On International Women’s Day each year, we take the time to celebrate the extraordinary women in our lives and around the world. While we do this, it is also vital that we take time to reflect on progress made in the march towards gender equality, as well as how we can bring about a more equitable future for women.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on everyone, but it has been particularly devastating for women. As we begin to see provinces move away from pandemic-related restrictions and policies, it is imperative that governments and organizations pay particular attention to the part that women will play in any recovery plan. Women have been more likely to lose their job or choose to leave the workforce over the past 2 years, and we will need to work hard to ensure that our society and our workforce does not regress as we enter a post-pandemic world. Fighting for pay equity and protection from harassment and discrimination are a few of the many ways we can ensure that women aren’t left behind.

For ACFO-ACAF, working towards gender equality for our members and the wider public service begins with the services we offer. Recently, ACFO-ACAF has been working with Canadian Equality Consulting (CEC), a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion consulting firm, to help us reflect on and evaluate our in-house professional development programs, the Joint Career Development Program (JCDP) and the Comptrollership Training Centre (CTC). The study we are conducting with CEC will ensure we are providing training programs and courses for our members which are diverse, equitable and inclusive to everyone who participates.

Along with this, we have also conducted an internal ACFO-ACAF survey for staff to anonymously  and voluntarily self-identify their membership in equity-seeking groups. While this work is ongoing and making progress, we are looking forward to receiving and implementing the recommendations we receive from CEC later this month.

Lastly, work on settling the pay equity complaint filed in 2016 is ongoing and making good progress. We are hopeful that the joint study in collaboration with the employer will be completed in the near future.

The majority of ACFO-ACAF members are women, and as such, we are especially mindful of issues that disproportionately affect women in the workplace. As your union, we will always advocate for you and your interests.

On International Women’s Day 2022, we’re celebrating all of the amazing, hardworking women who work in the CT Community. Thank you for all that you do, and happy #IWD2022!