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Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: FAQs

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Does employment equity mean lowering job standards to increase representation?

No. No one benefits if unqualified persons are hired or promoted. However, we do need to be careful about how we define qualified. Systemic discrimination occurs when employment policy or practice is neither job-related nor necessary. These policies and practices often appear neutral, but may have an adverse affect on groups of people. An example of this kind of policy would be height and weight requirements.

Why not simply treat everyone equally?

Treating everyone the same means unfair treatment for some. For example, there are obvious differences between the sexes. However, both men and women deserve fair treatment, which means differences need to be recognized, respected and accommodated.

Why are we dwelling on differences? Shouldn't we be striving to be the same?

No. Every individual is different and can contribute to our organization in different ways. We need to value and capitalize on these differences because they may lead to a more effective organization.

Wouldn't it make more sense to undertake these measures when the City is increasing instead of decreasing its workforce?

No. During times of job scarcity, it is even more important that we ensure available jobs are fairly and equitably distributed. When asked to do more with less, it is essential that we create a healthy working environment wherein all City employees have an opportunity to show leadership, participate fully in their workplace and to contribute to constant improvement.

Last update: January 2, 2019

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