Language selection


Top of page

- Employment Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan

On this page


Diversity is an important value at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), as in the Public Service as a whole, not only because we have a duty to have a workforce that reflects the makeup of the Canadian population, but also because a diverse workforce contributes to organizational success. The CSA is therefore committed to providing a workplace that fosters the growth and development of all individuals, regardless of their physical, cultural or social characteristics. A diversified workforce supports innovation and is conducive to the realization of the full potential of all employees.

The CSA has developed an Employme nt Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, in particular to ensure complianc e with the Employment Equity Act. The three-year plan sets out specific objectives to increase the representativeness of designated groups. Evidence shows that employment equity and diversity represent an organizational risk with respect to talent management. The low representativeness of designated groups means that the potential of the available workforce is not fully exploited and restricts the range of skills and perspectives that could support innovation. The CSA's goal is to achieve representativeness of designated groups within the next four years. It is therefore very important to close our gaps in order to have a workforce that is representative of the Canadian population and promote a diverse and inclusive workplace for the future of the CSA.


As part of the - Workforce Management Strategic Plan (WMSP), various factors will be considered over the next few years with respect to workforce renewal. In particular, and as highlighted above, one of the CSA's primary objectives is to have a workforce that reflects Canada's diversity because a diverse workforce contributes to the organization's success and supports innovation. As stated in the WMSP, the projected growth of the workforce is a great opportunity for the CSA to increase diversity wit hin the organization over the next few years. The CSA will do so by providing an inclusive workplace with a workforce that reflects Canadian society.

The purpose of the - Employme nt Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan is therefore to address the priorities set out in the WMSP to increase the representativeness of designated groups at the CSA.

The expected results under the Directive on Employment Equity, Diversity and Inclusion , which came into force on , are as follows:

The CSA's - Employment Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan sets out the measures that will be imple mented over the coming years to support the WMSP and achieve the results required under the Directive. The CSA's HR Business Plan (HRBP), a multi-yea r exercise for planning classification and staffing business plans, will also be a key tool in attaining these results.

Our goal is to achieve equality in the workplace for four groups designated under the Employment Equity Act (EEA): women, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities.

Diversity and inclusion are not limited to the four groups designated by the EEA. Building a Diverse and Inclusive Public Service: Final Report of the Joint Union/Management Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion defines diversity and inclusion as follows:

External Environment

On this page

The - Employ ment Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan reflects several external factors, including policy direction, such as Beyond , the Clerk's Priorities and various legislative requirements. Several departments, including the CSA, have also been covered by a horizontal audit on the representativeness of racialized persons in manageria l positions in the public service.

Employment Equity Act

All sectors of the core public administration are expected to uphold the Employment Equity Act. As such, the CSA must carry out the following activities:

  • Collect workforce information related to designated groups through a self-identification questionnaire;
  • Conduct a workforce analysis;
  • Complete an employment systems review;
  • Develop an employment equity plan in accordance with section 10 of the Employment Equity Act.

Four groups are designated under the Act: women, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities.

Accessible Canada Act

The Accessible Canada Act came into force in . The purpose of the Act is to benefit all persons through the realization of a Canada without barriers by in the following areas:

  • employment
  • the built environment;
  • information and communic ation technologies
    1. communication, other than information and communication technologies;
  • the procurement of goods, services and facilities;
  • transportation

The Accessible Canada Act will have an impact on several CSA sectors because these areas include the hiring and retention of persons with disabilities, facilities, technology and communications and procurement of goods and services. All departments must prepare accessibility reports by . The plans must:

  • describe the measures organizations will take to identify or remove barriers or prevent new barriers in seven priority areas;
  • be prepared in consultation with persons with disabilities;
  • describe the manner in which persons with disabilities were consulted;
  • be updated every three years.

Over the next few months, to help organizations comply with legislative requirements, the following lead organizations will publish directives on planning and reporting provided under the Accessible Canada Act:

  • Employment and Social Development Canada
  • Canadian Transportation Agency
  • Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

Clerk's Priorities

The Clerk of the Privy Council often stresses the importance of diversity and inclusion and the priority to increase diversity in federal organizations. This was reiterated in his 27th Annual Report to the Prime Minister on the Public Service, which noted:

  • Increasing diversity and nurturing deeper inclusion across the Public Service is a top priority; it is part of our core business. Organizations are convening diversity and inclusion networks that include women, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, members of racialized groups, and the LGBTQ2 community. It is encouraging that public servants are mobilizing to embrace a greater diversity of voices and make their workplaces ones where everyone's contributions are valued, but there is more work to do.


The Beyond  initiative is consistent with the intent of Public Service Renewal. It focusses on three key priorities, including an agile, inclusive and equipped workforce. To ensure inclusiveness, organizations need to:

  • create an environment where individuals are safe to express themselves;
  • expand partnerships and remove barriers to collaborate;
  • co-create by bringing different perspectives to the table.

In this regard, it is important to view inclusion in its broadest sense. Although the four designated groups fall under inclusion, the concept goes beyond these groups. Organizational practices must foster a workplace where everyone has their own space and contributes to the organization's mission. The CSA is an environment where a wide range of people with different life and generational experiences and academic and career backgrounds interact with each other.

Audits by the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the Public Service Commission

In Fall , the Canadian Human Rights Commission launched a horizontal audit on employment equity of racialized people in management and executive positions in the public service to ensure that concrete measures are taken to achieve reasonable progress for this designated group. After responding to a survey, the Agency underwent a more extensive audit of its practices. Interviews with some employees will be conducted at the beginning of fiscal -. We expect to receive the audit report in Fall . The report's recommendations will be incorporated into the current plan.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) released the findings of the Audit of Employment Equity Representation in Recruitment on . The audit covered a selection of 181 external advertised processes with closing dates between , and , drawn from 30 organizations. The sample included four of our external recruitment processes (CR-04, CS-01, CS-04 and GT-04). The recommendations for all departments were as follows:

Recommendation 1: Deputy heads should review their staffing framework and practices to ensure barrier-free appointment processes for all employment equity groups, including visible minority sub-groups.

The PSC will:

  • strengthen employment equity obligations in the Appointment Delegation and Accountability Instrument;
  • support deputy heads and their organizations with guidance on how to effectively review their employment systems to identify and eliminate barriers found within.

Recommendation 2: The PSC should work with other central agencies and employment equity groups to identify specific factors that impact the success of employment equity groups and visible minority sub-groups within the hiring process, and to implement solutions.

The PSC will:

  • look at system-wide barriers;
  • work with its central agency partners, organizations, employment equity groups and committees to explore the 'why' behind gaps in success rates and to establish action items.

Recommendation 3: The PSC should increase its efforts in developing and promoting systems, tools and guidance that support inclusive external recruitment processes, with a focus on developing barrier-free assessment approaches.

The PSC will:

  • require training on unconscious bias in recruitment for all managers.
  • support managers by giving them new guides on inclusive assessment methods and building capacity in the human resources community.
  • advance diverse interview boards to address barriers in the hiring process.
  • prioritize accessibility to the GC Jobs website through inclusive design by leveraging functionality to reduce the potential for bias at the early stages of the hiring process.

Self-identification Modernization Project

The Research, Planning and Renewal Sector of the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer is piloting a self-identification modernization project. We will monitor progress and initiatives stemming from this project and tailor our practices to the recommendations. The purpose of this project is to update the self-identification questionnaire by editing the wording and adding groups that reflect other diversity as well as the four groups designated under the Employment Equity Act.

/ Deputy Minister Commitments on Diversity and Inclusion

The / Deputy Minister Commitments on Diversity and Inclusion document released on , states that deputy ministers are to select three measures from the list below that will enable their leadership teams to advance measurable change in their organizations.

  1. Changing the Public Service Culture: Establish a culture of inclusiveness that values diversity and will combat racism and address systemic barriers;
  2. Reflecting Diversity and Promoting Inclusion: Increase the representativeness of Black, other racialized and Indigenous Peoples as well as persons with disabilities within all levels of the organization;
  3. Updating Policy and Programs: Our Future Workplace: Ensure that internal and external policies and programs are inclusive and free of systemic racism and barriers.

Building Gender-Inclusive Services

The Government of Canada is working to advance gender diversity and inclusion, with many changes already underway. The Policy Direction to Modernize the Government of Canada's Sex and Gender Information Practices supports a whole-of-government approach to being inclusive of people of all genders, and embeds gender diversity in service design and delivery.

The objectives of the Policy Direction are as follows:

  • promoting the respect, inclusion and personal safety of gender-diverse people;
  • supporting the collection of accurate sex and gender data for government operations, analysis and evidence-based decision-making; and
  • protecting the personal information of individuals.

Departments and agencies should review their information practices to ensure that the sex and gender information that is collected is directly related to an operating program or activity (for example, for operational decisions, program and service delivery, research, statistical analysis and gender-based analysis). This is an existing requirement under the Privacy Act.

Call to Action on Anti-Racism, Equity, and Inclusion in the Federal Public Service

On , the Clerk of the Privy Council shared a Message to deputy ministers, heads of separate agencies, and heads of federal agencies on action to combat racism. The message is a call to action with concrete actions to end discrimination. Below is an excerpt from this message, which will have a direct impact of this action plan.

I am therefore calling on all Public Service leaders to:

  • Appoint Indigenous employees and Black and other racialized employees to and within the Executive Group through career development and talent management;
  • Sponsor high-potential Indigenous employees and Black and other racialized employees to prepare them for leadership roles;
  • 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);
  • Recruit highly qualified candidates from Indigenous communities and Black and other racialized communities from across all regions of Canada.

I am further calling on all Public Service leaders to invest in developing inclusive leadership skills and in establishing a sense of belonging and trust for all public servants, as well as those joining us now and in the future, regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation or gender expression by:

  • 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;
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • Measuring progress and driving improvements in the employee workplace experience by monitoring disaggregated survey results and related operational data (for example, promotion and mobility rates, tenure) and acting on what the results are telling us.

Many Voices One Mind: a Pathway to Reconciliation

To welcome, respect, support and act to fully include Indigenous Peoples in the Federal Public Service, the Many Voices One Mind: a Pathway to Reconciliation strategy was adopted to remove barriers to Indigenous representativeness in the Federal Public Service. The strategy identifies four main objectives:

  1. Encourage and support Indigenous Peoples to join the Public Service;
  2. Address bias, racism, discrimination and harassment, and improve cultural competence in the Public Service;
  3. Address learning, development and career advancement concerns expressed by Indigenous employees;
  4. Recognize Indigenous Peoples' talents and promote advancement to and within the executive group.

Internal Environment

On this page

This section presents the CSA diversity profile, with a focus on the four groups designated under the Employment Equity Act.

Workforce Data

The CSA had 660 term and indeterminate employees as of , appointed under the Public Service Employment Act or the Canadian Space Agency Act, with substantive positions within the CSA.

Women make up 45.1% of active CSA employees. Their representativeness is above their workforce availability (WFA) across all occupational categories.

Members of visible minorities account for 17.9% of active employees, a figure below their WFA (19.7%). They are under-represented in the Management; Administrative and Foreign Service; and Scientific and Professional categories.

Persons with disabilities account for 6.0% of active employees, a figure that is below their WFA (8.4%) They are under-represented in the Administrative and Foreign Service and Scientific and Professional categories.

Indigenous Peoples account for 1.4% of active employees, and this is consistent with their WFA (1.1%). However, they are under-represented in the Executive category.

Table 1 – Representativeness and Workforce Availability (WFA) Rates as of  (%)
Women Visible Minority Members Persons with Disabilities Indigenous Peoples
Rep. WFA Rep. WFA Rep. WFA Rep. WFA
Executive 40.9% 39.7% 4.5% 13.0% 9.1% 5.3% 0.0% 4.1%
Scientific and Professional 26.2% 19.7% 21.9% 25.0% 5.0% 7.7% 1.0% 0.9%
Administration and Foreign Service 66.4% 58.5% 13.2% 14.9% 4.5% 9.9% 1.8% 0.8%
Technical 21.9% 17.4% 18.8% 12.5% 12.5% 6.6% 3.1% 2.7%
Administrative Support 85.7% 76.4% 22.4% 16.3% 14.3% 9.5% 2.0% 1.3%
CSA 45.1% 38.2% 17.9% 19.7% 6.0% 8.4% 1.4% 1.1%

Table 1 – Representativeness and Workforce Availability (WFA) Rates as of  (%)

The data include active indeterminate and term employees with a substantive position at the CSA.

With respect to hires and departures, the CSA hired 65 new employees in 2019-2020; however, 63 employees retired or left the Agency to work elsewhere.

The breakdown of the 65 new employees hired in 2019-2020 is as follows: 24 are in the Administrative and Foreign Service category; 20 in the Scientific and Professional category; 17 in the Administrative and Support category; three in the Technical category; and one in the Operational category. There were no external appointments in the Management category. In terms of employment equity, 40 of the 65 new employees are women (61.5%), 10 are members of a visible minority (15.4%), four are persons with disabilities (5.5%) and two are Indigenous Peoples (3.1%). As depicted in the following diagram, the ratio of hires over three years for all designated groups is greater than their representativeness.

Figure 1 – Three-Year Hiring Ratio by Designated Group and Occupational Category
and Professional
and Foreign Service
Women 2.27 0.98 1.09 1.54
Visible Minority Members 1.20 1.70 1.55 1.27
Persons with Disabilities 1.19
Indigenous Peoples 2.01
Parity 1 1 1 1

The 63 employees who left the Agency include 34 women (54%), 10 members of visible minorities (MVM) (15.9%), one person with disabilities (1.6%) and one Indigenous Person (1.6%). The ratio of exiting women over three years is greater than their representativeness in the Scientific and Professional category (1.38) and in the CSA as a whole (1.22). The ratio of exiting MVM over a three-year period is greater than 1.00 in the Scientific and Professional category (1.15) and in the Administrative and Foreign Service category (1.08). The ratio of exiting persons with disabilities is lower than their representativeness (0.88), while it is greater among Indigenous employees (1.96).

Figure 2 – Three-Year Departure Ratio by Designated Group and Occupational Category
and Professional
and Foreign Service
Women 1.38 0.97 0.97 1.22
Visible Minority Members 1.15 1.08 0.42 0.81
Persons with Disabilities 0.88
Indigenous Peoples 1.96
Parity 1 1 1 1

The gaps revealed in Table 1 translated into hiring targets of a total of 34 members of designated groups based on the CSA workforce as of .

Table 2 – Hiring Targets as of
Professional Category (Occupational Group(s)) Women Indigenous Peoples Persons with disabilities Visible Minority Members
Executive (EX) Representative 1 Representative 1
Scientific and Professional (BI, EC, ED-EDS, EN-ENG, LS, MD, PC, SE-REM) Representative Representative 10 9
Administrative and Foreign Service (AS, CO, CS, FI, IS, PE, PG, PM) Representative Representative 10 3
Technical (EG, EL, GT) Representative Representative Representative Representative
Administrative Support (CR) Representative Representative Representative Representative
Total 1 20 13

Table 2 – Hiring Targets as of

It is therefore important to ensure that employees who are members of designated groups have the same advancement opportunities as other employees. Over the past three years, all designated groups, with the exception of persons with disabilities, have been promoted at a proportion that is greater than or equal to their WFA.

Due to the low number of promotions (less than 6), data for people with disabilities and Indigenous Peoples are not captured by occupational categories.

Figure 3 – Ratios de promotion par groupe désigné – trois dernières années (de - à -)
and Professional
and Foreign Service
Women 1.63 1.00 1.00 1.27
Visible Minority Members 1.23 1.47 1.12 1.13
Persons with Disabilities 0.57
Indigenous Peoples 1.39
Parity 1 1 1 1

The data include indeterminate and determinate employees with a substantive position at the CSA

Although promotion rates for most of the designated groups are equal to or greater than their representativeness, these groups have a lower representativeness in executive positions. As depicted in the following diagram, the CSA must continue to pursue efforts to increase the proportion of supervisors and managers belonging to designated groups to meet representativeness targets.

Figure 4 – Breakdown of Members of Designated Groups Among Supervisors and Managers as of
Women Visible
Minority Mermbers
with Disabilities
Supervisors 40% 8% 3%
Managers 36% 13% 7%
CSA Representativity 46% 18% 8%

Reviewing Appointment Processes Through an Employment Equity Lens

Three advertised external appointment processes carried out during the period between , and , were reviewed through an employment equity lens.

The objectives of the review were to:

  • Identify any adverse impact of assessment tools on candidates that are members of an employment equity group.
  • Review statements of merit criteria and job advertisements to identify potential barriers.

Changes in employment equity representativeness during the assessment stages of appointment processes were reviewed.

The following recommendations were issued with respect to external processes:

  1. Use strategies to reach more persons with disabilities and Indigenous Peoples.
  2. Pay special and thoughtful attention to job advertisements, merit criteria, assessment tools and volume management.
  3. Review the success rate of candidates belonging to designated groups compared to other groups on an ad hoc basis and make adjustments, as needed.

Other recommendations touched on a similar review of appointment processes.


At the date of this Action Plan, the Director General, Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer is the senior official responsible for employment equity, diversity and inclusion at the CSA and ensures that the organization adheres to its obligations and commitments.

An equity, diversity and inclusion champion and co-champion are appointed in consultation with the Executive Committee (EC). The champion is a member of the EC while the co-champion is an executive (director level).

The CSA has also set up a variety of committees to support senior management in the building of a diverse and inclusive workplace. These include:

  • Employment Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee
  • Women in Science, Technology and Management Committee
  • Visible Minorities Network

Expectations from Representatives of Designated Groups at the CSA

The following expectations were heard during consultations with networks/committees representing designated groups within the CSA:

  • increase the representativeness of designated groups, particularly members of visible minorities and women in science, in the executive group;
  • ensure the representativeness of designated groups in governance bodies;
  • develop targeted training/development programs;
  • CSA executives to implement the concepts of diversity.

Implementing the Action Plan

On this page

The following table outlines the actions that will be taken over the next few years to implement the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Plan. Actions have been grouped under three strategic objectives:

Management Demonstrates its Commitment

Table 3
Activities Performance Indicators and Measures Expected Result Timeline
Incorporate expected Employment Equity (EE) results in sub-delegated staffing managers' performance agreements. Add the phrase "Take action to close gaps in EE representativeness at the time of hiring" as a performance objective for executives. Close organizational gaps by March 31 each year. Annually
Take action and promote staffing practices to ensure EE and diversity. Managers use staffing actions to close representativeness gaps for EE groups. These actions are in the HRBP or addressed in the Policy on Appointment Processes, and include:
  • limit and expand the area of selection for advertised processes to candidates from under-represented designated groups;
  • apply an "employment equity organizational need" merit criteria to select qualified candidates from a pool, either on a priority basis for hiring targets for the occupational group of the position, or to increase representativeness across the organization (optional contextual selection);
  • use targeted pools/inventories of qualified designated group candidates;
  • use a non-advertised appointment process to increase EE representativeness
Close organizational gaps by March 31 each year and by 100% within three years.
Appoint Indigenous employees and Black and other racialized employees to and within the Executive Group. Elimination of gaps.
Constitute assessment boards that are representative of the Canadian population and if necessary, use members from other departments. Each assessment board has at least one member of a designated group. Ongoing
Management completes training on unconscious bias in recruitment. Mandatory "anti-racism" and "Unconscious bias" training for managers and directors; training strongly encouraged for all other employees. Training added to mandatory training to be undertaken within a given period, with follow-up to ensure compliance with the timeline. Ongoing
Create forums where management and employees, including members of designated groups, can hold discussions to combat racism and identify biases, if applicable. Sessions organized and findings released. All members of management attend at least one session. 3 times a year

An Equitable, Diverse and Inclusive Workplace

Table 4
Activities Performance Indicators and Measures Target to be Met Timeline
Extend outreach to community groups and increase networking to attract candidates from diverse, designated groups. Participate in activities/committees to increase the CSA's visibility as an employer of choice. Participate in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) committee for Indigenous Peoples and in other activities throughout the year. Annually
Distribute job advertisements for targeted processes to designated groups. Increase in members of designated groups who apply to appointment processes. Ongoing
Retain members of designated groups. Review the process for exiting employees to analyze why MVM leave and to take measures to ensure their retention. The exit rate for MVM is the same as or lower than their representativeness within the CSA. In
Review positive results in the Public Service Employee Survey (PSES) on the question pertaining to employee exit. Annually, after the PSES
Provide a mentoring program for employees, and MVM in particular. Mentoring program in place. The percentage of MVM employees participating in the mentoring program is representative. -
Promote the Talent Management (TM) Program for MVM. MVM identified through the TM Program in a manner that reflects representativeness. MVM representativeness in the TM Program is equal to or greater than their representativeness within the CSA. Annually
Provide development opportunities for MVM. Track proportion of acting assignments available to employees from visible minority groups. MVM and non-MVM employees have the same rate of positive responses. Annually

Organizational Policies and Practices Respect and Promote Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Table 5
Activities Performance Indicators and Measures Target to be Met Timeline
Consult groups representing MVM when reviewing or developing policies. Implement a consultation framework and record feedback. Systemic consultations. As required
Consult persons with disabilities if a situation is likely to affect them, as described in the CSA Accessibility Plan. Establish a consultation process for persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities are consulted if a situation will affect them.
Review external staffing processes to determine inclusion of MVM throughout the process. In external processes, review the success rate of candidates belonging to designated groups in relation to other groups on an ad hoc basis and make the necessary adjustments during the process. Group representativeness maintained throughout the process.
Use activities to increase employee awareness of EE, diversity and inclusion. Organize and promote awareness activities/conferences to combat racism and discrimination. Awareness activities/ conferences organized on a monthly basis. Monthly
Reliable percentage of positive responses to PSES question "Q40: My department or agency implements activities and practices that support a diverse and inclusive workplace." Results pertaining to the PSES question reflect an improvement in respondents' positive responses compared to previous survey.
Improve the PSES results pertaining to harassment, with special focus on question on racism and persons with disabilities. Positive results to the PSES question on harassment. Results pertaining to the PSES question reflect a decrease in the proportion of visible minority employees who say that they have been victims of harassment. Annually, after the PSES.


Legislative Requirements

Table 6
Activities Performance Indicators and Measures Target to be Met Timeline
Collect workforce information through self- identification questionnaires. Annual self-declaration campaign. 90% of employees complete the questionnaire. Annually
Conduct workforce analysis. Analyze the workforce and identify gaps, taking into consideration employment categories and workforce availability for designated groups. Tables with EE hiring targets are available and published within the established timeline. Annually, on Sept. 30 and March 31
Analyze personnel movement within the CSA. Analyze data on hiring, departure and promotion rates for designated groups. Analysis carried out and shared with relevant stakeholders. Annually, on Sept. 30 and March 31
Complete an employment systems review to ensure that systems are inclusive and free of bias for designated groups. Employment Systems Review. Eliminate bias for MVM in employment systems, if applicable. In -
Date modified: