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More than half of Indigenous Canadians have experienced workplace discrimination: Survey

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January 10, 2024
By Talent Canada

More than half of Indigenous Canadians (58.6%) have experienced discrimination in their current workplace, according to a new survey.

The survey, of 500 Canadians who identify as Indigenous, uncovered “several startling statistics,” according to ComIT.org, a registered charity focused on the tech industry that conducted it.

A nearly equal number (56.2%) said they have downplayed their Indigenous backgrounds to “fit in better at the workplace.”

“In many ways, the stats around bias and discrimination are the most concerning,” said Pablo Listingart, founder and executive-director of ComIT.org. “If Indigenous Canadians are being cast aside or locked out of even applying for jobs, we clearly have a long way to go to ensure an even playing field.”


Promotions, C-suite representation

More than six in 10 (61.6%) said they are less likely to be promoted simply based on being Indigenous.

And nearly every respondent (97.2%) said there is a lack of representation of Indigenous voices in C-suite positions in the tech industry.

Landing a job

Many Indigenous Canadians (62.4%) report experiencing bias when applying for a job, according to the survey.

And more than half (52.6%) said they have “played down” their Indigenous background to get a job. And more than a third (33.8%) have chosen not to list being Indigenous on their social media profiles.

Barriers to a career in digital skills

Asked what the main barriers to follow a career in digital skills would be, Indigenous Canadians surveyed said:

  • 54% – Lack of access to education for economic reasons.
  • 52.2 – Having to move away from my community / Lack of remote job opportunities.
  • 43.8 – Lack of support from my family to pursue that type of career.
  • 38.2 – Lack of access to remote alternatives of education.
  • 31.8% – Unreliable connectivity / No internet in my area.

“In recent years, significant attention has been devoted to addressing the connectivity infrastructure challenges faced by Indigenous communities in remote areas,” said Listingart. “While this remains a crucial issue requiring attention in North America, our survey highlights a broader range of concerns perceived as more pressing by those who responded. These include the absence of remote job opportunities and remote education options, which are crucial for enabling people to remain in their communities and actively contribute to the well-being of those around them.”

About ComIT.org

ComIT.org is a registered charity that provides free training and professional development opportunities in information technology. Their courses are taught by IT professionals working at leading companies, with a curated curriculum built to ensure graduates are equipped to meet the needs of the immediate labour market, it said in a press release.

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