Call to Action on Anti-Racism, Equity, and Inclusion: Supplementary Report
Correctional Service of Canada Table of Actions: August 2021
1st Call to Action: Appoint Indigenous employees and Black and other racialized employees to and within the Executive Group through career development and talent management
The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) workforce must not just reflect the diversity of the Canadian population, but also that of the offender population. Indigenous and Black offenders make up the two largest overrepresented federally incarcerated populations. To this end, in early 2021, CSC developed and approved representation objectives for Indigenous peoples and visible minorities that exceed the Workforce Availabilities (WFA), based on the offender representation at each location. Representation objectives were formulated by using 30% of the calculation based on the unit offender representation and 70% based on the regional WFA to establish unit-specific objectives. Implementing the representation objectives by location will help CSC align its workforce representation with the representation of the offender population that it serves as well as support more targeted human resource (HR) strategies in support of employment equity and diversity and inclusion objectives.
Hiring objectives for women and persons with disabilities were also established, which aim to close the gaps in representation over a four-year period. Building a diverse workforce in CSC, including in leadership roles, is very important.
CSC is undertaking a review Of CSC's current talent management program and framework. This will include consultation with our equity groups to gain insight on potential adjustments to our tools, resources, and processes to promote a diverse, inclusive, and high performing workforce that responds to our employees' career management and organizational needs.
2nd Call to Action: Sponsor high-potential Indigenous employees and Black and other racialized employees to prepare them for leadership roles
CSC is engaging in the federal collaborative community in developing best practices and implementing initiatives supporting greater diversity, equity and inclusion. One example is the Mentorship Plus initiative. Following the launch of the Mentorship Plus Toolkit for departments, CSC commenced a review of its National Mentorship Program in consultation with diversity groups to identify and reduce barriers, and promote diversity and inclusion in the program in support of a more diverse representation among our future leaders. The sponsorship element of this program will be launched in the fall 2021.
Another initiative is Connecting Spirits, Creating Opportunities (CSCO), which was launched in 2019 in response to the Many Voices One Mind strategy and the consultation with Indigenous employees. This wellness and networking initiative for Indigenous employees allows participants to contribute to and engage in a community where they network and support one another through cultural and employment-related activities. CSC's National Headquarters Elder holds monthly talking circles for participants, offers one-on-one support sessions, and provides guidance for the direction of the CSCO initiative.
Within the Information Management Services Branch, partnerships with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) are being established to incorporate Indigenous apprenticeship program and Indigenous mentorship programs.
3rd Call to Action: Support the participation of Indigenous employees and Black and other racialized employees in leadership development programs (for example, the Executive Leadership Development Program) and career development services (for example, official language training)
In late 2020, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat proposed that linguistic profiles for supervisors in bilingual regions be increased starting in 2024. In recognition of the requirement to increase linguistic profiles, CSC has developed a rubric for assessing language training requirements. The rubric assigns a point score to assess employees for consideration for second language training and can prioritize training for employees who are members of employment equity groups.
CSC recognizes that the language requirement of a position can sometimes represent a barrier for employees from diverse groups. As such, CSC will make increased use of non-imperative staffing appointment for members of employment equity designated group to close the gaps in representation. For the 2021-2022 fiscal year, the Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP) for EX-01 to EX-03 adjusted the criteria and asked that departments ensure that at least 50% of their nominations are from employment equity groups. CSC submitted one nomination.
CSC supports the career development of non-executive Indigenous employees through targeted Indigenous leadership programs such as the Aboriginal Leadership Development Program. CSC also supports executives through participation in the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami's Training Program. Due to COVID-19, CSC did not provide nominations in 2020 but intends to do so in the future.
4th Call to Action: Recruit highly qualifiedcandidates from Indigenous communities and Black and other racialized communities from across all regions of Canada
Integrated HR Planning
As part of the 2020-2021 HR plan update, all units were required to add one new action in support of resourcing, retaining, or developing Indigenous employees. Many units indicated an action related to targeted Indigenous recruitment efforts.
CSC has increased its outreach efforts when it comes to targeting Ethnocultural and Indigenous communities across Canada in order to increase the representation for its largest occupational group, correctional officers (CX). CX job advertisement links are sent to diverse Indigenous and ethnocultural communities and organizations across Canada. The outreach team also has a designated Indigenous Outreach Officer in the Prairie Region, which has the largest representation of Indigenous peoples. CSC also implemented a specialized recruitment inventory that enables Indigenous peoples to submit general applications, which are then triaged for consideration in appropriate job openings. Since its creation in November 2020, CSC has hired 12 new Indigenous employees from that inventory.
CSC has also made available an ethnocultural toolkit to all employees to assist them in working more effectively with a diverse offender population. CSC has also moved beyond traditional recruitment options and uses a specialized recruitment inventory for Indigenous peoples.
Assessment Tool Review
CSC is currently reviewing the CX assessment and recruitment tools to ensure there is no cultural bias. The Recruitment Team undertook a third-party review of the Situational Judgement Test (SJT) and the psychological assessment tools for potential cultural bias. The results of the study for the psychological assessment was done for Indigenous candidates, and did not identify any cultural bias in the testing. The review of the SJT did identify a slightly lower pass rate for visible minority candidates. A fairness review and update of the test will take place over the next year. Findings from the review of the tool will pave the way forward for future decisions related to diversifying standardized assessment tools. CSC also introduced a survey that is being provided to CX applicants to enable prioritization of candidates using employment equity staffing flexibilities.
The HR Management Sector is working with the ethnocultural advisory committees to collaborate on a number of initiatives to increase employment equity and diversity and inclusion (D&I) to recruit and retain Black employees, along with members of other employment equity groups. We are currently exploring and promoting various staffing flexibilities to increase employment equity hiring, such as applying organizational needs, targeted areas of selection for advertised processes and using non-advertised appointments to increase representation.
A focus on increasing diversity in assessment boards for selection processes is also being implemented this fall. The addition of diverse perspectives and cultural competency on assessment boards will contribute to fairness and challenge unconscious bias. In addition to this, increased communication, awareness and training is being completed across all recruitment and staffing employees in order to develop the awareness and ensure cultural sensitivity.
5th Call to Action: Committing to personally learning about racism, reconciliation, accessibility, equity and inclusion, and fostering a safe, positive environment where these conversations are encouraged throughout our workplaces
Reinforcing our Commitment and Our Way Forward
The issues of systemic racism, diversity, and inclusion in the correctional system are ones the Commissioner has acknowledged publicly. We have begun discussions on how systemic racism manifests itself in our workforce and how it affects our offender population and other stakeholders. The commissioner, along with the executive committee members, have formalized their commitment through a Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace. This statement has also been provided to all CSC executives for signature, and represents a clear and strong signal that will increase accountability and drive change. The statement requires executives to learn about racism, reconciliation, accessibility, equity and inclusion and to actively support diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism. Moreover, performance objectives for the 2021-2022 fiscal year for all supervisors and managers include strong wording in support of anti-racism, as well as D&I commitments.
Learning and Development Compliance
It is important that everyone at CSC commits to learning about racism, reconciliation, accessibility, equity and inclusion, and embraces their role in fostering a safe, positive environment. We encourage participation in related courses through the Canada School of Public Service (CSPS) and offer a range of training options in support of these objectives. One example of this is our Diversity and Cultural Competency Training. This mandatory training, designed to increase the cultural competency of staff in their interactions with both colleagues and offenders, has been completed by 95% of CSC employees.
Unconscious Bias and Cultural Competency
In response to senior level commitments to provide support and tools to managers and employees to address personal and systemic racism, biases and discrimination in their workplaces, a Toolkit for Leading Conversations on Systemic Racism and Racial Discrimination is being developed as part of a whole-of-government working group led by the CSPS. The Learning and Development (L&D) Branch has subsequently adapted this product to meet organizational needs. The practical toolkit will contain resources and information for managers to prepare themselves to have conversations with their employees. It will also contain mini session guides on various topics relating to systemic racism and racial discrimination for managers to deliver. Both learning products are currently being piloted with select groups. In addition, as a new requirement of the Appointment Delegation and Accountability Instrument, unconscious bias training will be a requirement in order to receive sub-delegation.
Learning Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion
L&D has created a training governance structure in the area of diversity and inclusiveness called Learning Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (LACDI). The objective of the LACDI is to provide guidance for the development of D&I training and learning products that are reflective of CSC and the lived experiences of employees and offenders. LACDI will provide a permanent forum to discuss employee learning needs in the areas of D&I, and identify where gaps in learning resources exist, either internally, externally, or both. In addition, the LACDI will provide guidance to the L&D Branch in the development of D&I training by supporting the identification of meaningful training themes, core content, scenarios and training methodologies.
Employment Equity and Diversity Committee
CSC has a robust Employment Equity and Diversity Committee (EEDC) that initiates and promotes events across the country to advance diversity. Their goal is to promote inclusion by ensuring that employees feel valued, respected, and supported. In the past year, the EEDC organized and promoted a range of events in support of this goal, totaling over 113 events across the country. EEDC also took a lead role in the celebration of Black History Month and recognizing the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
Other Learning Opportunities
CSC celebrates D&I through commemorating important dates, using awards to acknowledge diversity-related contributions, and promoting initiatives through all-staff communications. Some examples of these communications from the 2020-2021 fourth quarter include:
- The celebration of Black History Month, International Women's Day, Bell Let's Talk day, Pink Shirt Day, and the Moose Hide Campaign
- The promotion of the National Women Employee Survey and the upcoming First Annual Public Service Pride Awards
- The recognition of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
CSC has developed a training session called "Introduction to Indigenous Corrections". Since February 2021, this training has been piloted in the Prairie Region as part of the Correctional Training Program. The training includes a focus on the history of Indigenous peoples pre- and post-colonial contact; a lens to assist recruits in developing their understanding of Indigenous Social History; the history of systemic discrimination; and understanding of the over-representation of Indigenous offenders in CSC.
6th Call to Action: Combatting all forms of racism, discrimination, and other barriers to inclusion in the workplace by taking action on what we have learned, empowering employees to speak up about bias and oppression, and better equipping managers to address these issues
In fall 2020, CSC developed an Anti-Racism Framework as an evergreen document to initiate conversations internally and externally about our anti-racism actions as an organization across three pillars:
- Workforce: building a diverse, representative, inclusive and respectful workforce with and for our 18,000 employees
- Offenders: evaluating tools and practices for offender assessments, engaging with inmates and supporting safe and respectful environments for the 13,000 inmates in our custody across the country
- Stakeholders: external experts and a network of over 4500 volunteers: listening to external voices, input and lived experience, and evidence to inform our way forward
The Anti-Racism Framework outlines a vision statement and purpose to understand and identify systemic barriers embedded within our structures (policies, programs, processes, people and practices) to make improvements to the correctional system. The goal is to create an anti-racist organization that is more inclusive, diverse, equitable, and free of racism.
CSC shared the framework with its National Ethnocultural Advisory Committee and continued the discussion in early March 2021. During the 2020-2021 fourth quarter, CSC onboarded more than 60 employee volunteers in the role of Ethnocultural Site Coordinators (ESC). Through the connection and collaboration of ESC regionally and nationally, CSC continues to make strides in enhancing its responsiveness to the needs of ethnocultural offenders. ESC, in their capacity as site-based employee volunteers, help address systemic racism by increasing their own understanding of racism, anti-racism, and diversity in Canada, and through the engagement of other employees in these important issues.
The Reintegration Services Division, in its formal call-out, encouraged members of all employees groups to assume this volunteer role at each site, to ensure the ESC cadre, as well as offenders, would benefit from the contributions of a rich and diverse representation of employees with varied correctional experience, institutional position, age, language and gender profile, and cultural background, among others.
Audit of CSC Culture
CSC is currently in the planning phase of its Audit of Culture. The Internal Audit Sector will engage with senior management, regions and sectors, various subject matter experts from the National Advisory Committee on Ethics, external consultants, labour partners, and other federal government departments and organizations who have been undergoing changes in their organizational culture. This is an opportunity to examine all aspects of CSC's environment and ensure we are adopting the right approach in moving forward. The objective of the audit will be to assess whether CSC's actual organizational culture is congruent with its desired culture. CSC is committed to listening, learning, and taking action. This is a commitment the Commissioner has made and an expectation for the 18,000+ CSC employees.
National Working Group for Women Employees
CSC created its first National Working Group for Women Employees (NWGWE) to identify and address the barriers faced by women in CSC with respect to recruitment, retention, professional development, promotion, and work-life balance, and to develop an action plan to address the challenges identified. The NWGWE has been active since its inception. A national live event with Commissioner Anne Kelly was held on March 8th, 2021 to honour International Women's Day. This was a specific measure taken to increase workplace culture of inclusion of under-represented groups. Approximately 300 employees attended this virtual event, where topics such as work-life balance, return to the workplace and career progression were discussed.
7th Call to Action: Enabling and advancing the work of grassroots networks and communities within the Public Service by providing necessary resources and bringing them into discussions at senior executive tables
Positive Space Initiative
CSC has been one of the driving forces on the Federal Positive Space Initiative (PSI) across government and continues to be highly engaged. Thousands of CSC employees have completed PSI training and CSC has contributed to developing and revising the PSI curriculum in collaboration with the CSPS. Our Executive Champion also continues to participate in federal roundtables and presentations to promote and raise awareness of D&I within the broader public service. In August 2021, Progress Pride flags were distributed to CSC facilities to fly or display during the Public Service Pride week.
As part of Black History Month in February 2021, under the leadership of CSC's Multiculturalism Champion, CSC created a virtual Black Employees' Network. This is one of the safe space platforms where Black employees and allies can share various positive and empowering news and activities toimprove our collective commitments to end racism and discrimination, while we celebrate our rich diversity. In May and July 2021, the Assistant Commissioner, HR Management, hosted an 'open mic' virtual discussion with Black employees and allies that was attended by over 350 employees. The Multiculturalism Champion has been meeting with leaders as well as Black and other racialized employees across the country to build positive race relations, foster a more respectful workplace and identify practices that create systemic barriers.
At CSC, we understand that systemic racism affects not just our employees, but also our stakeholders, including the offender population that we serve. We benefit from a number of advisory committees, which allow CSC to seek essential external input. Moving forward, we will continue seek the views and input of our National Indigenous Advisory Committee, National Ethnocultural Advisory Committee, and Citizen Advisory Committees.
Respect and Wellness Campaigns
In 2018, CSC launched a Respectful Workplace Campaign to promote a healthy and respectful work environment and to highlight recourse mechanisms available to employees who experience harassment, bullying, discrimination and conflict in the workplace. On November 20, 2020, we celebrated our third annual CSC Respect Day. In 2020, CSC also launched its comprehensive strategy for workplace wellness and employee well-being. This strategy was informed by results from the Public Service Employee Survey (PSES) and is based on three pillars: improving culture and increasing pride; building capacity; and fostering healthy, respectful, and resilient environments free from harassment, bullying and violence.
8th Call to Action: Including voices from diverse backgrounds in the identification of systemic racism, discrimination and barriers to inclusion, and the design and implementation of actions to address them
In 2019, our Executive Committee launched the Executive Sub-Committee on Indigenous Corrections. While its purpose is to provide advice and recommendations on issues relating to interventions and reintegration support for First Nations, Métis and Inuit offenders, one component of the governance structure is a "Tiger Team" that develops strategies to promote recruitment, retention, and development of Indigenous employees. As a result of the Tiger Team's recommendations, in the 2021-2022 fiscal year, all CSC organizational units were required to include at least one new initiative in their human resource plans that supports hiring, retaining, or developing Indigenous peoples.
Since February 2019, CSC has been working with the Beardy's and Okemasis' Cree Nation towards the renewal of our Memorandum of Understanding. This ongoing collaboration resulted in the development of a Joint Action Plan to address recruitment and development of band members employed at the Willow Cree Healing Lodge. The action plan includes a number of initiatives, one of which involves having an Indigenous recruitment officer in the community at least once a month for employment sessions as well as to attend special events such as pow wows and Treaty Days. The community has provided positive feedback on the new approach to recruitment.
In March 2021, CSC implemented a new process in which EEDC is consulted on all CSC policy reviews. This supports efforts to consult with Black and other racialized employees, Indigenous employees, employees with disabilities, and other equity deserving groups.
National Persons with Disabilities Working Group
The National Persons with Disabilities Working Group (PWDWG), started in July 2020, is committed to creating an inclusive and accessible workplace where employees, offenders, victims, and the public can contribute, feel safe and respected. The working group is led by CSC's Persons with Disabilities Champion and is composed of representatives from CSC's six regions as well as individuals from various sectors, who act in an advisory capacity. The group meets on a bi-monthly basis to assist in the development of the CSC Accessibility Action Plan. CSC identified sector representatives that will be consulting with the PWDWG about accessibility needs for the whole-of-CSC Accessibility Plan. Actions over the past year include:
- Commitment to the GC Workplace Accessibility Passport by being an early adopter. This is now being piloted at the national headquarters.
- Creation of an Employees with Disabilities support network on Microsoft Teams to share information, support and resources with employees about accommodation and accessibility.
- Promotion of GCintranet and GCpedia hiring resources for persons with disabilities and participation in the survey of "Career Transitions and Accessibility in the Federal Public Service" conducted by the READ Initiative at Carleton University.
Gender Considerations Secretariat
The Gender Considerations Secretariat was created in 2020 to develop CSC's overarching direction, guidance and tools for the management of offenders with gender considerations and also to develop tools and communication materials to promote employee and offender awareness on gender consideration-related matters.
9th Call to Action: Measuring progress and driving improvements in the employee workplace experienceby monitoring disaggregated survey results and related operational data (for example, promotion and mobility rates, tenure) and acting on what the results are telling us
CSC will continuously measure results from various initiatives mentioned previously in this report and as outlined further below.
Quarterly Updates on Diversity and Inclusion
CSC produces quarterly updates CSC initiatives that support our commitment diversity and inclusion as well as: actions being taken to address systemic racism within the organization, measures taken to increase the diversity and inclusion of under-represented groups within our workforce, efforts being made to eliminate harassment and gender-based violence in the workplace, and, any challenges within the organization and operating environment to driving progress in these areas. These quarterly reports are shared through an infographic and are available to all employees on CSC's intranet and to the public on CSC's website.
Targeted Staffing Processes
During the 2020-2021 fiscal year, CSC had several staffing processes that targeted individuals from one or more of the designated employment equity groups, including processes from administrative personnel to manager positions. Various departments continue active engagement internally and with HR to increase representation of the employment equity groups.
Transparency in Data
In May of 2021, a new HR Business Intelligence Tool: Employment Equity Dashboard was created and is conveniently available to all CSC employees. This online dashboard includes in-depth and 'real-time' view of CSC's workforce representation and WFA, based on the geographic location. If there is a gap, the gap column shows the number of people that the current gap represents. The HR Analytics Team is working on the development of additional tabs with CSC's hiring objectives, representation objectives that go beyond WFA, and other employment equity information.
Employment Equity Representation: Promotion/Acting/Termination Rates
Analyzing available data is important to understand our current state and be able to grow towards our goals.
- CSC's workforce data is available on CSC's website.
Public Service Employees Survey
The executive committee members reviewed CSC's 2020 results with a focus on responses from diversity group members and are discussing the results with their teams to identify areas of focus to address survey results. Three key themes for CSC have been developed in response to PSES: Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism, Harassment Prevention, and Wellness. Each sector/regional head will be identifying actions to improve the results for these three themes in the fall of 2021.
National Survey for Women
The National Working Group for Women Employees developed a national survey for women employees with the following four areas of focus: safe work environment, discrimination, work-life balance, professional development. This survey asked respondents to identify specific points of intersection, including if they identify as Black and/or Indigenous peoples). Results of this survey will directly impact actions being taken at CSC to address systemic racism. The results will be used, along with information that is gained through an intersectionality-based analysis, to identify strategies to better support women at CSC. Over 2,500 employees responded to the survey.
The Commissioner will be holding regional Town Hall discussion in October and November to discuss the issues raised through the review of the survey results.
Related Challenges and Barriers to Implementing the Call to Action
Challenges continue to exist in diversifying the workforce. With regard to occupational groups, a large percentage of positions are trade-related and availability of workforce in these areas is limited in most areas of the country, or is highly competitive for individuals who are part of employment equity groups as many private sector companies and other governments organizations are also engaged in diversifying their workforce and provide compensation packages that exceed public service compensation rates. This challenge has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The WFA in these specialized skill/high demand areas (GL/GS/EG groups) across all employment equity groups is limited. However, we continue to find ways to make staffing processes more efficient and effective, conduct more focused recruiting and minimize process related delays.
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