According to Ranstad.ca women make up almost 50% of the workforce in Canada.1 Although the workplace is supposed to be safe, for many women it is unsafe. Women may experience bullying in the workplace which may present itself through lack of promotion, feeling excluded and having their contributions ignored. Therefore, bullying may go unreported because of the risk of losing their jobs or opportunities to be promoted. About 52% of women have reported bullying or harassment in the workplace.2 It is important to know that women within the workplace have rights; the right to be treated equally and respectfully as a contributing member of society**. The sooner we acknowledge this; we can then take steps to make women feel safe in the workplace.
Women in the workplace who are being bullied are likely to experience:
Silence (vertical bullying)
Intimidation and threats to job security
There are many ways to address bullying and harassment in the workplace:
- Identify and acknowledge what is going on. Understand that what is happening is wrong and that it is in no way your fault.
- Tell Human resources, management or contact your Union. Go to someone with a position of power that represents y our rights and concerns.
- Keep record of events. Have every situation dated and documented for future references and proof.
- Know your rights. Educate yourself on what rights you have as well as understand laws and government documentation that protects you.
- If available, seek union or lawyer. Use external resources who have an interest in your rights and equality
Women must feel safe to report any forms of bullying that may occur vertically or horizontally (amongst co-workers and management). A woman experiencing bullying can have a ripple effect on her health, family relationships and work performance.
” No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” -Eleanor Roosevelt