Affirmative Action in the Manitoba Civil Service : an examination

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Kowalski, Kenneth W.
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This study examined the attitudes of provincial government employees toward the Manitoba Government's Affirmative Action Program. A 1980 Transport Canada study on the differences between male and female civil servant attitudes toward the Federal Government's Equal Opportunity for Women Program established a comparative base for this study's format and analysis. The Transport Canada research was designed to examine the extent to which males and females actually received differential treatment and to examine the goals, expectations and work attitudes of men and women in the Department. There were significant differences in attitudes between the male and female employees toward work-related initiatives; men exhibited a more negative attitude toward these initiatives; and women did not want special privileges or preferential treatment during their employ. In addition, the Transport Canada researchers concluded that programs designed to provide preferential treatment to one group over another would tend to foster negative attitudes on the part of those affected by such programming. Based on these results, it was predicted that the attitudes of Provincial civil servants toward the Affirmative Action Program, focussing as it did on preferential treatment for target groups, would be negative as well. A questionnaire was mailed to 946 provincial civil service employees. The 245 responses were analyzed to examine the differences in attitude between the male/female respondents and the target/non-target group respondents. It was concluded that, consistent with the Transport Canada study, the Manitoba Government's Affirmative Action Program has a low level of acceptance by its employees and that, in general, the Provincial civil servant has a negative attitude toward the program. tL