Employment Equity Annual Report 2018 to 2019: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Executive Summary

The Employment Equity Annual Report 2018-2019 prepared by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) provides an analysis of the workforce representation of the four designated groups (Women, Members of Visible Minorities, Aboriginal Peoples, and Persons with Disabilities).  It also includes statistical information related to hiring, promotions and separations during the period.

Section I of the report provides an overview of the organization.  Section II includes our approach to Employment Equity (EE), while Section III focuses on a quantitative analysis of the workforce demographics.  Finally, Section IV details future strategies which will support the Agency’s commitment to maintaining and increasing its representative workforce.    

As of March 31, 2019, FCAC’s population reached 130 employees.  The graph below illustrates the workforce representation at FCAC, as compared to the Canadian workforce availability identified in the data adapted from Statistics Canada, the 2016 Census and the 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability.  In 2018-2019, Women continue to be well represented at FCAC relative to the workforce availability, while the representation of Visible Minorities is significantly lower than its respective workforce availability.  The representations of Persons with Disabilities and of Aboriginal Peoples are slightly lower than their respective workforce availability.

Percentage Representation of Employment Equity Groups

Bar chart: Percentage Representation of Employment Equity Groups, description follows
Text version: Percentage Representation of Employment Equity Groups
Percentage Representation of Employment Equity Groups
Employment Equity Groups Workforce Availability (%) FCAC Employees (%)
Women 48.2 54.6
Visible minorities 21.3 13.9
Persons with disabilities 9.1 8.5
Aboriginal Peoples 4 S (suppressed data)

Adapted from Statistics Canada, the 2016 Census and the 2017 Canadian Survey on Disabilities.

Data is suppressed (S) to protect confidentiality of information when the representation number was three or less.

1. General Overview

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC or the Agency) ensures federally regulated financial entities comply with consumer protection measures, promotes financial education and raises consumers’ awareness of their rights and responsibilities. FCAC derives its mandate from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada Act, which outlines FCAC’s functions, administration and enforcement powers, and lists the sections of federal laws and regulations under its supervision.

Listed in Schedule 1.1 of the Financial Administration Act, FCAC is an independent agency, reporting to Parliament through the Minister of Finance. FCAC has a non-unionized workforce and is subject to the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA). The Agency’s only office is located in Ottawa (National Capital Region). Over the course of the last two years, the organization has been growing and maturing and we have made a strong commitment to adapt and enhance our programs to meet current and future needs. 2017-2018 marked the first year that the Agency‘s population size exceeded 100 employees, elevating its status from a micro-agency to a small agency.

From its creation in 2001 until December 2017, FCAC relied on a government third-party service provider, most recently the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC), for its human resources (HR) services. At that time, the Agency repatriated most HR services, including staffing and compensation, to better serve its needs as a rapidly growing organization. In November 2018, FCAC hired its first HR executive, and in December, the HR Branch began reporting directly to the Commissioner. A new structure and additional resources were approved in February 2019, and a Senior HR Advisor, responsible for diversity and inclusion in the workplace within the newly created HR Programs and Policies Division, joined the Agency in April 2019. With these new resources on strength, the Agency will be better equipped to fulfill its HR obligations and enhance its contributions to a diverse, inclusive, and values-based public service. 

The report outlines information regarding the Agency’s Employment Equity (EE) practises during the fiscal year 2018-2019. 

2. Approach to Employment Equity

Although FCAC was not required to report on its EE approach prior to 2017-2018, the principles of equity and inclusion had been previously reflected in its human resources management policies, programs and processes. As an organization subject to the PSEA, and in keeping with its requirements, FCAC recruits a non-partisan and representative workforce of individuals, benefitting from the diversity, linguistic duality and range of backgrounds and skills of Canadians. Furthermore, the Agency’s appointment processes are designed to prevent discrimination and systemic barriers.

Public Service Employee Survey (PSES)

The PSES is a rich source of employee feedback on a variety of themes related to people management and provides important and valuable information when it comes to identifying areas of focus for the Agency.  Nearly 83% of FCAC employees participated in the 2018 PSES and the results were released in February 2019. Ninety percent (90%) of the FCAC respondents agreed that the Agency respects individual differences (e.g. culture, work styles, ideas), and 85% agreed that the Agency implements activities and practices that support a diverse workplace. 

Employee engagement activities were completed in March and April 2019, and all employees were invited to share their views on four key areas of focus. One of these four themes was Anchoring Values and Ethics which included discussions about preventing harassment and discrimination in the workplace. The feedback inspired the development of a three-year action plan, and will inform a systematic overhaul of all HR programs and policies, including a review of FCAC’s Values and Ethics Code, and the identification of respectful workplace-related training.

Employee Engagement through the Workplace Advisory Committee

In 2019, the Agency revitalized its Workplace Advisory Committee (WAC) which is mandated to be the voice of employees to enable the Commissioner and senior management to make informed decisions, through senior level governance. The WAC brings forward the ideas and perspectives of employees, and engages in transparent, two-way communication with a goal of enhancing the work environment at FCAC. This consultative group is composed of representatives from all branches of the Agency representing various backgrounds and perspectives. Advancing a broad range of initiatives, they facilitated multiple engagement sessions with employees to respond to the results of the 2018 PSES, as explained above.  They also collect and provide input on initiatives that impact employees and support people management-related champions.

This revitalized committee is part of broader governance structure that will be further established and defined in the year ahead and will aim at ensuring that multiple lens are applied when developing and approving new or amended policy, programs, etc.  

Merit and Values-Based Staffing

FCAC promotes equal opportunities for employment and advancement. As per our Staffing Policy and the broader PS staffing framework we are subject to, all our internal and external appointments are based on merit, free from political influence and adhere to our staffing guiding principles - including “staffing activities should facilitate the achievement of a diverse and high performing organization”.

The Commissioner has delegated appointment and appointment-related authority from the Public Service Commission and is subject to the terms and conditions of the Appointment Delegation and Accountability Instrument. As per the instrument, they may sub-delegate appointment and appointment-related authorities. In such cases, each manager is required to follow a briefing session and must sign an attestation form. The attestation requires them to confirm that when exercising their sub-delegated authorities, they must consider EE objectives and ensure that assessments are conducted in good faith, free from bias and personal favoritism, and in a manner that is supportive of an individual’s right to accommodation.

Our job posters include statements that promote an inclusive and barrier-free workplace. Applicants are encouraged to self-identify as appropriate, and the Agency implements measures to ensure candidates are assessed in a fair and equitable manner. Additionally, FCAC accepts foreign credentials with sufficient proof of Canadian equivalency. 

FCAC fosters a healthy, diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace free from discrimination. The FCAC workforce adheres to the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector and the Agency has developed its own FCAC Values and Ethics Code and Policy on the Prevention and Resolution of Harassment and Conflict in the Workplace. The Code values diversity and the promotion of a discrimination-free workplace. This is further anchored in our Terms and Conditions of Employment which include provisions conducive to the needs of a diverse workforce such as religious observance, and preventing discrimination and harassment. 

Workplace Accommodation and Accessibility

Accommodation measures are a key component of creating a healthy and enabling workplace. Accordingly, we comply with the requirements of the Policy on the Duty to Accommodate Persons with Disabilities in the Federal Public Service with respect to accommodation during staffing processes. Although as a separate employer we are not subject to the accommodation within the workplace provisions, we adhere to the same principles.

For instance, accommodation measures are considered and implemented for candidates involved in staffing processes. They are asked if accommodation is required at various stages of the process, including in the advertisement, all assessment phases and offer stages. Letters of offer invite employees to raise accommodations needs. The following statements are included in all of our job postings:

“The Public Service of Canada is committed to developing inclusive, barrier-free selection and appointment processes and work environments. If contacted in relation to this process, please advise the organization's representative of your need for accommodation measures which must be taken to enable you to be assessed in a fair and equitable manner.”

Individual ergonomic assessments are readily available and performed as required.  Examples of common equipment supplied as a result included specialized chairs, sit-to-stand workstation, computer equipment, and footrests.  Broader workplace accommodation is also provided to employees as required. 

Celebrating Diversity

FCAC is committed to creating a healthy, diverse, inclusive and respectful environment that raises awareness of the richness and value our diversity brings to our employees, our teams and the organization as a whole. To foster and build a high-performing workforce that supports and respects its employees, the Agency celebrated various events such as:

Building on the previous year’s success, the second edition of our international potluck invited employees to contribute and enjoy cuisines from our diverse colleagues. It is a celebration of inclusion and is also an occasion to collect donations that are provided to the Government of Canada Charitable Workplace Campaign. International dishes represented various countries, such as England, Ukraine, Spain, Vietnam, Finland, Guinea, India and Canada. Pictures of employees travelling around the world were projected in the background during the event.

Promoting a Healthy, Inclusive and Respectful Workplace

In 2018, we appointed our very first Champion of Mental Health and Wellness, recognizing the importance of a healthy workplace to our overall health and well-being. The Agency’s workplace mental health activity plan emphasized that everyone has an important role to play in fostering a healthy, supportive and respectful workplace. A monthly Champion blog was posted on our intranet to raise awareness of and promote an ongoing dialog on mental health and wellness. On two different occasions, speakers shared their lived experience of their struggles with mental illness at all staff meetings. One of these speakers was our very own Champion of Mental Health and Wellness, a respected member of our senior executive team. These powerful testimonies really touched employees and had a powerful impact to combat prejudice and stigma. 

The promotion of the Canada School of Public Service (CSPS) courses and events related to workplace well-being, including values and ethics, creating a respectful workplace, occupational health and safety, and workplace accommodation was also a key component of our workplace mental health strategy. Additionally, through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and the Informal Conflict Management Services, FCAC supports employees with information and confidential counselling on a variety of issues in support of an inclusive and respectful workplace. 

As part of the continuous effort to promote a healthy work-life balance, FCAC also supports flexible work arrangements such as telework, compressed work schedules, flexible hours of work and leave with income averaging. Our efforts towards the modernization of our workplace and systems are key enablers of an agile and mobile workforce. All employees are now equipped with smarter work tools that facilitate remote work such as tablets, laptops and smart phones as well as collaboration tools like Skype to organize virtual meetings and instant message colleagues. These flexible work arrangements have a positive impact on employee engagement and foster a healthy, inclusive and respectful workplace.  

3. Quantitative Information

As an employer who must comply with the Employment Equity Act, FCAC strives to have a workforce that reflects the availability of the four designated groups of the Canadian workforce. 

Given that FCAC is a very small organization (130 employees), it takes minimal employee movement to affect representation, unlike that which may be experienced by a larger organization. Self-identification was not promoted other than by asking all new employees to self-identify through our HR Information System MY GCHR during the 2018-2019 exercise. Considering that we launched our very first self-identification campaign in July 2019 and the return and completion rate is above 95%, we have opted to leverage the EE data collected during this campaign about our workforce as of March 31st, 2019. Using the most recent data on file enables us to draw the most complete and accurate picture of our workforce.

In order to determine if the four designated groups are equitably represented at the Agency, their representation was compared to the 2016 Census and the 2017 Canadian Survey on Disabilities. 

Considering the EE Program at the Agency is still in its infancy, we were unable to provide solid and reliable information on all EE occupational groups (EEOG). However, we were able to provide information for the two following EEOGs: Senior Managers and Middle and Other Managers. As we move forward with our systematic overhaul of all HR programs and policies over the next three years, the identification of National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes for all positions will be a priority for the Agency. We fully recognize that a complete and accurate picture of our workforce will help us to develop and implement appropriate diversity measures and initiatives that underscore inclusion. 

The data presented in this report relates to the 130 employees in indeterminate positions as well as employees whose term is more than three months, who have self-identified as belonging to one or more of the four EE designated groups. 

Highlights

For fiscal year 2018-2019, FCAC’s representation of the four designated groups is as follows:

Percentage Representation of Employment Equity Groups

Bar Chart: Percentage Representation of Employment Equity Groups, description follows
Text version: Percentage Representation of Employment Equity Groups
Percentage Representation of Employment Equity Groups
Employment Equity Groups Workforce Availability (%) FCAC Employees (%)
Women 48.2 54.6
Visible Minorities 21.3 13.9
Person with disabilities 9.1 8.5
Aboriginal Peoples 4 S (suppressed data)

Notes: Workforce availability data (WFA) is based on the 2016 Census and the 2017 Canadian Survey on Disabilities. Data is suppressed (S) to protect confidentiality of information when the representation number was three or less.

Women

Globally, this designated group remains well represented. Women constitute 54.6% of the Agency’s workforce, which is 6.4% above the availability of 48.2% for all occupational groups. The representation rate slightly increased from last year, which was at 54.3%.

Women are well represented in our EE occupational groups, Senior Managers and Middle and Other Managers. Nearly two thirds of our new hires were Women. Women were hired in the Middle and Other Managers and promoted to the Senior Managers occupational groups. 

Aboriginal Peoples

The overall representation of Aboriginal Peoples is slightly lower than the workforce availability of 5.2 (4%). The data has been suppressed to protect confidentiality as the representation is three (3) or less. Aboriginal Peoples are represented in the Senior Managers group, which surpasses the workforce availability of this group. There is no representation in the Middle and Other Managers occupational group. 

While no members of the Aboriginal Peoples group left the Agency in 2018-2019, no new members joined the FCAC

Persons with Disabilities

The overall representation number of Persons with Disabilities is 11 and it nearly matches the overall workforce availability number of 11.8. In 2018-2019, members of this group were recruited at the Agency and others promoted. In fact, their overall representation of the Agency’s workforce grew significantly, from 3.8% in 2017-2018 to now 8.5% of our employees. Their representation surpasses the workforce availability for the Senior, Middle and Other Managers occupational group (5%).  

Members of Visible Minorities

At 13.8%, the overall representation of Members of Visible Minorities is significantly lower than the workforce availability of 21.3%. Five (5) or 29.4% of our 17 new hires were Members of Visible Minorities. While the representation of this group increased compared to 2017-2018 (7.6%), our growth did not keep up with that of the Canadian workforce.

Members of Visible Minorities are represented in the Middle and Other Managers, but are not in the Senior Managers occupational group. 

New Hires

Of the 17 new hires at the Agency in 2018-2019, 13 or 76.5% of these new hires were members of one or more of the designated employment equity groups. Eleven (11) or 64.7% were Women and five (5) or 29.4% were from the Visible Minorities groups. 

Promotions

In 2018-2019, there were five (5) promotions at the FCAC and they involved Women and Persons with Disabilities.

Separations

Of the 11 separations from the Agency in 2018-2019, none were from the Aboriginal Peoples and Visible Minorities groups. 63.6% of separations were Women and the results for Persons with Disabilities have been suppressed for confidentiality reasons. 

4. Future Strategies

Although 2018-2019 is our second year reporting on EE, diversity and inclusion has always been part of the FCAC culture. The Agency is committed to continuing its progress towards ensuring the full representation of the four (4) designated groups. In addition to ongoing recruitment and retention strategies, our efforts for 2019-2020 will focus on the following priorities:

Conduct our first self-identification campaign: As we cannot fully capitalize on our strengths unless we know about them, we will launch our very first Employment Equity Self-Identification Campaign on Canadian Multiculturalism Day. We will therefore encourage self-identification from all employees and will aim to obtain a high participation rate, nearing 100% to ensure we have complete and up-to-date data to draw and learn from. The campaign will feature a newly designed hard copy questionnaire, a comprehensive frequently asked questions (FAQs) and a participation guide.

Continue promotion of self-identification: Only asking employees to self-identify through our HR Information System MY GCHR does not generate probing results. With a bolstered process that will be anchored in the hiring process, we will provide self-identification packages to new employees that comprise the new hard copy questionnaire and FAQs. We will also include a statement in support of our commitment to EE in our letters of offer. 

Initiate the identification of National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes for all positions: Most positions currently do not have a NOC code attached to them. We fully recognize that a complete and accurate picture of our workforce will help us to develop and implement appropriate diversity measures and initiatives that underscore inclusion. To that effect, ensuring that we have the best NOC codes for all positions will enable us to produce a complete analysis for each EEOG and fully apply the three filter test when gaps exist.

Reinforce the use of Employment Equity strategies in FCAC’s staffing processes: As the Agency grows, the importance of developing staffing plans with all branches becomes imperative. Senior HR Portfolio Advisors will work with clients to continue to promote EE through selection processes. 

Continue the promotion of diversity and inclusion: While the commemoration of key events has been done sporadically, a deliberate approach will be used to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. In consultation with the Workplace Advisory Committee, a calendar of commemorative events will be prepared and will feature special and meaningful events to raise awareness of diversity and inclusion matters.

Secure a new external provider for Informal Conflict Management Services (ICMS): The Agency plans to put into place a new agreement with an external provider to provide readily available confidential and bilingual ICMS and Ombuds-type services for employees and managers. 

Update and promote the Mental Health Strategy: The Champion of Mental Health and Wellness will engage employees in the development of a new workplace action plan and will oversee its implementation. The plan will identify opportunities to promote an ongoing dialog on improving mental health and reducing stigma. 

Address the PSES results: The PSES is a powerful tool and based on the 2018 PSES results, the Agency developed a 3-year action plan to address four areas of focus we want to improve or to sustain momentum. Next year, an important focus will be placed on the implementation of the measures featured in the plan. In addition, the results of the 2019 PSES are expected to be released in January and we will monitor them and adjust as needed. 

Initiate a systematic overhaul of all HR programs and policies: With the rapid growth and maturation of the Agency and in consideration of the new requirements incumbent upon us, we have made a strong commitment to adapt and enhance our programs to meet current and future needs. Some of the key priorities for the year ahead include: 

Some of the key medium-term priorities include the development of an Employment Equity action plan and the completion of an independent employment system review. We also intend to provide mandatory training on values and ethics and respectful workplace-related topics and to develop our own accommodation policy. 

At FCAC, our diversity is one of our greatest strengths.  The richness that our diversity brings to each of us, our teams, our work, our partnerships, and ultimately Canadians, is a key advantage for the Agency. Employment Equity is an essential pillar in building a diverse workforce and we are committed to the development and implementation of measures that underpin diversity and inclusion. 

Annex 1

The following tables are based on FCAC data of March 31, 2019: 

Table 1 – Representation of the Designated Groups at FCAC
Representation
March 31, 2019
FCAC Representation Workforce
Availability (WFA)
Representation
of WFA
# % # % # %
Women 71 54.6 62.7 48.2 8.3 113.3
Aboriginal Peoples * * 5.2 4.0 * *
Persons with Disabilities 11 8.5 11.8 9.1 -0.8 93.0
Visible Minorities 18 13.8 27.7 21.3 -9.7 65.0

*Data is suppressed to protect confidentiality of information when the representation number was three or less.

Table 2 – Representation of the Designated Groups in the National Capital Region (NCR)
Representation
March 31, 2019
Total
Employees
Women Aboriginal
Peoples
Persons with
disabilities
Visible
Minorities
# % # % # % # %
FCAC 130 71 54.6 * * 11 8.5 18 13.8
WFA N/A 62.7 48.2 5.2 4 11.8 9.1 27.7 21.3

FCAC does not have any regional offices.

*Data is suppressed to protect confidentiality of information when the representation number was three or less.

Table 3 – Representation of the FCAC Designated Groups by EE Occupational Groups (EEOG)
Representation
March 31, 2019
Total
Employees
Women Aboriginal
Peoples
Persons with
disabilities
Visible
Minorities
# % # % # % # %
All Occuptions 130 71 54.6 * * 11 8.5 18 13.8
Senior Managers 10 * * * * 0 0 0 0
Middle managers 17 9 52.9 0 0 * * * *
Employees (all occupations) 103 59 57.3 * * 9 8.7 16 15.5

*Data is suppressed to protect confidentiality of information when the representation number was three or less.

Table 4 – Representation of Women by EE Occupational Groups (EEOG)
Representation
March 31, 2019
Total
Employees
Women Aboriginal
Peoples
Persons with
disabilities
# % # % # %
All occupations 130 71 54.6 67.2 48.2 8.3 113.3
Senior Managers 10 * * 2.8 27.6 * *
Middle Managers 17 9 52.9 6.7 39.4 * *
Employees (all occupations) 103 59 57.3 49.6 48.2 9.4 118.8

*Data is suppressed to protect confidentiality of information when the representation number was three or less. 

Table 5 – Representation of Aboriginal Peoples by EE Occupational Groups (EEOG)
Representation
March 31, 2019
Total
Employees
FCAC Representation
Aboriginal People
Workforce
Availability (WFA)
Representation of WFA
# % # % # %
All occupations 130 * * 5.2 4.0 * *
Senior Managers 10 * * 0.3 3.2 * *
Middle Managers 17 0 0.0 0.5 2.7 -0.5 0.0
Employees (all occupations) 103 * * 4.1 4.0 * *

*Data is suppressed to protect confidentiality of information when the representation number was three or less. 

Table 6 – Representation of Persons with Disabilities by EE Occupational Groups (EEOG)
Representation
March 31, 2019
Total
Employees
FCAC
Representation
PWD
Workforce
Availability (WFA)
Representation of WFA
# % # % # %
All occupations 130 11 8.5 11.8 9.1 -0.8 93.0
Senior, Middle and
Other Managers
27 * * 1.4 5.0 * *
Employees (all occupations) 103 9 8.7 9.4 9.1 -0.4 96.0

*Data is suppressed to protect confidentiality of information when the representation number was three or less.

Table 7 – Representation of Visible Minorities by EE Occupational Groups (EEOG)
Representation
March 31, 2019
Total employees FCAC Representation
Visible Minorities
Workforce
Availability (WFA)
Representation
of WFA
# % # % # %
All occupations 130 18 13.8 27.7 21.3 -9.7 65.0
Senior managers 10 0 0.0 1.2 11.5 1.2 0.0
Middle managers 17 * * 3.0 17.6 * *
Employees (all occupations) 103 16 15.5 21.9 21.3 -5.9 72.9

*Data is suppressed to protect confidentiality of information when the representation number was three or less. 

Table 8 – Representation of the FCAC Designated Groups by Salary Bands (RE Group)
Representation
March 31, 2019 ($)
Total
Employees
Women Aboriginal
Peoples
Persons with
disabilities
Visible
Minorities
# % # % # % # %
37,600 – 47,000 0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
46,500 – 58,000 8 6 75.0 0 0.0 * * * *
56,600 – 71,100 23 13 56.5 * * * * * *
66,900 – 86,300 24 13 54.2 0 0.0 * * 5 20.8
84,300 – 107,000 49 27 55.1 * * * * 5 10.2
99,800 – 127,000 16 9 56.3 0 0.0 * * * *
Total 120 68 56.7 * * 11 9.2 18 15.0

*Data is suppressed to protect confidentiality of information when the representation number was three or less. 

Table 9 – Representation of the FCAC Designated Groups by Salary Bands (REX Group)
Representation
March 31, 2019 ($)
Total
Employees
Women Aboriginal
Peoples
Persons with
disabilities
Visible
Minorities
# % # % # % # %
113,700 - 142,100 6 * * * * 0 0.0 0 0.0
132,000 - 164,700 * 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
152,300 - 190,400 * 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
199,600 - 249,200 0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
GCQ & OCQ * * * 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
Total 10 * * * * 0/td> 0.0 0 0.0

*Data is suppressed to protect confidentiality of information when the representation number was three or less. 

Table 10 – Representation of the FCAC Designated Groups by New hires, Promotions and Separations
Representation
April 1, 2018 to
March 31, 2019
All
Employees
Women Aboriginal
Peoples
Persons with
disabilities
Visible
Minorities
# % # % # % # %
New Hires 17 11 64.7 0 0 * * 5 29.4
Promotions 5 * * 0 0 * * 0 0.0
Separations 11 7 63.6 0 0 * * 0 0

*Data is suppressed to protect confidentiality of information when the representation number was three or less. 

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