How to Improve Workplace Equity: Evidence-based Actions for Employers

Keywords Workplace Equity, Evidence-Based Actions, Pay Gap, Designated Groups, Employment Equity


As part of a suite of new employment equity tools, the Government of Canada released this Guide to support Canadian employers in addressing gaps in representation and pay within their workplaces. It was authored by the Behavioural Insights Team in collaboration with Employment and Social Development Canada. It summarizes evidence-based actions shown to improve workplace outcomes, with a focus on members of the four designated groups under Canada’s Employment Equity Act: women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and members of visible minorities.

The Guide groups evidence into five Human Resource action areas that occur across the employee lifecycle: leadership and accountability; recruitment, selection, and hiring; development and training; promotion and retention; and workplace flexibility. Within each area, effective actions, promising actions, and actions to avoid are identified.

Practice & Policy Implications

  • Employers can use the actions summarized in this guide to improve their employment equity plans.
  • This guide presents a set of questions employers can reflect on to identify where action is needed to improve equity within their workplaces.
  • By identifying actions supported by strong evidence, mixed evidence, or a lack of evidence, employers can make informed decisions about which actions to implement and invest in.

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