Diversity and inclusion areas of focus for the public service

The Government of Canada is committed to making real and lasting change to create a workplace that is safe, inclusive, and free of all forms of racism and discrimination. We have made important progress over the years. Yet, there is more work we must do for racialized groups, Indigenous peoples, and other groups who face barriers in the workplace. This work is as important as it is urgent. It is time to close the gaps and eliminate the barriers that remain, ensuring the public service is truly representative of the people it serves.

To foster greater diversity, inclusion and accessibility in the public service, we will focus on the following areas:

Generating and publishing data for a more accurate picture of representation gaps

Creating a thoroughly representative and inclusive workplace begins with having a public service that reflects the population it serves.

To get there, we first need a better sense of where we are. We are improving the availability and reliability of existing data, including the disaggregation of data on public service diversity. This data contributes to a more holistic picture of the experiences and representation of employment equity groups. It provides first-ever views into the composition of public service employees who self-identify in Employment Equity sub-groups such as Black or Métis. Along with the annual results of the Public Service Employee Survey (PSES), we will be able to identify more precisely where gaps remain and what actions we can take to improve representation.


  • Since 2019, the PSES has gathered information on the workforce at increasingly more detailed levels than before, including data disaggregated to the employment equity sub-group. Changes to the PSES are part of a larger effort towards gathering and publishing disaggregated data to have better awareness of the situation and experiences of diverse groups.
  • In fall 2020, the government began releasing disaggregated datasets, providing first-ever views into the composition of public service employees who self-identify in Employment Equity sub-groups.
  • The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat introduced an interactive data visualization tool to allow users to manipulate fields and parameters easily while accessing and visualizing human resources demographic and employment equity data.


Increasing the diversity of senior leaders of the public service

Departments, supported by the Treasury Board Secretariat, are working to increase diversity among senior leaders of the public service and establish a culture of inclusiveness that will combat racism and address systemic barriers. This includes increasing representation through promotion and recruitment, such as the Mosaic Leadership Development Program, which addresses key issues in under-representation in executive positions, as well as the Mentorship Plus Program to allow departments to offer mentoring and sponsorship opportunities to high-potential employees from equity-seeking communities who may currently face barriers.


  • The first cohort of the Mosaic Development Program had 36 graduates in October 2022, most of which have been appointed or are acting in executive positions. The second cohort of the Mosaic Leadership Development Program started on September 13, 2023, with 50 participants.
  • The Mentorship Plus program launched in December 2020 and, as of spring 2024, there are 57 departments and agencies taking part in the program across the federal public service. Close to 700 sponsorship relationships have been established across government.


Action Plan for Black Public Servants

In Budget 2023, following the invaluable work of several Black public servants’ networks in 2022, the Government of Canada committed an additional $45.9 million to complement the initial funding in Budget 2022 for a Black mental health fund. As a result, nearly $50 million is supporting the creation and development of the Action Plan for Black Public Servants (Action Plan) to establish career development programs and mental health supports for Black public servants. The 2 pillars of an Action Plan include a mental health pillar and a career and leadership development pillar.

The implementation of the Action Plan will be led by an internal task force for Black public servants, headed by and made up of primarily Black employees. The task force will engage through check-ins with employee networks, surveys and discussions with Black public servants to further engage on the implementation of current and future initiatives under the Action Plan.


  • In February 2024, TBS announced the first initiatives of the Action Plan, which will continue to be refined through meaningful input from Black public servants. Specifically:
    • Health Canada is receiving funding for Black-centric enhancements to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provided to more than 90 federal departments and agencies. This includes the recruitment of 19 additional Black counsellors this year alone, which brings to a total of 60 Black counsellors, to provide culturally competent and trauma-informed mental health support to public servants and their immediate family members who receive EAP services through Health Canada.
    • Following a successful pilot, the Canada School of Public Service is receiving funding to launch an executive leadership program for Black executives in groups EX-01, EX-02, and EX-03 to support their career advancement.
    • The Public Service Commission (PSC) is receiving funding to provide individualized assessment, counselling and coaching services to Black public servants. The PSC will also build on their current expertise and leverage available research and feedback from Black employees to improve the delivery of its career development services for all levels of Black public servants.


Contact us for more information

Task Force for Black Public Servants


Addressing harassment, discrimination and violence in the workforce

In Budget 2023, the government committed $6.9 million over 2 years starting in 2023–24, to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat to advance a restorative engagement program to empower employees who have experienced workplace harassment and discrimination, and to drive cultural change in the public service. Funding will also support a review of the processes for addressing current and historical complaints of harassment, discrimination and violence in the workplace.


  • In October 2023, the Government of Canada announced the members of a panel of experts that will provide recommendations to the government on the design and creation of a new restorative engagement program for public service employees. 
  • On March 21, 2024, the government published the panel’s recommendations, as well as their report on the written submissions they received through consultations. The government is reviewing the panel’s consultation findings and recommendations to determine next steps.


Addressing systemic barriers

The Government of Canada continues its work to address issues of racism and discrimination in our institutions by amending legislation and creating support and development programs. Substantial efforts have been made to advance these goals, including:

  • reviewing the Employment Equity Act
  • amending the Canada Labour Code and the Public Service Employment Act
  • creating the Anti-Racism Secretariat


  • TBS will be working with other government organizations to support the government’s response to the recommendations of the Employment Equity Act Review Task Force, which include creating a new designated group for Black people and 2SLGBTQI+ people under the act.
  • Amendments to the Public Service Employment Act received royal assent on June 29, 2021. These amendments:
    • add an explicit commitment by the Government of Canada to a public service that represents Canada’s diversity
    • require that the establishment or review of qualification standards include an evaluation of bias and barriers and that reasonable mitigation efforts be made
    • require that the design and application of assessment methods include an evaluation of bias and barriers and that reasonable mitigation efforts be made
    • ensure that investigation and audit authorities encompass bias or barriers
    • expand the preference for Canadian citizens in staffing processes open to the public to include Permanent Residents


Engagement and awareness

This work is underpinned by engagement with important stakeholders and increasing awareness about diversity and inclusion. There are many partners within and outside the public service who can help us focus on these priorities.

Progress will take time. But concrete steps in these areas will bring the public service close to its goal: to be a more accurate reflection of Canada and a model of inclusion for employers across the country and around the world.


  • Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat launched the Federal Speakers’ Forum on Diversity and Inclusion in 2023. The former Federal Speakers’ Forum on Diversity and Inclusion was combined with the Federal Speakers’ Bureau on Mental Health to create the Federal Speakers Forum on Lived Experience building a unified community of speakers who share lived experience related to mental health, accessibility, diversity, and inclusion. Public servant workplaces can host a speaker. It is our hope that the stories will open hearts and minds and inspire everyone to take action in support of a more diverse and inclusive public service, one that supports mental health.
  • An interdepartmental community of communications professionals has been formed to discuss leading practices and approaches and share challenges and successes in communicating effectively on diversity and inclusion. 

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