Home » Building a foundation of respect - Part 4

Building a foundation of respect - Part 4

June 1, 2017

The challenges:

  • Attracting and retaining tradeswomen to the industry
  • Perceptions of unwelcoming workplaces is identified as a reason why women do not enter our industry
  • Harassment, bullying and discrimination against tradeswomen is identified as a reason why they leave our industry

The solution:

  • Understanding the causes of harassment, bullying and discrimination against tradeswomen
  • Creating a workplace culture that respects all workers as individuals, including tradeswomen

Cultural stereotypes about gender are linked to harassment:

  • We consciously and unconsciously absorb our cultural stereotypes and this affects our behaviour.
  • Harassment is linked to prejudice and stereotypes about "outsider" groups in general.
  • Sexual harassment is linked to prejudice and gender stereotypes.
  • Because of stereotyped views that women are the "weaker sex" not capable of technical or trades work, men who have stereotyped views may have difficulty accepting tradeswomen as equals.
  • In addition, the stereotype that women are flattered by sexual innuendo at work or that men must be sexually aggressive and women compliant, may also contribute to sexual harassment.

6 WAYS ORGANIZATIONS CAN SUPPORT WORKPLACE RESPECT:

  1. Commit resources to developing effective policies.
  2. Assign responsibility for implementation.
  3. Tie performance reviews to implementation goals.
  4. Provide training to all levels in the organization.
  5. Re-enforce the message in all hiring and promotion procedures.
  6. Repeat the message frequently through tool box talks, newsletters and events.

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OUR NEXT INSTALLMENT: Celebrating Canadian women in tradeswork on Canada's 150th anniversary

Previous installment: What can you do to encourage respect in your workplace?

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Resources:

  • Canadian Centre for Diversity & Inclusion. Understanding Hidden Bias. 2014. Webinar.
  • Construction Owner's Association of Alberta. Respect in the Workplace Program. 2011.
  • Construction Sector Council. The State

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