Globe and Mail

What Do You Know About Your Workplace's Culture?

It’s important to take the time to assess your own workplace culture, and how you fit into it. As I’ve written before, and in my new book (out in January!), there are a few types of workplace cultures, and being both self-aware and aware of your workplace is important to finding a job that will be psychologically safe. And, to take it one step further, if you work in a position where you have the ability to enact change on your workplace’s culture, then do it! Too many professionals today pay lip service to workplace culture without actually trying to make positive changes where they can. Is Your Workplace Culture a Good Fit for You?


Cultural Transformation at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police

The sexual harassment issues with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have been well documented. However, in the face of the settlement they’ve made to close the class-action lawsuit against them, I wonder how much the RCMP will truly transform its culture to correct the faults that led to this situation in the first place. As I’ve written in my new book (out in January!), sexual harassment in the workplace is often the result of power-dynamic bullying and can often result in retaliation against the employee being harassed. Complete cultural change is needed to root out a harassing culture as extensive as the one at the RCMP – as over 500 current and former employees were part of the sexual harassment lawsuit. While a formal apology to the victims is a good first step, we have yet to see the substantive details for the organizational makeover needed at the RCMP. Read more at The Globe and Mail.

Image: RCMP commissioner Bob Paulson, left, answers a question during a news conference, as plaintiffs Janet Merlo, centr, and Linda Davidson look on in Ottawa on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016.
Credit: Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS via Globe & Mail.

Supporting the Workers of Fort McMurray


The fires at Fort McMurray have been a tragedy. Usually, in circumstances like these, where an environmental catastrophe happens, we’re used to hearing about the fallout at work – people not only lose their homes, but their jobs, income and way of life. However, in the case of Fort McMurray, there seems to be a different response for working people. As one spokesperson for Syncrude Canada Ltd. put it, “Our employees have looked after us so we’ll look after them.” Several of the oil sands corporations with employees in Fort McMurray have been offering interest-free loans, salary continuation, lump sum payments, and other forms of financial aid to employees displaced by the fire. We’re so used to wrongdoing by big companies in situations like this that the way oil sands producers are currently working for their employees is worth commending. It’s nice to see corporations do the right thing, especially in the face of such a monumental environmental disaster. Read more about it at The Globe and Mail.

Photo: An evacuee camp for the people who fled the Fort McMurray wildfires in Wandering River, Alberta, Canada, Monday May 9, 2016; Mark Blinch/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Connecting Campus and Workplace Sexual Violence

Image Credit: CHAD HIPOLITO/THE CANADIAN PRESS via Globe and Mail

Image Credit: CHAD HIPOLITO/THE CANADIAN PRESS via Globe and Mail

According to this discussion about sexual violence on college campuses, about 90% of incidents are not reported. A culture exists that discourages victims to step forward and report instances of sexual violence, and I assert that this culture doesn’t exist solely on college campuses. I believe that the 90% statistic would probably hold true in many work organizations as well. Tragically, while some schools at least try to have a functioning system that addresses these issues (with varying degrees of success), many businesses don’t have the framework in place to address sexual violence with the grace and empathy that victims may need. You can read more about this at The Globe and Mail

Response to Marcel Aubut Harassment Probe

The situation at the Canadian Olympic Committee did not need a costly inquiry into what is frankly a rat’s nest of a work environment to take action. Based on the timeline presented in this article, almost everyone at the job was aware of the sexual and personal harassment taking place. Even non-COC staff reported seeing abusive behavior on the part of former COC president Aubut – so the bullying was clear even to outsiders. He should have been removed sooner, in addition to others who engaged in harassment – many of whom are apparently still present at the COC. You can read more about the probe at The Globe & Mail.