Person's Day

What is Person’s Day? It’s the day when the Supreme Court of Canada officially declared females as “persons.” Yes, today we might think the idea that women not being viewed as persons is a wild and backward ideal, but this was the reality a mere 90 years ago. And in many parts of the world, women today are still fighting for the chance to be heard and viewed as equals.

The Other Side of Zero Tolerance

Zero ToleranceA zero tolerance policy on domestic violence at work sounds like an easy solution. Step out of line and that’s it – you will lose your job. It seems a straight path for moving forward; and yet the unwavering complexity in relationships should make us all pause to reflect on the potential downside of one-size fits all solutions. Simple, clean, standardized answers rarely work when it comes to people. We need to open a space for discussion about zero tolerance and how it might not actually give us what we are really seeking. 

How to Create a Peaceful Workplace

zen garden - 2 rocks sitting in sand with ripples in sand in between themA peaceful workplace. It should be the goal of every organization or business. When employees come to work excited to see their co-workers and actually enjoy doing their job, it creates a more peaceful and productive work environment for everyone. There are many ways that companies can work toward creating this positive atmosphere in the workplace, including training, open communication and a healthy work/life balance. Read on to see how you can foster contentment and peacefulness in the workplace.

The Impact of Violent Behaviour for Workplaces

Woman working at deskWhen we began offering workplace education about domestic violence through the Make It Our Business (MIOB) training program, one of early questions we were asked was, “How is domestic violence a problem for employers?” High profile cases like that of Ray Rice and the NFL, and Jian Ghomeshi and the CBC, should make the reasons crystal clear. They are another illustration of how violence that happens in someone’s personal life can have a huge impact on the workplace. The NFL and CBC came under intense fire for the way that they handled the situations.

Beyond Good and Evil is White Male Privilege

Heather HeyerThe public killing of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville recently brought the shadow side of white North American society into full view. Her parents spoke clearly and passionately to the people at her memorial, eloquently charging them to keep her legacy alive. Her call for peace and equality prompts me to make a link between the tragedy of her murder and lessons learned about domestic and sexual violence. It is a long and winding road.

Alberta joins the growing movement to protect jobs from domestic violence

Alberta flag - blue background with crest in centreLast week Alberta became the second province in Canada to pass legislation providing workers with domestic violence leave. In this case, they are entitled to up to 10 days of unpaid domestic violence leave. Workers are eligible if they or a dependent child or protected adult living with them is experiencing domestic violence.

The Power of Regret

 Vector drawing of a woman giving a presentationFor a number of years I have been travelling to workplaces in my community to talk about intimate partner violence and how to recognize and respond to signs that a coworker might be experiencing abuse. After years of these presentations, what I remember the most, are the faces filled with regret that approach me afterwards. They tell me a story I have heard many times before; they once had a friend, coworker, neighbour, or family member who they were worried about. This person seemed to change over time and become more distant, irritable, anxious, and disconnected from the world around them. They didn’t know how to help the person they cared about and realize now they were trapped in an abusive relationship.

Employer Tips for Dealing with Domestic Violence

Yellow diamond shaped sign that says: Safety is Job #1

Domestic violence doesn’t just stay inside the walls of the home or the personal relationship. When a worker experiences abuse in a relationship, this abuse almost always spills over into her workplace, in one form or another. In fact, domestic violence is the fastest growing type of workplace violence in Canada. The consequences of domestic violence can extend into the workplace in various forms, including harassing phone calls or emails, physical visits, stalking, threats, or physical violence. Statistics Canada shows that almost 20 percent of all incidents of violent victimization, occurred while the survivor was at work (2004). This is why it is so important for every workplace to have domestic violence policies and safety plans in place.

How to Support Breastfeeding Moms in the Workplace

Mother and child working at computer

As World Breastfeeding Week rolls around, it’s a good opportunity to talk about why it’s so important for businesses and workplaces to support nursing moms, along with easy ways to do so.

Becoming a mother is no easy feat. There are long days, sleepless nights, and exhausting weeks. In Canada, most working women who are employed with a business are entitled to one year of maternity leave. This is an amazing and much-needed opportunity to be home with a new baby.

Domestic violence is an economic barrier for women

female engineers working in a factory, text reads: "one in three workers (33.6%) experience domestic violence over the course of their lives and of those, half (53.5%) experience it while they are at work"The Province of Ontario is seeking input on women’s economic empowerment with an online survey that is open until August 15th. The Ministry of the Status of Women will be drafting Ontario’s first strategy in the coming months. Any discussion on improving women’s economic opportunities should make a clear link to the impacts of domestic violence on women’s careers and economic status. Women with a history of domestic violence are more likely to work in low paying, casual and precarious jobs, they have interrupted work histories and change jobs more often.


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