The Future of Diversity

11 - 13


All over the world, people from different belongings continue to experience inequalities. While some groups are discriminated against in their search for work and in the workplace, others enjoy a set of privileges, often without even realizing it. This should force us to take action and create more equal labour markets. Thus, in autumn 2017, Éric Charest of the École nationale d’administration publique (ENAP) and Christine Kuptsch of the International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the “The Future of Diversity” project, in which researchers and ILO officials joined forces to reflect on the challenges in the fight against discrimination in employment.

This discussion will continue from December 11th to 13th, 2019, when the results of their works will be shared at The Future of Diversity international conference, which will be held at the ENAP campus in Quebec City. This event is part of the ILO’s centenary activities, and reflects some of its most fundamental commitments to workers.

Vision of the future

The Future of Diversity international conference is intended as a forum to enrich the understanding of the issue of diversity in the workplace. It also seeks to engage its participants in a reflection on the future of diversity. We quote the physicist Neils Bohr: “Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.” By fostering a social dialogue between more than two hundred participants, ranging from elected officials, citizens, researchers, practitioners, and students, to representatives of employers’ and workers organizations, and NGOs, the collective intelligence that will emerge from The Future of Diversity will foster a dynamic social dialogue, that will be able to meet this challenge.

of diversity

The concept of “diversity” usually describes the character, quality or condition of people thought of as “different“. This difference, which is measured according to many variables, such as sex, skin pigmentation, sexuality, etc., tacitly suggests the presence of norms. In most jobs or industrial sectors, we often have a collective image of the “typical worker“. Those who do not resemble this image are the “others“, who are more at risk of having to overcome obstacles in seeking work, maintaining employment, and experiencing more or less subtle forms of violence in the workplace. 

École nationale
d’administration publique

The École nationale d’administration publique (ENAP) is a francophone university and a member of the Université du Québec network. Founded in 1969, and celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, it has a dual mission: teaching and advancing research in public administration, and training and developing public administrators. It is also a leader in consulting services to governments. ENAP has ten research chairs and groups in diverse fields, ranging from international relations, leadership, program evaluation, health systems transformation, and urban resilience governance. Since its inception, it has exported its expertise abroad, having helped train more than 1,000 managers, trainers and advisors, supported the development of public management schools and programs, and carried out major international cooperation projects in more than 30 countries.

International Labour Office

The International Labour Office is the permanent secretariat of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the only tripartite organization of the United Nations, and the oldest international organization in the world. Founded in 1919, following World War I, the ILO’s mission is based on the principle that social justice cultivates peace. Today, the ILO brings together governments, workers and employers from 187 Member States. It defends workers’ rights by promoting social dialogue, and ensuring that the views of trade unions, employers’ organisations and governments are accurately reflected in labour standards, policies and employment programmes. The ILO is also a global provider of labour statistics, which play an essential role in the development and evaluation of policies to ensure decent working conditions for all.