Seamus ORegan Jr

Reducing employment barriers for Black Canadians 

eAwaz Local News

Gatineau – Diversity is Canada’s strength, and the Government of Canada is committed to creating more diverse and inclusive work environments where every Canadian has a fair and equal chance to reach their full potential. To mark the beginning of Black History Month, Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Labour, highlighted projects that aim to remove barriers to employment for members of the Black community. The projects are funded through the Workplace Opportunities: Removing Barriers to Equity (WORBE) grants and contributions program.

Black Business Initiative received funding for the Removing Barriers to Equity in the Banking Sector project, which strives to increase representation and access to management opportunities for Black Canadians in the banking sector.

To better understand the barriers that contribute to the under-representation of Black Canadians in senior management in the banking sector, the Federation of Black Canadians will engage with federally regulated employers and other stakeholders through the Representation in Federal Sectors project.

Through the project Diversity Works: Exploring Supported Employment Experiences of BIPOC Who Experience Disability, the Canadian Association for Supported Employment will learn more about BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of colour) who experience disability, as they join the workforce and engage with employment service providers.

These projects will help create a more vibrant and diverse workforce that empowers everyone to be part of Canada’s recovery.

On January 18, 2022, the Government launched the 2022 Open Call for Concepts for the WORBE program. Canadian organizations are encouraged to submit project concepts that focus on breaking down barriers to employment for one or more of the four equity-seeking groups designated under the Employment Equity Act in federally regulated workplaces. The call for concepts closes on February 15, 2022.

“Representation matters, but barriers to employment still exist for many Black Canadians. By working hand-in-hand with organizations that are leading the change, we can make federally regulated workplaces more representative, inclusive and fair. Ultimately, it will help businesses succeed. Because when you include everyone, you get the best.” – Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Labour

“In Canada, diversity is a fact, but inclusion is a choice. This month, as we celebrate the remarkable achievements of Black Canadians and their communities, we also need to acknowledge that systemic anti-Black racism continues to create barriers to employment for people of African descent in Canada. These projects will help to address these obstacles and contribute to creating more diverse and inclusive workplaces across the country.” – Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion