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Military's diversity, inclusion efforts plagued by shortcomings: internal review

daftandbarmy

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Depsite the findings it's nice to see an internal report like this, for a change, which suggests that someone has their hand on the tiller (no pun intended, for a change :) ):


Military's diversity, inclusion efforts plagued by shortcomings: internal review​

An internal Defence Department review completed last fall found significant problems and shortcomings in attempts to promote diversity and inclusion across the Canadian Armed Forces.

Those problems included a lack of leadership and insufficient resources and time to push real change, with reviewers suggesting in their final report that the entire effort was poorly defined and planned from the start.

The military also failed to set up any ways to measure whether the work they were doing was having any success aside from trying to recruit more women, Indigenous Canadians and people of colour, according to the report.

"There lacks a common understanding of the overall vision, objectives, outcomes and indicators of success for diversity and inclusion across DND and the CAF," reads one of the report’s key findings.

The review was completed in September, before the recent rash of allegations of sexual misconduct involving several top commanders, which has cast a harsh light on the military’s failure to eradicate such behaviour despite years of promises.

The government has since asked retired Supreme Court justice Louise Arbour to come up with ways to finally eliminate inappropriate sexual behaviour in the Canadian Armed Forces.

A senior female officer, Lt.-Gen. Jennie Carignan, has also been officially tapped to lead the military’s efforts to change its culture, which will include implementing Arbour’s recommendations and addressing hate in the ranks.

The report, which was only recently published on the Defence Department’s website, underscores the importance of promoting diversity and inclusion in eliminating barriers and creating organizations that are "high performing and operationally effective."

It also references past assertions by the government and senior commanders that such efforts will help with recruitment at a time when the military is trying to attract more people, and ensure it better reflects Canadian society.

Yet the review found that despite plans to spend around $600 million a year on initiatives such as research, training and recruitment, those efforts were hamstrung by "a lack of common understanding of what diversity and inclusion entails."

The review also found that there were two different structures set up to manage initiatives, resulting in "unclear roles and responsibilities (that have) created challenges such as pursuing different directions and priorities."

"This has created gaps and duplication of efforts with respect to diversity and inclusion initiatives across DND and the CAF," the report adds. "This has further negatively impacted the design and delivery of the diversity and inclusion activities and initiatives."

One area where the military has clear targets is around the percentage of members who identify as women, Indigenous Canadians or people of colour, with the aim of increasing representation of each by 2026.

While the report notes that momentum has been slow across the board, as has been previously reported by The Canadian Press, the reviewers expressed some concern that the targets largely represent the only metric being used to assess progress.

"More recent information and data are needed to report on the current state of diversity (and) inclusion within DND and the CAF," reads another of the report’s key findings.

Defence Department spokeswoman Lisa Fiander said in an email that officials are working to address the shortcoming identified in the report, starting with the creation of a new committee headed by senior military and civilian officials to oversee the effort.

A five-year plan is also being developed to increase the representation of women, Indigenous Canadians and people of colour in the ranks, she said, while an advisory panel on systemic racism and discrimination was created in December.

"Our self-examination has not stopped there," Fiander added, noting Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has asked military ombudsman Gregory Lick to conduct his own investigation into diversity issues in the department and military.

Military's diversity, inclusion efforts plagued by shortcomings: internal review
 
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daftandbarmy

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I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry.

Why not do both. It would be appropriate in this case I would venture.

Sad Kristen Bell GIF
 

Navy_Pete

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So we don't really know why the previous program didn't work because it was poorly planned, inadequately resourced and not clearly defined, so we're getting a pool of the same people together to try and come up with something different?

But sure, poor leadership in the execution of the unclear, underfunded plan.

DND isn't really all that inclusive towards keeping existing members either, but at least the 'if you don't like it, get out' offer is an equal opportunity initiative.
 

Brad Sallows

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A new committee, and a five year plan! All will be well.

I suppose someone must have done some kind of feasibility study at some point to determine, for example, what percentage of each year's women graduating high school have "career in CAF" among top 3 choices, and particularly, "career in CAF pointy-end jobs". Never actually been shown the numbers, though.
 

FSTO

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A new committee, and a five year plan! All will be well.

I suppose someone must have done some kind of feasibility study at some point to determine, for example, what percentage of each year's women graduating high school have "career in CAF" among top 3 choices, and particularly, "career in CAF pointy-end jobs". Never actually been shown the numbers, though.
Maybe they did and didn't like the data they received.
 

CBH99

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So DND and the GoC can find around $600 million a year to help execute this “foggy, non specific idea that sounds nice” - but EITS is still short a flightsuit, and we can’t fund a one time purchase of DMR’s?

We have over a billion magically appear to buy used Australian jets which were never planned for, and $600 million to help get this idea going with “research, training, and recruitment” - but our goals are poorly defined?

How can something be funded to the tune of around $600 million, with apparently no clear plan on how to spend it, since we don’t have a specific goal or a way to measure if we’ve reached it?

(Or is that $600 million already a part of regular spending, and I just confused myself?)


What would we consider success in regards to this issue though? And how would we measure it?
 

dapaterson

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Remember, about 1/3 of DND/CAF spending is Regular Force pay (ignoring the employer share if CFSA, CPP and EI). That's likely a significant chunk of that $600M.
 

CBH99

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Remember, about 1/3 of DND/CAF spending is Regular Force pay (ignoring the employer share if CFSA, CPP and EI). That's likely a significant chunk of that $600M.
Good point, and critical to remember.

However, that still leaves "roughly" $400 million...

I guess my question is - is the $600 million for 'research, training and recruitment' part of funds already used for already existing training, recruiting centres, etc. Or is this $600 million set aside specifically to recruit more women, and more people of colour?
 

daftandbarmy

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Good point, and critical to remember.

However, that still leaves "roughly" $400 million...

I guess my question is - is the $600 million for 'research, training and recruitment' part of funds already used for already existing training, recruiting centres, etc. Or is this $600 million set aside specifically to recruit more women, and more people of colour?

Dude... 'diversity' is more than just about recruiting more women and PoCs.

And therein lies one of the key planning issues, I suppose ;)
 

Navy_Pete

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I'd really like to see the breakdown of how that $600M is allocated.
$10M on existing plans; $590M in 'reserved funding' to be returned at end of fiscal. They don't actually have to have an actual plan to spend money to make a PR announcement, nor does it actually have to be officially allocated anywhere.

They can splash out on some third party reports (usually telling us what our own internal staffwork already says, but in more details and with better graphics than a briefing note), renovate someone's office and create yet another senior executive position without actually accomplishing anything. Even in Ottawa there are groups that the rest of the bureaucracy avoids so things can maybe get done... working in the NCR sometimes feels like guerilla warfare with paperwork and forms, and things get done despite the business processes.
 

daftandbarmy

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$10M on existing plans; $590M in 'reserved funding' to be returned at end of fiscal. They don't actually have to have an actual plan to spend money to make a PR announcement, nor does it actually have to be officially allocated anywhere.

They can splash out on some third party reports (usually telling us what our own internal staffwork already says, but in more details and with better graphics than a briefing note), renovate someone's office and create yet another senior executive position without actually accomplishing anything. Even in Ottawa there are groups that the rest of the bureaucracy avoids so things can maybe get done... working in the NCR sometimes feels like guerilla warfare with paperwork and forms, and things get done despite the business processes.

Don't worry....

Office Space Reaction GIF
 

Good2Golf

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Remember, about 1/3 of DND/CAF spending is Regular Force pay (ignoring the employer share if CFSA, CPP and EI). That's likely a significant chunk of that $600M.
Ah, so classic Governmental ‘re-announcing’ funding, since half of it is already a funded statutory expenditure... 🥱
 

CBH99

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Dude... 'diversity' is more than just about recruiting more women and PoCs.

And therein lies one of the key planning issues, I suppose ;)
Oh I know there is! 🤥

Just hadn't had my coffee yet, that's all... 🤷‍♂️
 
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