Disappointing year for employment equity

By Lynne Sullivan
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 07/21/2003

For several years, my year-end column has frequently included an irreverent or humorous element. On behalf of Santa Claus I dispensed positive recognition, as well as lumps of coal, for praiseworthy or poor performance in advancing employment equality in Canada. This year that irreverence doesn’t seem appropriate in light of the events of Sept. 11 and their tragic and long-term consequences.

Moreover, reaction to these events has direct implications for the issues of individual rights, civil liberties and the concerns of women, national, ethnic and religious groups and how these groups are viewed and treated not only in society but also in the workplace.

In addition, there were few notable developments on the employment equality front in 2001. Indeed, while 2001 turned out to be a difficult year in the economy even before the events of September, it is disheartening that over several recent years of a buoyant economy equality issues have been taking a back seat compared with preceding years.