Woman’s Empowerment: Sustainable Opportunities in the World of Work

By Chrisy Tremblay, OPSEU (Canada)

The session was chaired by Janet A. Sigal

Training Programs to Prevent Workplace Sexual Harassment:

  • Presentation on the definition of Psychological/Behavioural scientific definition (eg. Behaviours that degrades, demeans or humiliates an individual based on individuals sex- Benlahi, 2007)
  • Impact of Sexual Harassment in the workplace (eg. Job satisfaction decreases; intent to quit increases; increased disengagement and burnout; exhaustion burnout; increase of psychological issues as frequency increases).
  • Training: Most employers have relied on a 2prong affirmative defense (eg. They provide training and policies that present they reasonably attempt to prevent; Victim does not report: reasonably fails to report.
  • No empirical evidence that training is effective as most employers are resistant towards follow-up assessments of workplace following implementation of training. Concerns with liability. Large resistance from employer has negative impact on results of research being successful.
  • Many agencies moving towards computer based training.
  • Individual cynicism affects employee investment in training and trust of workplace initiatives.
  • Domestic Violence survivors impact economic empowerment (eg. Moving multiple jobs due to changes in housing, frequent changes in schooling, social status, financial impact of separation, legal fees, loss in time at work and pension contributions).
  • SAKI; What Works-Economic Empowerment Program (Zero barrier entry program; continual support with no expiry date; individual plans; program scope; 1-1 linguistically competent support for clients
  • Sexual Abuse Stigmas (eg. Cultural stigmas; isolation from family; lack of opportunities despite qualification; access to technology is a barrier as many may not afford access to computer and/or resume).
  • Strategies: Look for signs of abuse; observe & don’t judge; consider renting your home to DV survivor with adequate income instead to help woman who may not have rental and/or credit history.
  • How employers can help: post policies on Domestic Violence; signage to educate; educate employers and management on allowing flex-time for court appointments and medical needs; increasing diversity hiring programs.

EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; US gov. site), https://www.eeoc.gov/



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