areas of low representation through partnerships and industry-tailored strategies.

On November 30, 2020, the Government of Canada announced the expansion of the WORBE program through Fall Economic Statement 2020 by allocating additional funding of $1.5 million in 2021–22 and $2.5 million per year ongoing. Starting in 2022–23, the WORBE program will provide $3 million in funding per fiscal year.

In the spring of 2021, through a solicited call for proposals, the Government allocated the additional funding for 2021–22 to the following organizations:

Black Business Initiative Society

The Black Business Initiative Society received $250,000 to launch the Removing Barriers to Equity in the Banking Sector national project. In partnership with the TD Bank Group and Black Opportunity Fund, the project aims to increase representation and access to management opportunities for Black Canadians in the banking sector, particularly in mid- to senior-level management positions. Through a series of online workshops and roundtables which began in November 2021, the Black Business Initiative Society has had open dialogue with decision-makers from across Canada to help them understand and identify barriers within their organizations. The conversations continue and aim to equip organizations with the requisite tools tailored to industry-specific needs, to help ensure opportunities for Black Canadians through hiring, retention, professional growth and overall success in Canada’s banking industry.

For more information, please consult Removing Barriers to Equity in the Banking Sector.

Federation of Black Canadians

The Federation of Black Canadians (FBC) received $203,293 to launch the Representation in Federal Sectors project. The project aims to engage with federally regulated employers, such as the Royal Bank of Canada, and other stakeholders, such as the University of Toronto, to better understand the barriers that contribute to the under-representation of Black Canadians in senior management in the banking sector. The FBC intends to create a digital tool kit, hold national forums addressing barriers, develop an online campaign, and participate in research regarding best practices and opportunities.

For more information, please contact the FBC at or visit the Federation of Black Canadians website.

Canadian Association for Supported Employment

The Canadian Association for Supported Employment (CASE) received $247,872 to launch the Diversity Works: Exploring Supported Employment Experiences of BIPOC Who Experience Disability project. In partnership with the Centre for Community Based Research, the project aims to explore the experiences of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of colour) who experience disability as they work to secure and maintain employment with the assistance of supported employment service providers (providers). Following a series of activities, such as surveys, focus groups and in-depth interviews with employers, providers and people of colour who access supported employment services, the CASE will produce a research report and recommendation guidelines for providers to increase their capacity to engage in intersectional service delivery and to address barriers to inclusion. The CASE will present their research findings and recommendations at the 27th annual CASE conference.

For more information, please consult the Diversity Works – CASE project webpage or contact Shifat Ara, Project Manager, at

Funding amounts are subject to change. Grants and contributions agreements are disclosed on the Proactive disclosure webpage.

Page details

Date modified: