Ridout Barron


Controversy over gender-based hiring practices

Some Alberta readers might find a recent piece discussing the situation of a 56-year-old Caucasian male who couldn't find a job with the city of Toronto interesting. Despite his extensive qualifications as listed on his resume, he struggled with getting an interview, so he decided to investigate further to see if he was the victim of employment discrimination. While there was little data available for three of the groups, he easily found employment data for women, and he claims that he found that the city focused on hiring the disabled, women, and minorities. 

Several divisions showed an even distribution between the sexes. Other divisions, including Fire Services, Children's Services and Solid Waste Management showed large differences, but the inequalities were understandable, claims the author of the piece profiling the man's situation. In these cases, even active recruitment of women might not make a noticeable difference in the large gender gap. The City Council has instructed Police Services and Fire Services to focus on recruiting women. However, Children's Services apparently did not receive a similar recruitment directive in regards to men.

Other agencies reportedly had percentages ranging from 59 to 82 percent female, and the largest employed nearly 2,100 people. They included Economic Development and Culture, Strategic Communications, Toronto Employment and Social Services, EDHR, Policy, Planning, Finance and Administration, and Strategic and Corporate Policy. The author of the piece posited that these agencies could benefit from a focus on equalization of the numbers of men and women employed.

Some individuals may perceive themselves to be the target of discriminatory hiring practices, whether due to gender, sexual orientation, race or religion, when struggling to find gainful employment. An employment law lawyer may be able to evaluate their case to see if such discrimination did occur and build a case on their behalf if so.

Source: National Post, "Barbara Kay: Affirmative action for her, but never for him", Barbara Kay, March 12, 2014

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