Change is coming and we need your insights. Ontario has created a three-year action plan called “It’s Never Okay” to make all workplaces (and campuses) safer and more effective at addressing sexual violence and harassment. The hope is to change both policy and attitudes. Part of the plan includes introducing new legislation, Bill 132 Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment) 2015
, requiring employers to review and update policies. It has been introduced to the legislature and is currently under review. The law firm Aird and Berlis has prepared a useful briefing of the issue and what can be anticipated by employers. We recognize this topic sits in a much larger context of equity and equality in the workplace and the profession itself.
A learning session on the topic will be held at the OAA Conference this spring. To prepare, we are planning a Roundtable Discussion on February 23, 2016. The purpose of the roundtable will be to learn from the membership about their experience with these issues and what they need to sustain and create healthy workplaces and the policies and processes to support them. A small Design Team has been struck to guide the work of gathering input and framing the learning session itself. The design Team is made up of: Sheena Sharp, Toon Dreessen, Kristi Doyle, Namita Kanishkan, Vanessa Fong, Kathleen Kurtin and Ellen Savitsky.
We are looking for participants who come from small, medium and large firms and who have experience with these issues in the workplace. Perhaps you have recently updated your policies and you have advice about how to engage everyone in the office. Perhaps you have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace and you have advice about what is needed. Perhaps you have had no experience at all with the specifics of harassment but have been successful at creating a workplace that is respectful where everyone feels they have equal opportunities to advance in their careers. We invite individuals with diverse perspectives and who are both seasoned professionals and individuals holding junior positions or who are interns. We are looking for a good mix of men and women. The session is being organized by Liz Rykert of Meta Strategies. Liz has a keen interest in healthy workplace culture and believes the solutions that work are those that are generated and owned by the people themselves.
If you are interested or have questions, please contact: Manager, Education and Development, Ellen Savitsky
by February 12, 2016