“It Changed Every Part of My Life”: Harassment and Violence in Canadian Workplaces

Conference Highlights, Panels and Plenary
Violence and Society

Notwithstanding decades of research and advocacy, changes in federal and provincial legislation across Canada, and social movements such as #MeToo and #TimesUp catapulting workplace harassment and violence into the media spotlight, harassment and violence remain pervasive and destructive problems in contemporary workplaces. The consequences for workers and workplaces are profound. From 2020-2021, a landmark study was undertaken that brought together researchers, labour partners, advocates, and workers from across Canada to learn about workers’ experiences of harassment and violence in the workplace. With over 4,500 survey participants and dozens of interviews completed, the findings from this nation-wide, bilingual, mix-methods study illuminate workers’ experiences of harassment and violence, the barriers they face to reporting, and the retaliation many experience as a result.

This panel session brings together members of the research team and project collaborators to share key findings and recommendations for igniting change across industries to eliminate workplace harassment and violence and create meaningful supports for workers. Foregrounding an intersection approach to understanding how the forms of harassment and violence workers experience is connected to their social location and employment status, key themes and areas of focus for this session include: the prevalence of different forms of sexual and non-sexual workplace harassment; the impact of COVID-19 on workplace harassment and violence; how experiences of harassment, reporting, and retaliation impact workers and the consequences of this for workplaces; how organizational practices are used to harass, retaliate, and silence workers; and the importance of fostering systemic change and reducing precarity in Canadian workplaces.

Panelists:

  • Adriana Berlingieri, Western University
  • Nicole D. McFadyen, Western University
  • Sandy Welsh, University of Toronto
  • Vicky Smallman, National Director, Human Rights at the Canadian Labour Congress

Organizers: Adriana Berlingieri, Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children, Western University, Nicole D. McFadyen, Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children, Western University