Minister O’Regan recognizes employers’ outstanding achievements in making their workplaces diverse and inclusive

News release

November 22, 2023                          Ottawa, Ontario                    Employment and Social Development Canada

Building more diverse and inclusive workplaces makes Canada’s workforce stronger. By breaking down barriers, organizations can build a strong foundation for success and create a workplace where employees feel valued, motivated, and empowered to achieve their full potential. Once again, employers across Canada have shown their unwavering strength and commitment to eliminating employment barriers.

Today, Minister of Labour, Seamus O’Regan Jr., announced the 2023 Employment Equity Achievement Awards winners during a ceremony held in Ottawa, Ontario. Through these awards, the Government of Canada recognizes federally regulated private-sector employers and federal contractors for their outstanding commitment to and achievements in implementing employment equity in their organization. The event also provided a forum for employers to share best practices and challenges and learn more about winners’ achievements.

Minister O’Regan presented 34 awards to 19 employers in the following categories: sector distinction; outstanding commitment to employment equity; innovation; employment equity champion; and Indigenous reconciliation. In the spirit of reconciliation, the Government introduced the new Indigenous Reconciliation Award that recognizes employers who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

The Minister also spoke about initiatives that will further advance equity and inclusion in federally regulated workplaces. It includes the work toward the development of a new website providing workforce representation rates and pay gaps experienced by the four designated groups under the Employment Equity Act, as well as new projects funded through Workplace Opportunities: Removing Barriers to Equity.

By building on today’s achievements and the Government’s efforts to improve equality at work, employers can seize every opportunity to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce every day.


“As I always say, if you don’t include everyone in your workplace, you’re not getting the best. The winners of these awards represent the best of the best. They’re showing us how it’s done.”
– Minister of Labour and Seniors, Seamus O’Regan Jr.

Quick facts

  • Since 2016, the Government has recognized over 80 employers through the Employment Equity Achievement Awards. These events give employers a unique forum to share best practices and challenges, as well as learn more on Indigenous reconciliation, the importance of employment equity in Canada’s economic recovery and pay gap reporting measures.

  • The Government received a total of 36 submissions through the 2023 Awards application process, which took place from October 17 to November 25, 2022. From these submissions, 19 were selected to receive an award. Applicants may submit their nomination in all the award categories. Applications are reviewed and assessed based on the award category’s requirements. Once the review process is complete, the selection committee provides a list of recipients to the Minister of Labour for review and decision. 

  • The 2024 Awards call for applications is expected to be launched in December 2023.

  • The measures related to pay gap reporting in federally regulated private-sector workplaces came into force on January 1, 2021. Pay gap information was included for the first time in the Employment Equity Act: Annual Report 2022.

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For media enquiries, please contact:

Hartley Witten
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Labour and Seniors, Seamus O’Regan Jr.

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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