This paper analyzes the key findings of a study that examines the low representation of visible minorities in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and the reluctance of this population to make the CAF a career choice. The study addressed the CAF’s ability to comply with the Employment Equity (EE) Act, which stipulates that the representation of four designated group members (DGMs, i.e., women, Aboriginals, visible minorities and persons with disabilities) in the CAF’s internal labour force be commensurate with their external labour force participation. The study indicates that visible minorities do not perceive the CAF as a viable career choice, preferring careers in professions such as engineering, business, law, medicine, or entrepreneurship. Visible minority populations also perceive the military as a low status profession, and postings and deployment are seen as inconsistent with the lifestyle of these close-knit families and communities. These findings suggest that culture of origin plays a significant role in visible minorities’ perception of the military and will continue to influence the CAF’s ability to recruit from within these populations unless there are changes in their cultural norms. Even with new recruitment strategies and outreach initiatives, the CAF may continue to encounter challenges in achieving the representation of visible minorities required by the EE Act.
|Keywords:||Visible Minorities, Canadian Forces, Employment Equity Act and Compliance, Diversity, Recruitment, Designated Groups, Cultural Communities and the Military|
Defence Scientist, Director General Military Personnel Research and Analysis, Department of National Defence, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada