Almost everyone knows somebody who has been impacted by sexual harassment in the workplace, whether they are aware of it or not. However, it can be hard to know what qualifies as workplace sexual harassment, how we can support people reporting it, and what we can do to prevent it.
The Yukon Human Rights Commission is two years into a five-year federally funded project to address these problems in Yukon. The Commission started by reaching out to First Nations, municipalities, unions, advocacy groups, women’s organizations and other groups to understand where gaps in knowledge and capacity exist, and what tools and supports Yukoners need to address workplace sexual harassment.
Now they’re hosting the first of two FREE conferences to continue the conversation and develop a shared understanding of paths towards a Yukon without workplace sexual harassment.
KNOW MORE! free virtual conference Mar. 4 and 5
The virtual conference is open to everyone, and will feature presentations and panels from a range of local organizations.
“Workplace sexual harassment is everyone’s business — employers, employees, bystanders and customers can all be impacted,” says Amna Bhatti from the Yukon Human Rights Commission.
To start the conversation, the Gwaandak Theatre will present a play that brings viewers into a workplace sexual harassment scenario and shows how messy and complex these situations can be.
“It’s a great way to create empathy and develop a shared understanding of the issues we face,” says Drew Spicer from Yukon Human Rights Commission. “How does sexual harassment impact people and organizations? What options are available to employers and people who’ve experienced harassment?”
Making reporting easier
According to the 2018 StatsCan study on Harassment in Canadian Workplaces, four per cent of women and less than one per cent of men report sexual harassment, even though 19 per cent of women and 13 per cent of men said they’d experienced harassment in the past year. The KNOW MORE! conference will address some of the barriers to reporting, and offer options in Yukon both for people who’ve been affected by sexual harassment and managers who’ve had employees report.
One of those tools is Spot, a free, secure, anonymous chatbot that helps Yukoners document experiences of harassment or discrimination. If you haven’t decided whether or where to report an experience, Spot helps you write down important details and produces a confidential timestamped PDF that you can use when you’re ready to take the next step.
“Workplace sexual harassment is one of the most common complaints we receive through our existing Human Rights Complaint system,” Bhatti says.
“Through the virtual conference we hope to bring organizations and people together, collect experiences from Yukoners and develop a shared understanding to move forward,” Spicer says.
Learn more about the virtual conference at yukonhumanrights.ca/know-more, and download the custom app for a dynamic, interactive conference experience Mar. 4 and 5!