Chamber of commerce hosting free webinar on sexual harassment in the workplace

The Prince Albert Chamber of commerce is hosting a webinar in partnership with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission designed to be a conversation about sexual harassment in the workplace.

The webinar, set for next Thursday at 10 a.m., is being led by Nicole White, the project lead for Enough Already SK, a coalition committed to ending workplace sexual harassment in Saskatchewan through education, support and empowerment.

The coalition includes business, post-secondary, service and government sectors and launched this year. They work with government, business, industry associations, unions and community organizations to make workplaces throughout the province safe for everyone.

“Sexual harassment is a pervasive problem at workplaces throughout Saskatchewan and it exist and persist in virtually every sector oft eh economy across professions,” White said.

 “If you look at occupational health and safety, within a two-year period, they were doing a harassment investigation one per working day, and we all know the formal complaints that come forward are a small amount of the actual harassment that is happening.”

According to data from the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, 80 per cent of all sexual harassment incidents across Canada go unreported.

Nationally, 52 per cent of Canadian women say they have been subject to sexual harassment in the workplace, and 34 per cent of Saskatchewan residents believe they will experience sexual harassment in the workplace.

Despite that, 71 per cent of Saskatchewan residents have indicated that they have limited to no knowledge of the resources and supports available for individuals who experience sexual harassment.

“Sexual harassment is damaging, it’s demoralizing, it’s disrespectful, it’s discriminatory and people who experience it feel humiliated, ashamed, degraded and embarrassed. As a business, you see increased absenteeism and a higher staff turnover. There are benefits across the board to actually dealing with things.”

White said that data from the federal government found that just a two per cent reduction in workplace sexual harassment across Canada would yield the economy an additional $8.4 million per year.

“We had a survivor come forward, she said, I don’t know why my employer worked so hard to protect my perpetrator. they should have e protected me. That sticks with you because it is the employer’s role to create a safe work environment for everyone.”

White said the role of Enough Already SK is to support employees and employers, to provide options for policy changes in the workplace and help create safer workplaces.

“Often people don’t know where to start,” White said.

“We want to incorporate some best practices around policies, incorporating sexual harassment policy within your orientation and making sure that it’s posted and that people can see it, that there’s transparency in the reporting cycle. There’s a number of things employers can do to get that conversation going.”

Too often, White said, people don’t start to deal with sexual harassment issues in workplaces until after they happen.

The COVID-19 pandemic, White said, is giving businesses a chance to refresh how they operate and take a look at their policies.

“This is a perfect opportunity to reflect on how you rate that workplace to make it intentional, making sure it’s safe for everyone,” WHile said.

“Ar there updated policies when people are working remotely? Sexual harassment doesn’t just happen when people are in person in an office.”

The hope with the seminar conversation is to support local businesses, White said. It’s not just employers, but everyone, who has a role to play in ending sexual harassment.

“We all have a responsibility to shut down sexual harassment in the workplace,” she said.

“I hope we can get people thinking about how to be proactive within a workspace and actually address this issue.”

The sexual harassment in the workplace will be conducted over Webex at 10 a.m. Tuesday for Prince Albert and District Chamber of commerce businesses. More information is available on the chamber’s website.

White encouraged anyone looking for more resources regarding stopping sexual harassment in the workplace to visit Enough Already SK’s website at or on their Facebook page.