• Important Info:

  • Pages

  • Archives

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Follow The Armchair HR Manager – Advice from an "HR Fan" on WordPress.com
  • Recent Posts

  • Advertisements

“Because it’s 2015”

On Wednesday November 4th, Canadian Prime Minister elect, Justin Trudeau, had his new 31 member cabinet that he had chosen sworn in at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. Normally cabinet swearing in ceremonies aren’t that big of a deal in Canada (in my opinion); however, this particular one was different. It was different for two reasons:

  1. When campaigning, Justin Trudeau had promised that if he was elected, his cabinet would not only be balanced (men/women) but that it would be representative of Canada as a whole.
  2. He kept this promise.

Now, this is not meant to be a political post, although it is a pretty sad state of affairs when we are actually impressed that a campaign promise is kept! What is inspiring about this, is that when the group was assembled and a reporter asked Mr. Trudeau, “why having a gender-balanced cabinet was so important to him,” his answer was a sound bite for the ages – “Because it’s 2015.”  You can watch the video here

trudeau-speech-2_jpg_size_xxlarge_promoYes, it is 2015 and having a cabinet that is gender balanced and representative of Canada is the right thing to do. There is a lot that we as HR Pros can learn from Mr. Trudeau and his “Because it is 2015” line. We need to be leading the way in our workplaces to ensure that we have gender and racial diversity (at a minimum) in our workplaces. We need to be leading the way to make sure that our workforce(s) is/are representative of Canadians as a whole.

It is 2015 and it is time to stop talking about the need for gender and racial “balance” or “representation” in the workplace and do something about it. The fact that the desire to have this balance in one’s place of work (in this case, government) is even questioned shows how far we still need to go in this country and in particular, society as a whole when it comes to issues of access and equity.

As HR Pros, we are in a unique position to affect this type of positive change in our workplaces. We need to be vigilant and critical in our hiring practices and talent management approaches. Are we being astute in identifying barriers to entry for women, visible minorities, persons with disabilities, etc.? When we do identify barriers, are we willing and able to remove them? What about our pay practices? Are we willing and able to analyze our pay practices and if/when we find pay equity issues are we bold enough to do something about it?

Let’s all commit to doing a bit of navel gazing here for a minute and reflect on what we have been doing up to this point in time as HR Pros. Have we been doing a good enough job maintaining employment equity? Have we been strong organizational stewards of change for hiring and retaining a workforce that is representative of Canada and the areas in which we live? If we know that something isn’t “right”, have we been willing and able to speak up against it? These are the tough questions we must ask of ourselves and each other, because if WE don’t ask these questions and do something about it, who will?

I have laid out a challenge for myself as an HR Pro – I am challenging myself to become stronger, more forceful and ever vigilant about ensuring that my workplace is representative of Canada. I will hold myself accountable for removing barriers, ensuring there is “balance” and equity. Who is with me? I am doing this because it is the RIGHT thing to do and because it is 2015. As always, I welcome your comments and feedback.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: