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Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

 

Prevention is Possible!

Offer your staff an interactive workshop that is informative, engaging and liberating. Participants will be engaged by learning of the latest research about evolving legal norms, gendered identities, and how to get the best behavior from others. Customized web-based courses can be created or, better yet, a blend of a live session with pre or post web content. Factual information can be presented in a private on-line course, while the live session allows real growth to happen as people construct new perspectives in a group.

Understanding the issue and knowing how to maintain a positive working environment is liberating. A good anti-harassment policy sitting in a file is not enough to bring change. Continuing harassment hurts people, productivity, and careers. Training with this multi-disciplinary approach helps everyone feel more secure; secure in their safety, and secure that their behavior is professional and respectful.

 

John Inder offers participants a positive approach that is grounded by extensive research. He has university degrees in Applied Social Science, Politics & Philosophy, and an MBA. He has had intervention training from CALACS and workplace procedures training from the Canada Safety Council. He has certificates in the prevention of sexual harassment from the universities of Ottawa and Fredericton. He has completed “Workplace Violence in the Canadian Federal Jurisdiction: Establish a Prevention Program” with the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.

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Workshops

The issue of sexual harassment in the workplace needs to be actively engaged with by as many people in your organization as possible if behaviors and workplace culture is to change. Research has shown that several aspects of organizational culture do promote or discourage harassment. Management and employees should be aware of the many dimensions of prevention that can impact this complex problem.

Workshops have a positive impact on corporate culture because they:

 

  • Explain company policies and complaint procedures,
  • Explain the dynamics behind harassment and gender politics,
  • Allow employees to understand the logic and evolution of Canadian law,
  • Break the silence with a very distressing issue.

 

The workshops are interactive and facilitate each participant coming to their own understanding of the multi-faceted problem of sexual harassment. Participants are encouraged to move beyond a basic understanding of legal and policy obligations. A fuller understanding of the logic and evolution of Canadian law helps people feel secure as they confront either clear or ambiguous situations. The insights gained about group behaviors and personal identities help participants prepare for the way that they will choose to react to unhealthy or unsafe situations.

Topics include:

Respectful dialogue about a sensitive issue. Being assertive in a healthy way.

The influence of Biology, Gender, Norms, Organisational Climate, and Individuals and how they interact.

The forms that sexual harassment can take. (It is not always about sexual attraction)

The psychological and financial effects it has on employees and employers – be they victims, accused, or bystanders.

Legal concepts – definitions, legal rulings, and how to reason about questionable incidents.

The promise of men’s liberation – what’s good in this for men?

Not included:

Guilt trips – lecturing – simplistic rules – blaming groups of people – skirting around the issue!

 

Presentations

Possible Orientations:

 

The Workplace

  • Leaders in the business community
  • HR professionals

Educational Institutions

  • students
  • faculty and staff

Campaigns – key-note address relative to harassment, sexual violence, discrimination against women and gender minorities.

Organisations who serve a culturally diverse clientele.

 

Contact John Inder for a presentation or thematic speech.

Services

Half-day on-site workshop.

 

Two hour session – This can be a briefer single session or
the full workshop can be done in two parts on two different days.

 

Presentation or speech.

 

Non-profit charitable and advocacy groups, inquire about waiving the fees.

 

Training for teachers of HR professionals.

 

Audits of policies and procedures regarding sexual harassment.

 

Gender equity audits.

Training

Training sessions are available for:

 

Teachers, Management or Human Resources Professionals

In addition to in-depth coverage of all the information potentially available in the workshops, the training sessions also cover:

 

  • Modelling of behaviors for instructors
  • Do’s and don’ts in presenting material to a mixed group
  • How to facilitate interaction with the material
  • How to respond to difficult questions, objections, and inappropriate stereotypical attitudes
  • Goals of training and rationale for the content
  • Situating training within existing corporate policies and procedures
  • Creating the “buy-in” with participants

Audits

External audits with recommendations are available for

External audits of policies and procedures on sexual harassment:

Audits include

  • Policy review
  • Reporting procedures
  • Response mechanisms and responsibilities
  • Promulgation of policies and procedures
  • Interface with clients, suppliers and other people not employed by your organisation

 

Responsiveness evaluations for complaints about sexual harassment:

You may opt to extend the basic audit to include an evaluation of the responsiveness of your organization and the confidence that it enjoys among employees. This may include anonymous polling of employees and the use of scales such as the Organisational Tolerance for Sexual Harassment (OTSH). The best policies and procedures will not yield the desired results if employees are hesitant to come forward. While all incidents may never be reported, there are clear and observable conditions to be met in order to create truly responsive procedures. Corporations and institutions that do not respond adequately lose public support and are not seen as good corporate citizens nor as good employers.

Gender equity audits comply with the Gender-Based Analysis Plus program developed by the Status of Women Canada. The mechanics of the process are adapted from those developed by the International Labour Organization’s Participatory Gender Audit. The integrationist approach used starts with emphasis on gender awareness, and strengthening the core of the organization. Pay equity is dealt with as part of a complete performance management system, and the engagement and transformation of all individuals contacted is sought.

Gender equity audits:

Gender equity audits comply with the Gender-Based Analysis Plus program developed by the Status of Women Canada. The mechanics of the process are adapted from those developed by the International Labour Organization’s Participatory Gender Audit. The integrationist approach used starts with emphasis on gender awareness, and strengthening the core of the organization. Pay equity is dealt with as part of a complete performance management system, and the engagement and transformation of all individuals contacted is sought.

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Articles

Sexual Harassment Prevention Montreal John Inder

Bio

Why am I working on this issue?

I am lucky enough to have never been bullied or harassed, but these issues have impacted my life because of what they have done to several people I love. Having witnessed a stream of media reports about sexual harassment, assault and abuse, I was struck by:

  1. the mind boggling number of victims of this behavior, most of whom who have yet to tell their story, and the pain, the shame, the hit to self-esteem they face,
  2. the growing list of prestigious institutions and reputable businesses who take a PR hit and seem to be flailing in the wind as to what to do about this toxic collection of behaviours,
  3. the loss of productivity caused by the resulting distress – even the sad end of many careers of victims and perpetrators.

Everything I saw was about prosecutions and legal responses after the fact. The talk was mostly about bringing perpetrators to justice. Some consideration of offering support and therapy to victims was alluded to on the side, at least when the talk was not actually suspicious of the victims!

Then it hit me; I became aware of what I wanted to see happen (in addition to victim support and application of the law of course) – PREVENTION! Just as with issues of physical security and mental health, we need to put some time toward prevention and education. This cannot be just a few paragraphs of wisdom on a piece of paper you can hand out, or a policy that sits in a file. People within organizations need to sit together, get informed, talk and think their way through the issues, and prime themselves for how they want to respond when harassment issues arise. And I mean sexual harassment issues; addressed head on. We have to become able to talk about this in order to deflate the power of the taboos, the shame, and the denial. Later, after reading hundreds of studies on – bullying, sexual harassment, sexual violence, gendered identities, third wave feminism, masculine identity crisis, bystanders to violence, physiological sex differences, cognitive sex differences, adolescent sexuality, Canadian law and human rights legislation, and the effects of sexual harassment, etc., – I was even more convinced that working with groups in a positive pro-active way could have a real impact. I also recalled what I had learned from the men’s movement of the 80s – that insulting and ostracizing gays and lesbians was also a handy way to force people into traditional gender roles. For men, this meant – keep up the tough facade and be wary of emotions – something we do to our detriment.

The whole process of getting informed was more interesting and empowering than I anticipated, despite the heartbreaking nature of the subject. I hope you will work with me on this. If we all get up to speed on this issue, we can change the culture where we work and study, and keep everyone safer.

My approach is based on:
  • An understanding of group dynamics, leadership, effective listening and communication, and the therapeutic relationship gained from the Bachelor’s in Applied Social Science at Concordia University.

 

  • An understanding an ability to research in the human sciences acquired in the Bachelor’s in Politics and Philosophy at the University of Montreal, including; Policies and behavioral change, Socio-constructivism, Ethics, Identity politics, Gender studies.

 

  • An understanding of business, productivity, and organisational behavior from the MBA at Concordia University.

 

John has completed the training for interveners on sexual aggression offered by CALACS. He has certificates in the prevention of sexual harassment from the universities of Ottawa and Fredericton. He has done the Canada Safety Council’s course on workplace violence and harassment.

 

John is a member of:

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

CRI-VIFF

Le Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire sur la violence familiale et la violence faite aux femmes

GAIHST

Le Groupe d’aide et d’information sur le harcèlement sexuel au travail de la province de Québec

Contact 

John Inder lives in Montreal, Quebec.

He is fluent in French and English.