The Federal Contractors Program: A Brief
The PSCEE thought it would be appropriate to
highlight some of the requirements of the Federal Contractors Program
as they relate to the work that was undertaken by the Committee in the
past year. As you are aware, the purpose of the Federal Contractors
Program is to ensure that Western strives to have a workforce which is
representative of designated group members in proportion to their
representation in the external workforce.
Collection and Maintenance of Workforce Information
The workforce census is one of the first requirements of the Federal
Contractors Program. It allows the University to take a "snap
shot" of its workforce at a given point in time to be used for
three basic purposes: to allow the University to compare its workforce
to the surrounding workforce to assess levels of representation of
members of the designated groups; to enable Western to focus its
employment equity initiatives in those areas which require
improvement; and to provide a baseline from which to monitor the
success of employment equity initiatives. The Federal Contractors
Program states that it is preferable to collect these data through a
self-identification survey as this elicits more reliable information
than other methods.
Comparison with External Statistics
Once workforce data are collected, the next step necessitates a
comparison of the representation of members of the designated groups
in Western's workforce with their representation in the appropriate
segment of the Canadian population. This requires the use of
comparison data from the Canadian Census of 1996 and the 1991 Health
and Activity Limitations Survey. The stated objective of the Federal
Contractors Program is to have contractors who do business with the
Government of Canada achieve and maintain a fair and representative
Identifying Areas of Concern and Conducting a Systems Review
Once the comparisons are made between Western's workforce and the
external statistics, Western is required to identify those areas where
one or more designated groups are under-represented in its workforce.
These areas of under-representation form the focus of future
employment equity initiatives.
When an area of under-representation is identified, Western is
required to conduct a review of the recruitment, hiring, training,
promotion and termination processes for that area. The goal is to
establish why the under-representation has occurred and to determine
what, if any, systemic barriers exist.
In order to facilitate this review, Western is also required to
maintain an ongoing record of recruitment, hiring, training, promotion
and terminations, so that statistical information can be compiled at
any time regarding the "movement" of employees, including
designated group members, into and through its workforce.
Developing a Work Plan and Establishing Goals
Western must then use the information collected from its workforce
survey, its comparison of the survey results with the census data, and
its systems review to create an employment equity work plan. This plan
must be designed to address the issues revealed by the systems review
and to promote the hiring, retention and promotion of more members of
the designated group that has been identified as being
under-represented in a given occupational group.
As part of that work plan, Western is required to set achievable
numerical and qualitative goals for the future, based on its
assessment of its own hiring, training and promotion opportunities for
the coming years. These goals must be designed to be achievable and to
move Western closer to a representative workforce.
All of these steps are carried out in preparation for a compliance
review as carried out by HRDC. In the past, Western has successfully
completed two such reviews: in 1993 and 1996.