FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why is FBEC needed at all? Shouldn’t our unions be doing this work?
Yes, but they need help. FBEC works with unions to help them better represent Black employees.

Why not work with all visible minorities so you would have far more members?
FBEC does work with visible minority committees and networks however, FBEC was formed to serve Black employees because previous initiatives focused on visible minorities did little for Black employees.

Self-identification? What’s that?
When you apply for jobs and promotions or fill out the Public Service Employee Survey, you get the option to self-identify first as a visible minority, then as Black.

Won’t self-identifying make it easier for managers to discriminate against me before I even get an interview?
In theory, yes but it also makes it possible for managers looking to diversify their team to choose you. It also and provides information to the Public Service Commission to analyze the hiring and promotions rates of Black employees and for TBS to analyze the mental health and workforce issues that affect you.  FBEC intends to use the data to prove what’s happening to Black employees and work with senior management to improve things. The old saying, “what gets measured gets managed” is especially true in the public service.

How is my privacy and identify protected if I self-identify on a survey?
Survey results are reported as aggregate information which protects employees from being identified. In cases where the survey may result in a small number of people being represented (that could inadvertently identify or be used to identify an individual), those survey results are combined with the results of other groups in order to eliminate the possibility of identifying any individual employee.

Is FBEC doing anything about programs that don’t provide the self-ID option like the Free Agent Program or the Executive Leadership Development Program?
Yes. FBEC has raised this issue with the Office of the Chief Human Resource Officer (OCHRO) at Treasury Board.

Can FBEC help me with my individual case?
FBEC doesn’t have the resources or the mandate to help with individual cases. However, FBEC can help employees find the right resources and use them effectively.

Does FBEC work on issues in the private sector?
No. FBEC is focused on improving things for Black federal public service employees.

What should I do if I know or suspect someone is being discriminated against, but they are unable or unwilling to do anything about it?
Talk to them in private and see if they have anything they want to share. Tell them about FBEC and invite them to our next meeting.

Why is FBEC so anglophone?
We are open to all Black federal public servants and would welcome greater involvement, especially in leadership positions, from our francophone brothers and sisters.

Can non-Black people join FBEC?
FBEC is focused on and run by Black federal government employees but welcomes help from all allies. If you’re an ally join our distribution list for allies.

Couldn’t all FBEC’s gains be wiped out with a change of government?
No. FBEC’s impact goes far beyond programs that can be cancelled. For example, once we have the data on Black employees it can’t be taken away, the Employment Equity Act can’t be easily removed, and the bureaucracy has committed to take actions that promote equity and diversity. FBEC will work with any government to ensure gains for Black employees are protected.

How can I support FBEC in meeting its objectives?

  • Spread the word about FBEC – Share our website address with black colleagues and those wanting to know more.
  • Join one of our task teams – We are supported by a dedicated group of volunteers. Email us to find out more about how you can help.
  • Introduce us to your department – Ask your senior management or visible minority/diversity network to invite us to present to your department, branch or management team.
  • Self-identify – Let’s work together to gather data about Black employees. Ensure you self-identify in surveys, employment processes and within your department.

Why should we believe FBEC will succeed where so many other things supposedly for Black public servants have failed?
Because, together, we’re going to ensure it succeeds. Join us!