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workplace harassment training, harassment prevention training, Sexual harassment complaints fall on deaf ears in the workplace, research shows The Globe’s bimonthly report on research from business schools. The rise of #MeToo and Time’s Up in our collective consciousness has encouraged women by the thousands to step forward to share stories of being cat-called, groped and propositioned on the job. Together, these movements have helped to topple some of the most egregious offenders from their positions of authority and brought to light the sheer scale of sexual harassment in the everyday workplace setting. But for Ajnesh Prasad, business professor and Canada Research Chair with Royal Roads University’s business school in Victoria, they’ve also highlighted a need to dig deeper into the organizational culture that helps enable unwanted behaviours. To that end, Dr. Prasad and colleague Dulini Fernando of the University of Warwick in Britain have recently completed a timely study that looks at what they call “the subtle mechanisms by which organizations maintain the status quo.” The study, which has been accepted for publication in the academic journal Human Relations, began in 2016 and examines the role of “third-party actors” in silencing people who start to voice their discontent. These are the people who, by their actions (or lack thereof), have participated in suppressing the voices of discontented employees. They include human resource officers, managers, and professional colleagues, among others. The researchers interviewed 31 early- to mid-career female academics working at business schools in Britain about insulting, hostile and degrading attitudes, as well as any unwanted sexual attention and sexual coercion they’ve experienced in their workplace because of their gender. In each case, participants were asked to describe events as vividly as possible and whether they stayed silent about their experiences. The researchers were surprised by the answers they received. All the women reported some level of harassment, from sexist remarks and harassment during pregnancy and after giving birth to gender-based bullying and sexually motivated advances. And, contrary to what researchers anticipated, they all shared their experiences with someone at work – whether it was a manager, HR officer or more senior professional colleague. STORY CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT In each case, the women said they were persuaded to drop the issue and move on. For instance, one woman, identified as Paula in the study, described how a female HR manager dismissed her complaint of a senior colleague’s unwanted advances as “hardly a crime.” In addition, the manager “also rather patronizingly offered to speak to the accused on Paula’s behalf to clear any possible misunderstanding and make the environment more pleasant for her in the future.” Paula was left feeling humiliated and unwilling to talk further about what happened. In another other case noted in the study, a woman known as Marsha said she was advised by well-meaning colleagues to not complain about unwanted sexual attention to avoid being known as a “troublemaker.” “To be really honest, I am scared of being that person who people are wary of dealing with – so I don’t know what to do,” Marsha said, according to the study. Women also told researchers they were repeatedly told by organizational authorities to “trust the system” to resolve their complaint. Dr. Prasad says the research reveals important lessons for victims of sex-based harassment, wherever they may work. Critically, people who have the courage to disclose incidents of sex-based harassment need to be aware of the reality that they may be silenced by various actors who are invested in protecting the interests of the organization. “Accordingly, they need to be prepared to proceed through the often-difficult process of pursuing their complaint with conviction,” he says. Second, he recommends that victims seek outside support from a union representative, industry ombudsman or relevant source who is not subject of the organization’s authority. “Such actors can offer much-needed support, including providing victims with the fullest scope of their options,” he says. Dr. Prasad and Dr. Fernando are preparing to continue the study. The next step is to interview HR officers and line managers in an effort to better understand how they deal with individuals who make complaints relating to sex-based harassment, canada bullying prevention, bill c65, respect, e-learning

Sexual harassment complaints fall on deaf ears in the workplace, research shows

October 10th, 2018 Respect in the Workplace, Uncategorised

Sexual harassment complaints fall on deaf ears in the workplace

 

The Globe’s bimonthly report on research from business schools.

The rise of #MeToo and Time’s Up in our collective consciousness has encouraged women by the thousands to step forward to share stories of being cat-called, groped and propositioned on the job.

Together, these movements have helped to topple some of the most egregious offenders from their positions of authority and brought to light the sheer scale of sexual harassment in the everyday workplace setting.

But for Ajnesh Prasad, business professor and Canada Research Chair with Royal Roads University’s business school in Victoria, they’ve also highlighted a need to dig deeper into the organizational culture that helps enable unwanted behaviours.

To that end, Dr. Prasad and colleague Dulini Fernando of the University of Warwick in Britain have recently completed a timely study that looks at what they call “the subtle mechanisms by which organizations maintain the status quo.”

The study, which has been accepted for publication in the academic journal Human Relations, began in 2016 and examines the role of “third-party actors” in silencing people who start to voice their discontent. These are the people who, by their actions (or lack thereof), have participated in suppressing the voices of discontented employees. They include human resource officers, managers, and professional colleagues, among others.

The researchers interviewed 31 early- to mid-career female academics working at business schools in Britain about insulting, hostile and degrading attitudes, as well as any unwanted sexual attention and sexual coercion they’ve experienced in their workplace because of their gender.

In each case, participants were asked to describe events as vividly as possible and whether they stayed silent about their experiences.

The researchers were surprised by the answers they received.

All the women reported some level of harassment, from sexist remarks and harassment during pregnancy and after giving birth to gender-based bullying and sexually motivated advances. And, contrary to what researchers anticipated, they all shared their experiences with someone at work – whether it was a manager, HR officer or more senior professional colleague.

In each case, the women said they were persuaded to drop the issue and move on.

For instance, one woman, identified as Paula in the study, described how a female HR manager dismissed her complaint of a senior colleague’s unwanted advances as “hardly a crime.” In addition, the manager “also rather patronizingly offered to speak to the accused on Paula’s behalf to clear any possible misunderstanding and make the environment more pleasant for her in the future.” Paula was left feeling humiliated and unwilling to talk further about what happened.

In another other case noted in the study, a woman known as Marsha said she was advised by well-meaning colleagues to not complain about unwanted sexual attention to avoid being known as a “troublemaker.”

“To be really honest, I am scared of being that person who people are wary of dealing with – so I don’t know what to do,” Marsha said, according to the study.

Women also told researchers they were repeatedly told by organizational authorities to “trust the system” to resolve their complaint.

Dr. Prasad says the research reveals important lessons for victims of sex-based harassment, wherever they may work.

Critically, people who have the courage to disclose incidents of sex-based harassment need to be aware of the reality that they may be silenced by various actors who are invested in protecting the interests of the organization.

“Accordingly, they need to be prepared to proceed through the often-difficult process of pursuing their complaint with conviction,” he says.

Second, he recommends that victims seek outside support from a union representative, industry ombudsman or relevant source who is not subject of the organization’s authority.

“Such actors can offer much-needed support, including providing victims with the fullest scope of their options,” he says.

Dr. Prasad and Dr. Fernando are preparing to continue the study. The next step is to interview HR officers and line managers in an effort to better understand how they deal with individuals who make complaints relating to sex-based harassment.

Hockey parents get much-needed training: Editorial

February 28th, 2018 Parents, Respect in Sport, Uncategorised

Hockey parents get much-needed training: Editorial

If you’ve ever been to a junior hockey game, you’ve likely encountered an example of the Raging Puckhead, a troubling class of hockey parent. If not, type “bad hockey parent” into YouTube and behold the horror show. These moms and dads, a small minority in the seats, will obnoxiously scream their displeasure at a player’s performance, a referee’s call or, most commonly, a coach’s failure to give their child ice time, evidently forgetting that they are watching kids playing a game. MORE

Michelle Hauser: Parents need to resist the urge to push their kids too hard in sports

February 8th, 2018 Parents, Respect in Sport, Uncategorised

Michelle Hauser: Parents need to resist the urge to push their kids too hard in sports

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3 questions parents should ask about their child’s coach

November 28th, 2017 Uncategorised

3 questions parents should ask about their child’s coach

Sport should be a safe place for athletes of all ages. The lessons learned are meant to be technical, physical and character-building, not traumatizing. But the recent sexual assault cases involving former U.S. gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar and former Canadian alpine ski coach Bertrand Charest have left many parents like me wondering: what are we doing to ensure sport is a safe place for our children? The CEO of the Coaching Association of Canada, Lorraine ​Lafrenière, has worked toward establishing a common set of rules for all sports to follow. MORE

Le coût ahurissant du harcèlement sexuel au travail

November 23rd, 2017 Uncategorised

Le coût ahurissant du harcèlement sexuel au travail

#MoiAussi, #BalanceTonPorc,… L’heure est au Grand Déballage, et c’est tant mieux. Oui, c’est tant mieux, car il est révoltant que le harcèlement sexuel ait été si longtemps toléré, en particulier au travail. C’est que ces agissements ignominieux sont inacceptables non seulement – c’est évident – d’un point de vue moral, mais aussi – et ça, c’est moins connu – d’un point de vue… économique. Explication. plus

Bill Brooks: Calgary Business Leaders are tops

July 29th, 2017 General News, Sheldon Kennedy, Uncategorised

Bill Brooks: Calgary Business Leaders are tops

 

Being an exceptional business leader is no small feat. Challenges galore test the mettle of myriad businesses whether its the carbon tax, increases in the minimum wage, or shameful federal and provincial government ‘business averse’ polices, it’s indeed tougher than ever to make a buck. MORE

Workplace Safety Prevention Services

February 24th, 2016 Respect in the Workplace, Uncategorised

 

WSPS Teaming Up to Inspire Cultures of Respect Everywhere

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It’s About Respect: An Interview With Sheldon Kennedy On Respect Group Training

February 18th, 2016 Activity Leaders, Respect in Sport, Sheldon Kennedy, Uncategorised

It’s About Respect: An Interview With Sheldon Kennedy On Respect Group Training

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