Carleton committed to employment equity

In reference to the upcoming random audit of Carleton’s employment equity program, under the Federal Contractors Program (FCP), Equity Services Director Barbara Carswell says it’s “a welcome opportunity to demonstrate a history of hard work, commitment and co-operation by the University’s staff, faculty, and unions towards the achievement of employment equity.”

The FCP applies specifically to provincially regulated contractors with a workforce of at least 100 employees. In return for the right for faculty and staff to participate in the bidding process for federal government contracts valued at $200,000 or more annually, Carleton and other participants of the FCP are required to certify in writing their commitment to employment equity. Carleton employees will be receiving this policy through internal mail in the coming weeks. Sanctions for failing to honour this commitment under the FCP could include loss of the right to bid on government contracts. As a signatory since 1987, Carleton University secures millions of dollars in federal contracts annually.

Employment equity specifically requires that barriers historically experienced by designated group members—including women, persons with disabilities, visible minorities, and Aboriginal peoples—be removed.

“The ultimate test is to ask ourselves whether the composition and distribution of our internal workforce is a reasonable reflection of the external qualified workforce. If the answer is yes, then we’re on our way,” says Carswell.

Implementation of employment equity means taking concrete steps and measures to improve and increase designated group participation in all levels of the workforce. In Carleton’s last audit in 1993, auditors were sufficiently impressed that the Director of the FCP sent a letter of commendation stating: “An overall assessment indicates that Carleton has seriously addressed its employment equity goals. Carleton University has developed a wide array of projects that support the employment equity initiatives. All of your efforts are too numerous to mention but certainly worthy of praise.”

Carleton has a long and proud history of commitment to equity and human rights, and was the first university to win a Vision merit award in the FCP. “I am confident that this audit will also reflect favourably the work that so many in Carleton have been doing,” says Carswell. “No organization is perfect and there is still a lot to be done. The wonderful thing about Carleton, however, is that in its very fabric is a commitment to equality, diversity and basic respect.”

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