Equal Opportunity Employers

How to Identify Equal Opportunity Employers

Identifying organizations that practice inclusive hiring is a good start in your job search, especially if you are concerned about discrimination. Recruiting a diverse workforce is on the agenda of many organizations. You may see inclusive job posting statements similar to this: “We are an equal opportunity employer and welcome applications from all equity-seeking groups including visible minorities, people with disabilities and women.” Of course it can be difficult to know if these values are actively practiced, here are some questions to consider when you are looking into a company:

  • Is there an HR representative who specifically works with equity-seeking groups?
  • Do they have working groups for employees with disabilities? 
  • What does their professional development include?
  • What is the company’s policy on discrimination?

Keep in mind that even if an organization does have good diversity policies, individuals within the company may not be as open so it’s a good idea to understand how the organization reacts to discrimination if there ever is a problem. Of course, the best way to get to know an organization’s culture is to get to know the employees themselves. Use your network to see if they know anyone in the company, or reach out to a new contact and ask about conducting an informational interview.

Targeted Programs for Students with Disabilities

  • Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP)  is a federal-run ongoing recruitment program connecting full-time students to employment opportunities offered by the Government of Canada, the top student employer in Canada. Within FSWEP there is the Employment Opportunity for Students with Disabilities (EOSD) inventory. This targeted collection of jobs will help ensure that successful applicants gain the correct support, training, and networking opportunities needed to fulfill their duties.
  • Government of Canada’s Post-Secondary CO-OP / Internship Program (CO-OP) provides meaningful opportunities for students to benefit from a diverse and inclusive workplace while getting hands-on experience at the start of their careers. 
  • Research Affiliate Program (RAP)  is a federal-run ongoing recruitment program connecting full-time students to opportunities to earn an hourly rate or a stipend while pursuing research in an area of interest.
  • Work-Able BC is a provincial program that offers 12-month paid internship with the BC Public Service to post-graduate students with disabilities. Eligible applicants must be recent graduates from a post-secondary institute within the last three years. This program provides learning, coaching, and mentorship to a group of up to 15 interns each year.
  • The Lime Connect Fellowship Program matches university students and alumni with disabilities to full-time co-op, internship, and scholarship opportunities with some of Canada’s top corporations.

Targeted Programs for Post-Secondary Graduates

  • Post-Secondary Recruitment (PSR) is a federal-run program that helps college and university graduates explore the diverse range of jobs within the Government of Canada.
  • Recruitment of Policy Leaders (RPL) is another federal-run program aimed at providing post-graduates mid-to-senior level policy positions across the Government of Canada where the help shape public policy for challenges facing Canada today.