Loading articles...

Government urged to increase diversity at top of federal public service

President of the Treasury Board Jean-Yves Duclos speaks with the media following a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Wednesday November 20, 2019. The federal government is being urged to increase the amount of diversity within the senior ranks of the public service. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA — The federal government is being urged to increase diversity in the senior ranks of the public service.

The call comes as black public servants gather in the national capital today to discuss the unique challenges they face in the workplace and how to overcome them.

Richard Sharpe, co-founder of the Federal Black Employees’ Caucus, says that includes overt as well as more subtle forms of racism and discrimination that can lead to everything from harassment to lack of opportunities.

Those gathered noted the Liberal government recently appointed Caroline Xavier as an associate deputy minister at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada — one rung below the top of a department’s bureaucracy — making her the most senior black public servant in Canadian history.

But Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos acknowledged more must be done to create a more diverse and inclusive federal public service.

Sharpe, who said he has experienced his own share of discrimination and racism during his 25 years in the federal public service, says he has hope things can change as senior government officials have shown an openness and willingness to engage on the issues.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2020.

The Canadian Press