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White Paper

Working together: Indigenous recruitment and retention in remote Canadaexternal link icon

2019: Fiser, A., Lalonde, M., and MacLaine, C. Conference Board of Canada
This report examines the current situation of Indigenous recruitment and retention for organizations operating in Canada’s Northern and remote regions. Its mixed methods approach integrates findings from a survey of Northern and remote employers conducted by the Centre for the North, along with expert interviews, and an environmental scan of policy and research. The report identifies persistent challenges that employers and Indigenous employees continue to face and highlights best practices to help employers develop effective recruitment and retention strategies suitable for Canada’s Northern and remote regions. Our discussion of challenges and best practices also guides readers through the evolving landscape of policy and public opinion surrounding Indigenous recruitment and retention issues in Canada.
Fiser, A., Lalonde, M., and MacLaine, C. (2019). Working together: Indigenous recruitment and retention in remote Canada. Ottawa, ON: Conference Board of Canada. Retrieved from https://www.conferenceboard.ca/temp/38c40812-7f38-4f90-933b-0e467c269d14/10121_IndigenousEmployment-RPT.pdf.
White Paper

Workforce composition, productivity and pay: The role of firms in wage inequalityexternal link icon

2020: Criscuolo, C., Hijzen, A., Schwellnus, C., Barth, E., Chen, W., Fabling, R., Fialho, P., Grabska, K., Kambayashi, R., Skans, O., Riom, C., Roth, D., Stadler, B., Upward, R., and Zwysen, W. OECD Publishing
In many OECD countries, low productivity growth has coincided with rising inequality. Widening wage and productivity gaps between firms may have contributed to both developments. This paper uses a new harmonised cross-country linked employer-employee dataset for 14 OECD countries to analyse the role of firms in wage inequality. The main finding is that, on average across countries, changes in the dispersion of average wages between firms explain about half of the changes in overall wage inequality. Two thirds of these changes in between-firm wage inequality are accounted for by changes in productivity-related premia that firms pay their workers above common market wages. The remaining third can be attributed to changes in workforce composition, including the sorting of high-skilled workers into high-paying firms. Over all, these results suggest that firms play an important role in explaining wage inequality as wages are driven to a significant extent by firm performance rather than being exclusively determined by workers’ earnings characteristics.
Criscuolo, C., Hijzen, A., Schwellnus, C., Barth, E., Chen, W., Fabling, R., Fialho, P., Grabska, K., Kambayashi, R., Skans, O., Riom, C., Roth, D., Stadler, B., Upward, R., and Zwysen, W. (2020). Workforce composition, productivity and pay: The role of firms in wage inequality. OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers:241. Paris, France: OECD Publishing. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/0830227e-en.
White Paper

Working during COVID-19: Cross-country evidence from real-time survey dataexternal link icon

2020: Galasso, V. and Foucault, M. OECD Publishing
The outbreak of COVID-19 and the unprecedented measures taken by many countries to slow down the spread of the coronavirus caused large economic and psychological costs. This paper uses real time survey data from two waves run at the end of March and in midApril to provide a snapshot of the actual labour market outcomes in twelve countries. Our study reveals large cross-country differences. At the end of March, when large disparity existed in the diffusion of the pandemic and in the lockdown measures, a large share of employed individuals had stopped working in France (38%) and Italy (47%), but much less in Australia (13%) and the US (10%). Large differences remained in mid-April. Yet, some common patterns emerge. Labour market outcomes varied according to workers’ educational attainments and occupation types. College graduates and white collars worked more from home and less from the regular workplace. Instead, low educated workers and blue collars were more likely to remain in the regular work place or to stop working. Similar patterns emerge with respect to the workers’ (family) income. This evidence suggests that initial labour market effects of COVID-19 (and of the lockdown measures) may have contributed to increase pre-existing inequalities.
Galasso, V. and Foucault, M. (2020). Working during COVID-19: Cross-country evidence from real-time survey data. OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers:246. Paris, France: OECD Publishing. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/34a2c306-en.
Book

Women, power, politics: The hidden story of Canada’s unfinished democracyexternal link icon

2009: Bashevkin, S. Oxford University Press
Women's participation in politics matters very much. Yet in Canada, women MPs have been stuck at a level of roughly one-fifth since 1993. Although we may believe women are making progress, their representation in politics seems decidedly stalled. So it comes as no surprise that we hear little about issues of particular interest to women-breast cancer, violence against women, or the poverty of single mothers. In this engaging, no-nonsense, and witty book, Sylvia Bashevkin argues that Canadians have a profound unease with women in positions of political authority—what she calls the "women plus power equals discomfort" equation. She explores the specific reasons why this discomfort is particularly severe in Canada. Bashevkin also evaluates a range of barriers faced by women who enter politics, including the media's role in assessing the leadership styles, personal appearances, and private lives of female politicians. In clear, accessible terms, Bashevkin explains concepts such as "gender schemas" and "media framing" in terms of key examples, such as Belinda Stronach and Hillary Clinton. Finally, Bashevkin outlines some compelling solutions to address the stalemate facing women in Canadian politics.
Bashevkin, S. (2009). Women, power, politics: The hidden story of Canada’s unfinished democracy. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
White Paper

Women and the workplace – How employers can advance equality and diversityexternal link icon

2019: Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)
This report provides strategies and resources employers can use to advance women's participation in the workplace. It is based on presentations and discussions held during a two-day Symposium on Women and the Workplace held at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management in May 2019. 240 Canadian leaders and champions of workplace gender equality and diversity shared best practices to inspire and advance women's participation in the workplace. Presenters and participants came from the public and private sector, unions, academia, industry and human resource associations and civil society organizations. Although their perspectives varied, there was general agreement on three key components to advancing workplace gender equality and diversity in Canada: Increasing awareness about gender equality and challenging widespread myths Changing structures instead of people Adopting an intersectional approach to gender equality in the workplace Best practice strategies that emerged during the Symposium centred around three phases of the employment cycle: hiring, retention and career advancement.
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) (2019). Women and the workplace – How employers can advance equality and diversity. Ottawa, ON: Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). Retrieved from https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/reports/women-symposium.html.
White Paper

Who can work from home?external link icon

2020: Yasenov, V. IZA – Institute of Labor Economics
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many states have adopted stay-at-home orders, rendering a large segment of the workforce unable to continue doing their jobs. These policies have distributional consequences, as workers in some occupations may be better able to continue their work from home. I identify the segments of the U.S. workforce that can plausibly work from home by linking occupation data from O*NET to the American Community Survey. I find that lower-wage workers are up to three times less likely to be able to work from home than higher-wage workers. Those with lower levels of education, younger adults, ethnic minorities, and immigrants are also concentrated in occupations that are less likely to be performed from home.
Yasenov, V. (2020). Who can work from home?. IZA Discussion Paper:13197. Bonn, Germany: IZA – Institute of Labor Economics. Retrieved from http://ftp.iza.org/dp13197.pdf.
Journal Article

Who goes into STEM disciplines? Evidence from the Youth in Transition Surveyexternal link icon

2018: Finnie, R. and Childs, S.
This article presents an empirical analysis of access to post-secondary education (PSE) as it pertains to students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs, who are vital to the nation’s economic performance, especially with respect to its information and communication technology (ICT) sector. The analysis is based on the rich Youth in Transition Survey, Cohort A (YITS–A), which follows a representative sample of Canadian youth age 15 in 1999 through to the normal point at which PSE decisions are made. The main findings include that female students go into STEM disciplines at a much lower rate than male students, even after controlling for a broad set of control variables, including high school grades in math and science. Conversely, visible minorities, especially those who are first-generation immigrants, and particularly those from a specific set of regions, participate at much higher rates than others. These results have implications for the ICT talent pool of the future.
Finnie, R. and Childs, S. (2018). Who goes into STEM disciplines? Evidence from the Youth in Transition Survey. Canadian Public Policy, 44(S1), S43–S55. Retrieved from https://www.utpjournals.press/doi/pdf/10.3138/cpp.2017-077.
White Paper

Who can log in? The importance of skills for the feasibility of teleworking arrangements across OECD countriesexternal link icon

2020: Espinoza, R. and Reznikova, L. OECD Publishing
COVID-19 lockdowns have radically changed the working arrangements for millions of workers. But who are the workers best positioned to work from home? Drawing on data from the OECD Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), we show that workers possessing higher levels of skills are significantly more likely to telework in OECD countries. We show that while 30% of workers could telework across the OECD, the likelihood decreases for workers without tertiary education and with lower levels of numeracy and literacy skills. The findings raise important questions with respect to the extent to which the pandemic could exacerbate existing labour market inequalities, and the extent to which these inequalities could further worsen amidst intensified technology adoption in the pandemic’s aftermath.
Espinoza, R. and Reznikova, L. (2020). Who can log in? The importance of skills for the feasibility of teleworking arrangements across OECD countries. OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers:242. Paris, France: OECD Publishing. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/3f115a10-en.

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