KNOW MORE! Free Virtual Conference 2021
The Yukon Human Rights Commission (“the Commission”) is hosting a free online conference called ‘KNOW MORE!’ on March 4th and 5th, 2021. The conference will be accessible through an app on your mobile device, or through a web browser on your computer. The Commission has developed the app specially to offer tools to make the conference more dynamic and interactive. We hope it will be as fun to attend virtually as it would be to attend in person.
Through this conference, our goal is to raise awareness in general, and inform about the law relating to workplace sexual harassment in particular. We want to bring together employers, employees, and other stakeholders from First Nations, unions, women’s groups, chambers of commerce, and other groups that represent the diversity of Yukon, with the hope to develop shared approaches to this continuing issue and provoke discussion about pathways towards a Yukon without workplace sexual harassment.
We encourage you to check back regularly for updates and to pre-register. If you would like more information about the conference, or feel that your organisation may be able to contribute, please contact us!
Towards A Yukon Without Workplace Sexual Harassment
Under our mandate to promote human rights in the territory, the Yukon Human Rights Commission (the Commission) is one year into a five-year project to bring about a cultural shift on the issue of sexual harassment in Yukon. “Towards a Yukon Without Workplace Sexual Harassment”, funded by the Government of Canada, Department of Justice, will support every Yukoner’s right to equal opportunity and the right to a safe work place that is free from discrimination. These goals are directly in line with the Commission’s directive to promote and protect the dignity and rights of every individual to participate and contribute fully and safely in the workplace.
“Towards a Yukon Without Workplace Sexual Harassment” will address workplace sexual harassment by providing information, building knowledge and offering resources to governments, organizations and individuals across the territory. During the project, the Commission will be working with a wide scope of organizations, governments, employers and employees to share knowledge, deliver training and develop specific tools to help effect this cultural shift.
In Canada, almost 20 percent of women and 13 percent of men report harassment in the workplace. Over the years, the Yukon Human Rights Commission has received and continues to receive complaints of workplace sexual harassment that go to adjudication or are otherwise resolved. This awareness and the recent critical momentum in our society to change the culture on sexual harassment and violence and on other forms of discrimination in workplaces has raised the urgency of this continuing issue.
The Commission already has a mandate to investigate and facilitate the settlement of accepted complaints. We also work to pre-empt incidents of workplace sexual harassment through education and training and by reviewing employer policies to clarify acceptable employee behaviour and procedure in case of harassment.
The Commission is dedicated to providing information that represents as well as meets the needs of Yukoners. The Commission believes that the success of this project lies in fortifying relationships with employees, employers and bystanders, women’s organizations, advocacy groups, First Nations, other governments, professional organizations, trade unions and other stakeholder groups. Applying the recommendations resulting from consultations will ensure that this initiative is carried out in a manner that is practical, culturally sensitive, dignified, inclusive, accommodating, and engaging.
The Commission will be delivering a comprehensive education and information campaign using a wide range of media to ensure the greatest amount of access throughout the territory. The plan includes a major public information campaign, travel to every community in Yukon to deliver in-person training, the establishment of on-line training modules, the provision of other on-line tools, bi-annual conferences focusing on ensuring that all Yukoners have an understanding of the law in respect of workplace sexual harassment and many other initiatives. Through the provision of internal investigation guides, the Commission further aims to help ensure that employers deal with complaints in a sound and procedurally fair manner.
The Commission has hired new staff to focus on this work to engage with the public using a variety of learning methods and to reach as many Yukon communities and constituencies as possible, hopefully in person post COVID. We will also be holding two major conferences on workplace sexual harassment scheduled for 2021 and 2023.
In partnering with Yukon organizations, businesses and individuals, the Commission hopes to build knowledge, competencies and skills that increase their effectiveness in preventing workplace sexual harassment. One year into the project, numerous partners and stakeholders have been contacted and provided with a presentation with baseline information on workplace sexual harassment. By engaging with relevant partners, the Commission hopes to find their past and current practices in place to address workplace sexual harassment, so as to ensure that work is built on and not recreated. There is no one-size fits all way to address workplace sexual harassment since all workplaces are different and each case of sexual harassment is distinct. The Commission is therefore also working towards building a baseline of data and conducting surveys throughout the life of the project.
The Commission recognizes that the approach to sexual harassment must be grounded in law, and matched to each setting and circumstance. Tailoring the project towards the work of the partners and ensuring that their needs are met is the most effective way of creating awareness about workplace sexual harassment, recognizing its many forms and the fact that none of them are acceptable. The project is fundamentally a learning process that provides impetus for change in how workplace sexual harassment is regarded and addressed. Ideally, partner organisations with complete knowledge on the matter and training in how to address it will be able continue to do so effectively after this project has ended.
The progress of the project will be measured in several ways. Regular surveys with be conducted with both the partner organizations, as well as the broader public. The goal of this project is culture shift, so it is critical to regularly check in on public perceptions and attitudes on the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace. Based on the information gathered through these surveys and information communicated directly by partner organisations, the Commission will modify and target its approaches to most effectively bring about the desired cultural shift towards more respectful and equitable workplaces in Yukon.
Throughout the federally funded, multi-year workplace sexual harassment project, the Commission will collaborate with organizations, businesses and individuals to share knowledge, develop or increase capacity to prevent and address workplace sexual harassment to build a Yukon free of workplace sexual harassment. If you or your organization would like to know more about workplace sexual harassment, this project, or would like to partner with the Commission on an aspect of this project, please get in touch!