I believe very strongly in fairness and equality of opportunity in this country. No one should be denied the chance to live their lives to the fullest or contribute to society because of their race, religion or sexual orientation.
Which is why I’m particularly pleased to be part of a government that champions openness and inclusion, one that experiments with new ways of opening up opportunities for people rather than closing doors against them.
So I was heartened last spring, when the Public Service Commission launched a pilot project to test the use of name-blind recruitment techniques in the federal public service. The idea was to take a look and see if unconscious bias was undermining hiring processes, and, with that, our efforts to continue building a diverse public service.
As I said, we weren’t sure what the pilot project would find, but that’s the thing about evidence-based decision-making. You experiment and you follow the evidence.
Importantly, this ground-breaking pilot used real resumes and real job that needed to be filled. The project did not uncover bias, but the findings do contribute to a growing body of knowledge. They provide us with insights to further explore in our steadfast support of diversity and inclusion in the public service; two critical characteristics of an energized, innovative and effective workforce, able to meet the demands of our ever-changing world.
Broader still, this project speaks to our government’s focus on innovation and experimentation. A government where we don’t accept the status quo, but where we keep exploring, and identifying and assessing interventions to scale up what works, and scale down what doesn’t, in pursuit of improved outcomes.
In every area, including our human resources, we need to challenge assumptions, think experimentally, and constantly measure ourselves against our end goal — better service to Canadians.
With the name-blind recruitment pilot project, we have taken another step in that direction.
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