Diversity in the Public Service

first_imgThe province is encouraging more people from diverse backgrounds to consider a career in the provincial public service. “Diversity is what makes us stronger,” said Human Resources Minister Carolyn Bolivar-Getson. “Having a public service that is representative of Nova Scotia’s diverse population will help us develop and deliver better policy, programs and services across the province.” One of the five goals of the Nova Scotia government’s five-year human resource strategic plan is to have a diverse workforce. This goal includes providing a workplace free of discrimination, that values diversity and reflects the communities it serves. Nova Scotia’s four designated groups are: Aboriginal people, persons with disabilities, African-Nova Scotians and other racially visible people, and women in under-represented occupations. “About six per cent of applicants for public service jobs self-identify as being a member of a designated group and we’d like to encourage more to come forward,” said Public Service Commission diversity consultant, Charlie MacDonald. “We want them to know that they will be welcomed into the workplace, have opportunities for personal growth and career advancement, all while giving back to their province.” The government is working to achieve their diversity goal in a number of ways. The Diversity Round Table was established with representation from a number of departments and agencies to identify diversity-related issues and to provide advice to the Public Service Commission. Public servants have access to a number of training programs including mandatory full-day Diversity and Employment Equity Education, as well as Aboriginal Perceptions, Cultural Competence, and Diversity for Leaders programs. Other steps include ensuring employment policies are based on equity, making it easy for employees to self-identify, and offering diversity employment programs such as the Diversity Talent Pool, Diversity Accommodation Fund, and the Career Starts youth recruitment programs. Kevin Penny, a supervisor with post-secondary disability services, Department of Education, received assistance through the Diversity Accommodation Fund. Mr. Penny, 30, has used a wheelchair since he was 15 years old. Through the fund his office was equipped with a special desk and a voice recognition system for his computer. “Being independent at work, I think, is the biggest thing for me. Now having the accommodation set up for me and being able to be independent makes the job that much more enjoyable,” he said. “I think its important to get folks, talented folks with disabilities, into the workforce and contributing to a productive workplace.” Ms. Boliver-Getson said “While we have been making progress on the diversity front within the public service, we realize there is so much more to do, and we are committed to continuing with our efforts.” During her speech at an event to celebrate diversity in the public service today, June 19, the minister recognized the diversity agenda is being advanced by many individuals and teams across government, acknowledging several recent examples. — On June 12, two public servants were awarded the Premier’s Award of Excellence for their work on diversity issues. — In May, the Public Service Commission’s Diversity Committee, in partnership with the Diversity Round Table, hosted the first Diversity Speaker Series event with a dialogue on the Islamic faith featuring Dr. Jamal Badawi. — In April, the Department of Natural Resources announced it had designated three full-time conservation, enforcement and liaison officer positions for members of the Mi’kmaq community. –- In March, the Department of Environment and Labour kicked-off their department’s work on diversity by hosting an education forum for their staff. — In 2006, Communications Nova Scotia was recognized by the Human Rights Commission as a diversity champion in the workplacelast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *