Sexual Harassment Still an All-Too-Real Problem in Canadian Business

By Yahoo Finance | | April 12, 2018
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At a time when the #MeToo movement pervades the speeches at award shows and Twitter streams of Hollywood A-listers, workplace harassment stories stand as reminders that women aren’t just suffering harassment on casting couches. There are women who work for Canadian companies, both large and small, who face unwanted attention and advances because of their gender.

“It’s just a matter of time until every sector in society has its own #MeToo movement,” says Julie Lalonde, who has been working in sexual assault education and prevention for 15 years.

Camilla Sutton, CEO of Women in Capital Markets and a 25-year veteran of Bay Street companies such as Scotiabank and Omers, says it’s important for companies to look internally and take a critical eye to its policies, including gender diversity.

“In capital markets — where only 10 per cent of managing directors at the large brokerages are women — we have an environment, whether it is the promotions, the day-to-day terms or who gets assignments — some of these decisions aren’t made with enough structure,” Sutton says. “This brings in the opportunity for unconscious bias and a host of other things that come into play, which at times can disadvantage women. Some of these biases are obvious, but, I don’t think some of them are as obvious for people living through them.”

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What is your reaction to the fact that the 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women will be chaired by a man?