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At Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), we pride ourselves on the diversity of our people. We’ve worked hard to create a welcoming, respectful and inclusive workplace through a variety of programs and initiatives. Below, PSPC employees share their views on diversity and inclusion at PSPC.

Gordon Bulmer is a systems analyst in the National Capital Region and Chair of the People Respecting Individual Diversity everywhere (PRIDE) at Work Network. “With over 28 years in the federal public service, as an openly gay union activist, I have seen the climate of acceptance change,” he says. “PSPC’s diversity networks are one of the signs of positive change.”

As the first national co-champion (union) for mental health, Gordon notes, “We’ve really moved the yardstick around supporting people with mental health issues.” The department’s Employee and Organization Assistance Program offers counselling services to employees and their families. PSPC’s Ombudsman for Mental Health and the Workplace Well-Being Directorate also foster a healthy workplace.

“Our workplaces are becoming more accessible,” says Jeanine Fynn, who is an acting senior advisor in the Pacific Region and Chair of the Pacific Diversity Network. She says, “It’s no longer an issue when somebody needs some flexibility to find work-life balance in order to fully succeed in the work that they’re given, and I think it’s something that’s unique to PSPC.”

Accessibility affects Colin Wilson directly as he uses a wheelchair. He’s a regional manager in the Ontario Region and a member of the Deputy Minister Employee Advisory Committee on Accessibility. During his 18 years at PSPC, Colin has witnessed real progress: “There is much more evidence of accessibility being considered in workplace design.”

Tamara McFarland has also seen changes when it comes to inclusion. She’s an acting regional operations manager in the Atlantic Region. “I think the workplace culture really has evolved,” she says. “I definitely feel very comfortable at work bringing up my ethnicity.” Tamara recently completed French language studies through the Second Language Scholarship Program. The program awards scholarships to high-performing employees from 3 employment equity groups with the goal of reducing barriers to advancement.

So why does diversity matter? Liza Daniel sums it up well. She’s a senior strategic analyst in the National Capital Region, a member of the Federal Black Employees Caucus (FBEC) and Chair of the department’s FBEC Chapter. Liza observes, “We’re responsible for creating programs for Canadians, and what better way to create quality public programs than to have a workforce that looks like the public.”

As a senior human resources advisor in the Atlantic Region and co-chair of the Atlantic Diversity Community of Practice, Darren Ruck is actively involved in diversity and inclusion initiatives. Last year, the community of practice organized a conference to promote reconciliation and enhance collaboration with Atlantic Canada’s Indigenous communities. Darren says that “PSPC is putting intentional effort into recruiting from these communities” because “there is great, untapped potential.”

Stéphanie Bourgeault is a junior analyst in the National Capital Region and coordinator of the Indigenous Peoples Network. She would like to increase the visibility and awareness of Indigenous issues. Stéphanie says, “It can be as simple as (displaying) an Indigenous painting. It raises people’s awareness subconsciously through art.”

We are fortunate to have employees like Gordon, Jeanine, Colin, Tamara, Liza, Darren and Stéphanie making PSPC more inclusive for all employees. It’s a work in progress and one of our priorities. We will continue building on our successes to ensure all our employees are treated with respect, dignity and fairness.

At PSPC, the employment equity and diversity group provides advice, interpretation and guidance to PSPC management, employees, employee representatives and human resources practitioners on all matters pertaining to employment equity. The group also develops policies and coordinates and implements initiatives regarding designated group recruitment, development and retention. If you would like to reach out to us, please send us an email at  tpsgc.diversite-diversity.pwgsc@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca.

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