RESPECT HUB

WCAG 2.1 Accessibility Certification – Respect in the Workplace program

WCAG 2.1 Accessibility Certification – Respect in the Workplace program

At Respect Group, making our programs accessible for learners of all abilities is key. Our team has been working incredibly hard towards accreditation to evolve our programs to be compatible with screen-reader technology. Screen readers are software programs that support learners who are blind or partially sighted to read the text that is displayed within our programs through a speech synthesizer or braille display (American Foundation for the Blind, 2020). We want to offer the best experience possible and provide an inclusive learning environment for users of all abilities.

Today, Respect Group is proud to announce that our Respect in the Workplace program has now been updated and accredited as fully compliant with the stringent WCGA 2.1 AA standard, the strictest standard set out by the World Wide Web Consortium. These updates include:

  • Updates to the program code and the overall functionality of the program to better communicate with screen readers and assistive technology, including:
    • Increasing the interactivity our program content and activities (such as the questionnaires/activities in our programs) for users utilizing screen readers or those who may use a keyboard instead of a mouse
    • Improving our back-end html text to be more clear and concise for screen readers
  • Updated headers and navigational elements throughout our program pages
  • Updated tab index and focus order of program content

These updates have currently been upgraded for this specific program: Respect in the Workplace (both generic and SCORM versions). Additionally, we are currently working towards these accessibility guidelines for the Respect in Sport for Activity Leaders, Respect in Sport for Parents, Return to Hockey, Gender Equity Lens Program, and Keeping Girls in Sport Supporting Positive Behaviour, Welcoming All Abilities, Stay in the Game, and Respect in School programs. Moving forward, all new programs will be made accessible upon release.

Respect Group will continue working on and implementing accessibility updates for all of our programs in order to provide an inclusive learning environment for users of all abilities.

Source:

American Foundation for the Blind. (2020). Screen readers. Retrieved from: https://www.afb.org/blindness-and-low-vision/using-technology/assistive-technology-products/screen-readers

Government of Canada Announces New Independent Safe Sport Mechanism

Government of Canada Announces New Independent Safe Sport Mechanism

­FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

On behalf of Respect Group and myself, personally, I would like to applaud Sport Canada for their commitment and funding of an Independent Safe Sport Mechanism and the awarding of that contract to the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC). I am honoured to have been part of this national movement to improve sport and ensure that athletes that do come forward have a safe, unbiased place to report and be heard without repercussion. This announcement has also given me the opportunity to reflect on the past 25 years;

 

  • When I first came forward with my story, in 1996, many did not believe me or claimed it was an isolated incident, today we know that IS NOT the case
  • When Hockey Canada introduced the Speak Out program for coaches in 1997, it was the first of its kind and, in spite of the naysayers, it was successfully implemented for the benefit of all those kids playing hockey
  • In 2004, when Respect Group introduced RESPECT IN SPORT on-line to prevent abuse, bullying, harassment and discrimination (BAHD) many leaders within sport were still in denial of the magnitude of this problem including the impact left in its wake for not only the individual but also the organization as a whole.  I am very grateful for those brave leaders that made prevention education their priority early on to help give confidence to the many others that followed.
  • Leadership has been the key behind mandatory RESPECT training which I am proud to say has now reached over 1.6 Million Canadians and spans the full range of sport stakeholders; not just coaches but officials, parents, athletes, staff and volunteers.

Culture change takes time but today, with this announcement, it further reminds me that, with leadership, it is indeed possible.

 

Sheldon Kennedy CM AOE OM

Member Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Member Order of Hockey in Canada

Co-Founder Respect Group

 

 

Respect Group, established in 2004 by Co-Founders Sheldon Kennedy and Wayne McNeil, is Canada’s leading on-line training provider focused exclusively on the prevention of abuse, bullying and harassment and discrimination. Offering certification programs for community/sport organizations, schools and the workplace, Respect Group has certified over 1.6 Million Canadians.

 

For more information on Respect Group, please visit www.respectgroupinc.com

 

For more information, please contact:
Nicole Heisler

Marketing Manager

media@respectgroupinc.com

 

To see the Government of Canada Press Releases Please visit:

English : https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/news/2021/07/minister-guilbeault-announces-new-independent-safe-sport-mechanism.html

French : https://www.canada.ca/fr/patrimoine-canadien/nouvelles/2021/07/le-ministreguilbeault-annonce-un-nouveau-mecanisme-independant-pour-le-sport-securitaire.html

Equity, diversity and inclusion: building blocks for respect

Equity, diversity and inclusion: building blocks for respect

Equity, diversity, and inclusion, or ‘EDI’, are key values that contribute to the fabric and sustainability of any organization. While the acronym EDI is often used broadly, and the individual terms used interchangeably, it is important to understand the distinctions between these terms, and how they are essential to building a culture of respect in any organization.

Source: Inclusion by Design: Insights from Design Week Portland; Gensler

 

The infographic above from Gensler provides the individual definitions and visual depictions of diversity, equity, and inclusion. While the elements of these terms overlap and build upon one another, there are clear differences in what they mean and look like in practice. While diversity involves recognizing and celebrating the differences between individuals, equity focuses on fair treatment and access to opportunities for all, particularly individuals who have been marginalized within our society (Gensler, 2019). Inclusion involves having a range of voices and representation from all members of an organization involved in both power-sharing and decision-making (Gensler, 2019).

Recognition of and support for equity, diversity, and inclusion within organizations strengthens both the organization as a whole and the individuals working within it. The third report in a series from McKinsey exploring the business case for diversity and inclusion demonstrates that internationally, companies whose executive teams were more diverse across gender, ethnicity, and culture significantly outperformed their less diverse counterparts, who tended to underperform financially (Hunt et al., 2020). Two keys to the successes of the former group are a systematic approach to diversity and inclusion, and taking bold action to strengthen inclusion (Hunt et al., 2020). Key ‘pain points’ identified by employees who felt their organizations did not prioritize inclusion were a lack of equality, openness, and belonging (Hunt et al., 2020). Further, employees felt that leadership taking strong action to promote openness, belonging, and equality of opportunity was a necessary component of inclusive cultures (Hunt et al., 2020).

Taken together, diverse, inclusive, and equitable organizations are not only more profitable, but support environments that are physically and psychologically safe, where all individuals are respected and have the opportunity to thrive. These successful organizations do not tolerate behaviours that undermine respect, such as bullying, abuse, harassment, or disrimination, or BAHD behaviours. They understand the importance of preventing these behaviours and how to address them should they occur.

Equity, diversity, and inclusion are foundational cornerstones built into all Respect Group programs. Through exploring the value of EDI, the root causes of BAHD behaviours and how to mitigate them, our curriculum highlights the importance of building a positive, respectful culture. Respect Programs include relevant and timely content, including and beyond the following:

  • preventing and dealing with BAHD
  • racism and unconscious bias
  • accessibility for all
  • occupational health & safety legislation
  • supporting marginalized communities, including newcomers to Canada and the LGBTQ+ community
  • content updates influenced by important cultural and political movements and acts, including Truth & Reconciliation, Black Lives Matter, and #MeToo

 

Above all, our programs focus on a key theme of empowering the bystander and the role every individual can play in promoting respect within their organization. More information about our individual programs can be found through the links below:

 

References:  

 

Hunt, V., Dixon-Fyle, S., Dolan, K., Prince, S. (2020). Diversity wins: How inclusion matters. Retrieved from https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/diversity-and-inclusion/diversity-wins-how-inclusion-matters

 

Gensler and Kim, S.J. (2019). Inclusion by Design: Insights from Design Week Portland. Retrieved from https://www.gensler.com/blog/inclusion-by-design-insights-from-design-week-portland 

Our co-founder, Sheldon Kennedy, named to Order of Hockey In Canada

Our co-founder, Sheldon Kennedy, named to Order of Hockey In Canada

Our co-founder, Sheldon Kennedy, was named to the Order of Hockey in Canada. The 17th annual Hockey Canada Foundation Gala was held on June 14, 2021 where they recognized the Order honourees from both 2020 and 2021.

” Sheldon Kennedy – A long-time advocate for the prevention of bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination, Kennedy’s impact on the game reaches far beyond his playing career. On the ice, he played in 310 NHL games with the Detroit Red Wings (1989-94), Calgary Flames (1994-96) and Boston Bruins (1996-97). Prior to his professional career, he spent three seasons with the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League (1986-89), captaining the team to a WHL championship and Memorial Cup title in 1989. As a member of Team Canada, Kennedy recorded 13 points in 14 games at the IIHF World Junior Championship (1988, 1989), winning a gold medal in 1988. His off-ice efforts include co-founding the Respect Group, which has trained more than one million Canadians to recognize and prevent bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination in sports, schools and the workplace. Kennedy also raised $1.2 million in support of sexual abuse victims by rollerblading across Canada in 1998, and has been honoured with the Hockey Canada Order of Merit (2018), Alberta Order of Excellence (2016) and Order of Canada (2014). “

Source: https://www.hockeycanada.ca/en-ca/news/2020-oohic-class-of-2020-named-to-order

 

Order of Hockey in Canada: Sheldon Kennedy Acceptance video

 

Statement from Sheldon Kennedy:

“Upon reflection of receiving the Order of Hockey in Canada, I sincerely feel that this award represents far more than just “Sheldon” accomplishments. This recognition, is clearly for an amazing Team Effort.

First off, my good friend of 23 years and business partner, Wayne McNeil, deserves as much credit as I do for sharing, and delivering on, our common vision. For the 10’s of thousands of disclosure letters I have received since 1997, after my story broke, my gratitude to each of you for baring your souls and for your courage. Your words reminded me that this is not an isolated issue and kept me going!

Thank you to Hockey Canada for your leadership in making Speak Out mandatory in 1997 for all coaches. In my mind, a bold step and the REAL beginning of the Safe Sport Movement in Canada, and, perhaps the world! And to all of the proactive sport leaders who have taken their own bold steps to make RESPECT education a requirement. You have created a sport environment that values child protection as priority one. Not a button or a poster, but the real deal. Of course, there is more to be done and there always will be.

But let’s pause for a moment, accept this award together, and commit to continuing this unique collaboration to keep Canadian kids safe and respected while they enjoy the wonderment of sport!”

SHELDON KENNEDY

Our co-founder, Sheldon Kennedy, receives Olds College honorary degree

Our co-founder, Sheldon Kennedy, receives Olds College honorary degree

The Olds College presents their 2020 Honourary Degree to Sheldon Kennedy for his significant contribution to the prevention of bullying and abuse.

“Sheldon has shown tremendous support of Olds College through the Respect Group organization,” said Stuart Cullum, president, Olds College. “His passion for creating safe, respectful environments for people to feel empowered reflects the values that we hold at Olds College, and makes Sheldon a wonderful recipient of the Olds College 2020 Honorary Degree.” 

 

Olds College Convocation: Sheldon Kennedy acceptance video

 

“To me, this award represents the fact that leaders and proactive organizations, like Olds College, are ready and willing to make positive change.” said Sheldon Kennedy. “If I have influenced good leadership through my advocacy efforts then I accept this award as honouring that collaborative work. Thank you so much.”

Source: https://www.oldscollege.ca/about/news/2020/2020-honorary-degree-media-release/index.html

Jumpstart State of Sport Report

Jumpstart State of Sport Report

Highlights: Jumpstart State of Sport Report

 

In March 2021, Jumpstart released the Jumpstart State of Sport Report, highlighting important findings from research conducted in partnership with Ipsos that focused on the impacts of COVID-19 on Canadian youth sport and recreation (Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, 2021). 

 

Two surveys were conducted to explore these impacts: the first among parents of children ages 4-17, to understand the mental and physical impact of loss of access to sport and play on children and youth; and the second among sport organizations, to explore the pandemic’s impact on programming and ability to continue operating (Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, 2021). 

 

Three key takeaways from this research include:

  • Canadian recreational sport infrastructure is suffering: The financial impacts of the pandemic have severely impacted sport organizations, with one-third bankrupt or facing bankruptcy, and 3 in 10 organizations closing temporarily or indefinitely (Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, 2021).

  • Impacts on Canadian youth are severe: Youth, particularly those whose recreational and sport activities have been impacted, are facing significant mental and physical health impacts. 64% of parents report that their children are finding it hard to reduce stress and anxiety, and 69% say that their kids are showing signs of being less physically fit (Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, 2021).

  • Returning to ‘normal’ will be a long-term challenge in sport: More than 75% of all sport organizations believe it will take longer than 6 months for the recreational sport-sector to return to a version of ‘normal’ (Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, 2021). 

 

Importantly, along with these key takeaways, 87% of parents say that their kids are very much looking forward to returning to sports and recreational activities (Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, 2021). To support this return to play, Jumpstart has established the Sport Relief Fund, designed to balance recovery and renewal while focusing on dismantling the systemic barriers preventing sport participation for Canadian children and youth of all backgrounds and abilities (Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, 2021). In 2020, this fund supported nearly 700 organizations and benefitted over 70,000 Canadian youth, and stands to benefit many more following a $12 million investment from the Canadian Tire Corporation in February 2021. You can learn more about the Jumpstart Sport Relief Fund and the State of Sport Report here

 

Reference: Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, Jumpstart State of Sport Report, (March 2021).

Systemic Racism, Unconscious Bias & Microaggressions

Systemic Racism, Unconscious Bias & Microaggressions

When discussing diversity and inclusion, it is important to have a shared understanding of the common terms used to discuss the sources and mechanisms of discrimination. At Respect Group, we recognize that these terms can be complex, and have recently updated our Workplace, School, and Sport programs to explicitly discuss these concepts and their impacts across different contexts. To better educate yourself and your organization on how to actively promote diversity and inclusion, it is important to understand the differences between systemic racism, unconscious bias, and microaggressions, and the overarching role that intersectionality plays within each of these concepts. 

 

Systemic Racism

 

Systemic racism is defined as, “Organizational culture, policies, directives, practices or procedures that exclude, displace, or marginalize some racialized groups and/or create unfair barriers for them to access valuable benefits and opportunities” (Government of Ontario, 2020). This is enacted through institutional biases that are built into the culture, policies, practices and procedures of organizations and systems, privileging the interests and opportunities of dominant groups while disadvantaging marginalized groups (Government of Ontario, 2020). 

 

Systemic racism can be found in all major institutions, from governments and schools to public and private companies and religious organizations. It is important to note that systemic racism differs from racial bias in that these policies and procedures often appear neutral and may not be intended to disadvantage members of marginalized groups, but in practice, have the effect of doing so. 

 

Unconscious Bias

 

According to Catalyst (2019), unconscious bias is, “An association or attitude about a person or social group that, while not plainly expressed, operates beyond our control and awareness, informs our perceptions, and can influence our decision-making and behaviour.” Unconscious biases are pervasive, powerful predictors of behaviour, even if they don’t match conscious attitudes or opinions (Catalyst, 2014). Unconscious biases impact actions large and small, but are more likely to be observed when conscious controls over decision-making are lowered and factors such as stress, distraction, relaxation, or competition impact one’s control over conscious behaviours (Catalyst, 2014).  

 

It’s important to recognize that everyone has unconscious biases within our worldviews, affecting our actions across different areas of our lives that we may not be aware of, but are perceived by others (Catalyst, 2019). These biases often reflect internalized societal messages and norms, which are influenced and/or created by systemic racism, misogyny, and other common stereotypes and prejudices. Unconscious biases can create many barriers at both organizational and individual levels, working against inclusion, performance, engagement, and innovation (Catalyst, 2019). Given the nature of unconscious biases, we cannot completely eliminate them, but we can develop strategies and skills to override these biases and mitigate their impacts (Catalyst, 2019). 

 

Microaggressions

 

Racial microaggressions are a form of discrimination that is brief and commonplace; occurring daily; and can be verbal or nonverbal (Sue et al., 2007). There are three common forms of microaggressions: microassaults, microinsults, and microinvalidations (Sue et al., 2007). 

 

Microassaults are explicitly derogatory verbal or nonverbal attacks on one’s race, where the perpetrator aims to hurt or harm the victim through name-calling, avoidant behaviour, or discriminatory actions (Sue et al., 2007). One example of this may be using outdated and offensive terms to refer to Black or Indigenous peoples (Sue et al., 2007). Microassaults are usually both conscious and deliberate, and often occur in relatively ‘private’ contexts, where the perpetrator can maintain some degree of anonymity (Sue et al., 2007). 

 

Microinsults are subtle, rude and insensitive comments or actions that demean a person’s racial heritage or identity (Sue et al., 2007). Microinsults may seem harmless to the perpetrator, but hold a deeper, more painful meaning for the victim (Sue et al., 2007). One example of this may be not taking the time to learn the proper pronunciation of a co-worker’s name because it is unfamiliar, and consistently mispronouncing or avoiding using their name (Montañez, 2020). These types of statements and actions may not necessarily be aggressive , but the context in which they occur and the impact on victims determines whether a comment or action is a microinsult (Sue et al., 2007).

 

Microinvalidations are comments or actions that exclude, ignore, or invalidate the thoughts, feelings, or reality of a person of colour (Sue et al., 2007). Examples may include asking a person of colour where they are from ‘originally’, or where they are ‘really’ from (Sue et al., 2007). 

 

The daily experience of microaggressions is incredibly harmful, both for the individuals experiencing them and for organizations as a whole (Sue et al., 2007). Though the emotional tax of experiencing microaggressions can be felt in a wide variety of context, more information on the high emotional tax of experiencing racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination in the workplace can be found here

 

Intersectionality

 

Lastly, it is important to consider the role that intersectionality plays in impacting the experiences of individuals and organizations. Coined by scholar and advocate Kimberlé Crenshaw (1989), the term intersectionality refers to the ways in which the intersecting and overlapping identities of individuals impacts their lives based on their social location, which includes (but is not limited to) one’s race, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religion, age, ability, and citizenship. Intersectionality is both a concept and a tool that can be used to reflect on how the policies and procedures of a system or organization impact individuals with intersecting identities, who may be experiencing multiple, layered forms of oppression and discrimination (Crenshaw, 1989). 

 

The resources below provide more information on systemic racism, unconscious bias, and microaggressions specific to schools, sports organizations, and workplaces. 

 

Resources for Schools

  • Talking About Race & Privilege: Lesson Plan for Middle & High School Students 
    • From Early Childhood Educators through to College/University

 

Resources for Sports Organizations

 

Resources for Workplaces

 

References

Catalyst. (2019, December 12). Understanding unconscious bias: Ask Catalyst Express. Retrieved from https://www.catalyst.org/research/unconscious-bias-resources/  

 

Catalyst. (2014, December 11). What is Unconscious Bias? Retrieved from https://www.catalyst.org/research/infographic-what-is-unconscious-bias/  

 

Crenshaw, K. (1989). Demarginalizing the intersection of race and sex: A black feminist critique of antidiscrimination doctrine, feminist theory and antiracist politics. u. Chi. Legal f., 139.

 

Government of Ontario. Glossary. (2020, February 29). Retrieved 

from https://www.ontario.ca/document/data-standards-identification-and-monitoring-systemic-racism/glossary

 

Montañez, R. (2020, June 11). 10 microaggressions and 5 microinvalidations women of colour are tired of, are you guilty? Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/rachelmontanez/2020/06/11/10-microinsults-and-5-microinvalidations-women-of-color-are-tired-of-are-you-guilty/?sh=7b9ef35f6ea8 

 

Sue, D. W., Capodilupo, C. M., Torino, G. C., Bucceri, J. M., Holder, A., Nadal, K. L., & Esquilin, M. (2007). Racial microaggressions in everyday life: implications for clinical practice. American psychologist, 62(4), 271.

Bill C-65: Prevention is the Key to Success

Bill C-65: Prevention is the Key to Success

Bill C-65: Prevention is the Key to Success

 

 On January 1, 2021, the federal government’s new Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations came into effect, along with federal harassment and violence prevention legislation under Bill C-65 (Anandan et al., 2020). The new legislation and regulations pertain to federally-regulated employees and alter the existing anti-harassment and violence framework within the Canadian Labour Code (Anandan et al., 2020). Employers covered by this legislation include those in the federally-regulated public sector, private sector employers engaged in federal work or endeavours, and federal Crown corporations (Anandan et al., 2020). The three core pillars of this anti-harassment and violence in the workplace legislation focus on prevention, response, and support.

 

The prevention pillar of Bill C-65 and the Regulations address the need for policies, procedures and preventative measures to be implemented by all federally-regulated employers (Anandan et al., 2020). Along with an ‘applicable partner’, identified as an employer’s health and safety committee or representative, the employer is responsible for assessing internal and external risk factors contributing to harassment and violence in the workplace and, within 6 months, developing and executing a plan to implement preventative measures (Anandan et al., 2020). 

 

The employer and the applicable partner must also jointly develop and implement a workplace violence and prevention policy for all employees (Anandan et al., 2020). Training is a key element of this policy and employers are required to outline and describe the specific workplace harassment and violence training that will be provided to employees (Anandan et al., 2020). Both the preventative measures implementation plan and the workplace harassment violence and prevention policy must be reviewed and updated (as needed) every 3 years (Anandan et al., 2020). 

 

The Respect in the Workplace program, updated and relaunched in 2019, fulfills and goes beyond the training requirements of Bill-65 and the Regulations. Grounded in a focus on culture change versus check-box compliance, our program helps these policies and training requirements become actionable, while maintaining the safety of the learner. Respect in the Workplace training provides baseline prevention, but also: 

 

  • Foundational education on bullying, abuse, harassment, and discrimination, known as BAHD behaviours
  • Standards for physical and psychological safety in the workplace
  • Plus actionable tools for both employers and employees to prevent and address maltreatment in the workplace, including a risk management section with information on provincial and federal compliance

In addition, our program was updated in September 2020 to expand upon and explore the important issues of systemic racism, microaggressions, and unconscious bias. 

 

We encourage employers to see the requirements of Bill C-65 as an opportunity to be leaders in their field and to show their employees that they care by creating and committing to a culture of respect. For more information, please see these additional resources below:

 

 

Source:

 

Anandan, N., O’Ferrall, K., and Hanson, J. (2020, July 21). Part 1 of 2: Less than 6 months for employers to prepare for the new federal regulations on workplace harassment and violence – changes effective January 1, 2021. Osler. Retrieved from https://www.osler.com/en/blogs/risk/july-2020/part-1-of-2-less-than-6-months-for-employers-to-prepare-for-the-new-federal-regulations-on-workplac 

 

Respect Group launches new podcast The Sheldon Kennedy Show

Respect Group launches new podcast The Sheldon Kennedy Show

Respect Group is proud to present The Sheldon Kennedy Show, a new podcast featuring open and honest conversations between Sheldon Kennedy and notable guests, where they will share their stories, subject matter expertise, and insights on the many social issues we face today. 

Episode 1 is now available, featuring Dr. Marco Di Buono, the Associate Vice President of Programs & Charities at Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, where he oversees programs that help Canadian children of all abilities participate in sport and recreation. He holds a PhD in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Toronto, and along with being a grassroots sport advocate and a busy sports dad, he sits on the Canadian Paralympic Committee’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. In this episode, Sheldon and Dr. Di Buono explore the benefits of play, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on sport and well-being, and how movement and recreation can improve child and youth mental and physical health. 

You can learn more about the Sheldon Kennedy Show and listen to Episode 1 and all future episodes here, or subscribe through Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, or wherever you get your podcasts!

 

New Partnership with The Prosperity Project

New Partnership with The Prosperity Project

Respect Group is proud to be a Founding Corporate Partner of The Prosperity Project, an organization aiming to mitigate the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on Canadian women. This project focuses on the economic importance of gender equality in all stages of pandemic recovery, recognizing the diverse needs and approaches required to support all Canadian women (The Prosperity Project, 2020). 

 

The initiatives to support this goal include a matching program between non-profit organizations that serve women with working professionals who can volunteer their time to boost staff resources and support in addressing resource gaps (The Prosperity Project, 2020). Further, several research projects are planned, including a National Long-Term Prosperity Study that is currently seeking participants; and an advocacy campaign supporting the Rosie Mentorship Program, matching women working in STEM and skilled trades with mentors providing one-on-one guidance and support over the course of 6 months (The Prosperity Project, 2020).  

 

The recent Power Gap series published by the Globe & Mail emphasizes the importance of organizations like The Prosperity Project in working towards gender equality and equity in the Canadian workforce. Research from salary records in 4 key public pillars- universities, cities, provincial governments and public corporations- shows a clear power gap in the workforce existing before the pandemic, with women outnumbered, outranked, and out-earned by their male colleagues across the middle- and top-levels of management (Doolittle & Wang, 2021). The authors identify a clear trend of a ‘leaky pipeline’ versus a glass ceiling, with gender equity across roles stalling out at middle management, leaving fewer women progressing to top-level executive positions (Doolittle & Wang, 2021). For instance, less than 5% of Canada’s largest publicly traded corporations are led by female CEOs, with more male CEOs named Michael than female CEOs in total (Grant, 2021). Beyond the immediate impacts on women in the workforce, this contributes to long-term systemic issues around female representation. A lack of women in positions of power means young women and girls don’t see themselves reflected in corporate leadership positions (Grant, 2021). 

 

The impact of the pandemic has only widened the power gap, with women’s participation rate in the workforce plunging to a 30-year low in April 2020 (Grant, 2021). Though this rate has improved greatly since then, concerning trends have appeared since, including women in their early 20s and late 30s leaving the workforce; women still in the workforce having their working hours reduced further than those of their male counterparts; and according to research from The Prosperity Project, one-third of Canadian women have considered quitting their jobs due to stress and family pressure (Grant, 2021). Ensuring that women have the resources and capacity needed to return to the workforce and reach their fullest potential not only supports gender equity, but families, communities, and economies as a whole (Grant, 2021). 

 

For these reasons and more, Respect Group is proud to partner with The Prosperity Project in supporting gender equity in the workforce and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. You can learn more about their work at https://canadianprosperityproject.ca/

 

Sources:

 

Doolittle, R., and Wang, C. (2021, January 21). This is the power gap: Explore the investigative series and data. The Globe & Mail.  Retrieved from https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-power-gap/ 

 

Grant, T. (2021, January 22). Corporate Canada is still a boys’ club, data analysis shows- and COVID-19 could make it more so. The Globe & Mail. Retrieved from https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-power-gap-tsx/ 

 

The Prosperity Project. (2020). Creating positive change. Retrieved from https://canadianprosperityproject.ca/programs 

 

The Prosperity Project. (2020). What is the prosperity project? Retrieved from https://canadianprosperityproject.ca/about 

 

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