Listen in as I talk with Erin Alexanders as we discuss what employers can learn from a complainant's point of view. Erin was sexually harassed in the workplace and the investigation and processes were not dealt with effectively. What can we learn from her point of view? How do we make sure that those who have experienced harassment in the workplace are supported, heard, and treated with respect and dignity?
A brief synopsis of Erin's story
"I have been a part of the trucking industry since 2015. I have witnessed and been a part of the female growth which brings a unique perspective to an industry that has been heavily dominated by male workers.
In June 2020 my employer in the federal public service terminated me during their investigation process (terminating employees during an investigation is a violation of their harassment-free policy) after reporting sexual harassment and an assault at work in the spring of 2020 among three separate coworkers. Not only did the events that transpired change the trajectory of my life, but the mistreatment I faced by both my employer and union amplified the trauma of what should have been a supportive process. Instead, I am learning that victimization and gaslighting in workplaces is not an isolated issue; there are systemic fractures across many employers that first allow misconduct in the workplace, and second, post-incident internal processes that leave complainants feeling alienated and with limited trauma-informed resources to handle workplace harassment. I hired my own legal counsel (after months of rejections due to being unionized) while navigating a corrupt system that employees are told is actually designed to guide and provide empathy to complainants.
Two years later, and after multiple substantiated complaints, there have been no reported corrective measures imposed in the workplace I was harassed and assaulted in. Ultimately, no closure. After being terminated, it took me 21 months to return to the trucking industry due to psychological trauma and being forced to self-navigate the complaint system and being terminated in the process. Since
For several months after my losing my employment, I suffered mentally by blaming a federal, unionized system that appeared to strive to silence complainants. Today, I prioritize owning my adversity—finding meaning in what I can control. The circumstances I have faced empower me to stand with survivors of workplace trauma and to educate employers on what it can look like when they are not impartial, supportive or trauma-informed. Some decisions I have had to make are risks that complainants should never have to make.
My advocacy is formed around promoting compassion in workplaces that spans beyond policies, legislation and collective agreements. I work to help employers understand that there is no shame in embracing the power of employees who find the courage to use their voices for safer, more inclusive workplaces; to confront workplace misconduct and systemic malpractice rather than ignoring complaints or failing to seek appropriate resources to handle workplace matters."
To find Erin:
We invite you to push your edges and embrace this conversation. Join in as Leena and I discuss ways to make Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion a living, breathing part of your organization.
Leena Sharma Seth (She/Her) is a racialized settler, a daughter of Punjabi, East Indian immigrants, and Founder of Mending the Chasm, a firm committed to working with communities, clients, and organizations that are committed to building inclusive cultures, from the inside out.
With over twenty years of experience in various leadership roles, in Canada and in Asia, Leena has worked in non-profit, consulting, education, philanthropy, and supplier diversity spaces.
Leena has a Masters in Conflict Analysis & Management from Royal Roads, achieved her Canadian Certified Inclusion Professional (CCIP) designation with the Canadian Centre for Diversity & Inclusion, is trained as a Circle Way facilitator and recently completed the Pride at Work LGBTQ2+ Workplace Inclusion Certificate.
Leena’s work in community-building has been recognized by the 2021 Mayor’s Community Service Award through the Burlington Chamber of Commerce, Karina Gould’s Sesquicentennial Citizenship Award, as well as the Women’s Centre of Halton - 150 Years of Exemplary Women Award. Leena has served as a Community Mediator for more than a decade with Community Conflict Resolution Services of Halton.
Leena is a passionate foodie and enjoys reading. She is raising two social justice warriors with her partner Sanjay and is proud to call Burlington home.
To find Leena:
Phil Kriszenfeld - Family Business Advisor and Meditor - How to Avoid Family Conflicts in the Workplace
To all of our listeners far and wide THANK YOU for making 2021 a successful year for The Harassment Free Workplace Podcast. We have been streamed in over 44 countries worldwide and have surpassed 2400 listens so far. If you find value in this conversation please spread the word. As we are in the end of year holiday celebrations I thought it would be good to talk about families and how families can cause some conflicts in the workplace. I reached out to my good friend and colleague Phil Kriszenfeld, as he is a Family Business Advisor and Mediator to help us all navigate the family drama.
Listen in to Phil and I discuss his experience as a family business advisor and mediator and what he's learned to help reduce harassment in the workplace. Phil sees conflict in family businesses all the time so listen in to gain some pointers on how to avoid it.
Phil Kriszenfeld is a Family Business Advisor and Mediator. BA in Economics from the University of Western Ontario, Q.Med (Qualified Mediator) and FEA (Family Enterprise Advisor) graduate from the UBC Sauder School of Business. Transitions Mediation and Consulting Group focuses on improving communication for family enterprises in transition and mentoring the next generation to determine the optimal outcomes for the family and the family business. This includes managing conflict amongst the family members both inside and outside of the workplace. He has recently completed his CEA designation as a certified executor advisor to guide families through estate closure while maintaining family harmony.
To find Phil Kriszenfeld:
Listen in to learn how Hilda has created success in her companies and how she helps other leaders lead with her REVUP principles. Let's create healthy cultures where people are excited to go to work every day.
Hilda Gan -
The President and Chief People Officer of People Bright Consulting, Hilda Gan and her team provide employee engagement, manager and team training and HR policies and procedures to organizations that recognize that people are their greatest assets. A serial entrepreneur, she has built four companies – in Healthcare, HR, Management Consulting, and Engineering. The latter, she co-founded with her husband. iTRANS Consulting was an award-winning, national Engineering consulting Firm that was recognized as a "Best Workplaces in Canada®" – top ten twice and a finalist in Canada’s Best Managed Companies. She was recognized by the BWNYR for her work in promoting HR literacy to Businesses. She created the Connect with REVUP™ Program to help organizations build stronger teams, managers, and respectful work cultures through training, mentoring, and coaching. Based on the successes of iTRANS, the program provides a proven roadmap to develop an inclusive work culture so employees can feel inspired, safe and motivated. Where to find Hilda:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pplbright/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/pplbright
In this episode, we focus on bystanders. What keeps bystanders from coming forward and how can we encourage them to do so? What are the effects on the bystander? How do we support bystanders who have been witnessing harassment?
Linda Crockett is known for pioneering the first and only full-service workplace bullying and harassment resource center in Canada (2010). And for spearheading regional and national awareness with active government leader endorsement since 2010. She has won awards from our Government and the University of Calgary for her services. Linda’s clinical and professional training includes a master’s degree specializing in workplace bullying and trauma. She is a certified trauma therapist and social worker with 33 years of experience in her profession. Linda has designed two aspects of services for all professions and industries. One is for leaders offering consultations, coaching, and training. And the other is her repair and recovery clinic. Linda offers a safe, nonjudgmental, confidential space for services of education, training, advocacy, coaching, and/or treatment. Wearing many hats allows Linda to provide a wide breadth of knowledge and services saving employers and employees time and money e.g., consultant, trainer, coach, educator, investigator, advocate, and counsellor. All of these hats are necessary to appropriately serve the complexities of these cases. For example, for individuals or groups (complainants, witnesses, or respondents), or internal and external workplace services e.g., HR, Leaders, insurance, unions, legal, mediation, safety officers, and investigators. Linda is an active member of the International Association on Workplace Bullying and Harassment Association, and a proud alumnus of the Workplace Bullying Institute in the USA.
How to find Linda:
Welcome back to SEASON 2! Thank you to all of our listeners for making our podcast such a success!
Dr. Betty Pries - Creating Organizational Health with Policies, Tough Conversations, and Unconditional Positive Regard
With over 28 years of experience coaching, mediating, training, facilitating and consulting, Betty is highly regarded as a Conflict, Change, and Leadership Specialist. Betty specializes in working with complex challenges, supporting leaders and their organizations to be at their best. Betty’s capacity to care deeply, listen well, and provide wise and thoughtful support allows her to help her clients engage in tough, meaningful, and important conversations, set directions, and achieve positive organizational change.
Betty is a specialist in equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI), leading anti-racism / anti-prejudice workshops, supporting EDI committees, reviewing and writing EDI-related policies, coaching leaders, and offering support to organizations wrestling with EDI challenges.
Betty brings a wealth of experience to her work, having worked with a wide range of organizations, both nationally and internationally. Betty has extensive education, training, and experience in coaching, mediation, negotiation, consensus building, consultation, facilitation, and organizational health. As Co-Founder and CEO at Credence, Betty’s great joy has been the opportunity to mentor and support the growth of the Credence Team. Betty has a Ph.D. from the Free University Amsterdam on the topic of conflict transformation. She is a Chartered Mediator with the ADR Institute of Canada and a member of the ADR Institute of Ontario. Betty is a regular instructor at the University of Waterloo.
How to Find Dr. Betty Pries:
Join in the last episode of our first season of the Harassment Free Workplace Podcast. Learn how to increase happiness in your workplace. Don't we all need more happiness in our lives? Let's create it at work too.
Maryann Kerr is Chief Happiness Officer, CEO, and principal consultant with the Medalist Group. Maryann has worked in the social profit sector for 34 years and helped raise over $110M. She has led at the local, provincial, national, and international levels and is passionate about her family, feminism, and continuous learning.
Maryann knows that successful organizations create and nurture a climate where everyone understands their role; politics are minimal; engagement is high and turnover low. Environments where employees co-create the roadmap to mission delivery. Compassion, kindness and a deep commitment to the co-creation of collaborative and productive workplaces are core to her work.
Maryann has participated on many social profit boards and committees and her first book, “Tarnished: It’s time to rebuild, reimagine and repurpose the social profit sector,” will be out this Fall.
Maryann earned her master’s in organizational leadership and is currently applying to do her Ph.D. If that doesn’t come through, Maryann will take her research idea and turn it into her next book.
How to find Maryann Kerr:
Jasvinder Sandhu - Employment Lawyer - A Case Study in Sexual Harassment
Listen as Jasvinder Sandhu and I discuss a case of sexual harassment in the workplace. We discuss the takeaways that everyone can learn from this case.
Jasvinder Sandhu, Esq. - After having worked on Bay Street for a couple of different firms, she went in-house at one of the big-5 Canadian banks and worked most recently in the employee relations space. While she focuses much of her practice in Ontario, she is licensed in the great state of New Jersey and comes to us with a lens of an employer, advocate, and politician. She runs a successful solicitor's boutique here in Ontario and dabbles in politics part-time as a municipal representative.
Where to find Jasvinder:
LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/company/slpclaw
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/SLPCLawyers/
Join Leslie and me as we talk about how to lead your team through such massive change with courage!
Leslie is passionate about what it takes to live with Courage - and inspiring others to do the same. Having risen from the ashes of loss, abuse, betrayal, and illness, her mission is to inspire people on a global scale to get unstuck, stop settling for less than they desire, and harness the courage to create major breakthroughs!
Leslie is a dynamic speaker who has presented live to more than 100,000 people around the world dedicated to achieving their full potential and living their best life. She is in high demand as a speaker and personal development coach.
The National Speaker’s Association awarded Leslie their highest honor of CSP (Certified Speaking Professional). Less than 17% of NSA members worldwide hold this prestigious title.
Leslie is a member of the exclusive “Inner Fitness Team” at Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico, consistently voted “Best Spa in the World” by Travel and Leisure magazine. There, she brings her unique approach, inspiring guests to live a life without limits. Leslie has a unique talent for helping people overcome their “limiting beliefs” to create exponential success in all areas of their lives. Her newest book, Outrageous Achievement, is a #1 International Bestseller on Amazon.
Where to find Leslie Zann:
Linked IN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lesliezann/
Come and join the tough conversation of microaggressions and racism in the workplace and learn how to address microaggressions in a way that works.
Rhonda “Rikki” Smith is the founder and Chief Training Officer of Stratus Training and Consulting, LLC; a training management company providing soft skills training for managers, teams, and associates. Rikki is passionate about training and the ability that practical training has to build confidence increase productivity and ultimately affect the bottom line.
Rikki has worked in various positions in Homeland Security, the hospitality industry, Home health care, and Health care insurance. She is a Military Veteran having served in the U.S. Army as a communications specialist. Rikki holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management and is an avid volunteer in her community.
Rikki is an inspirational, motivational speaker, and author with an emphasis on transformational living. Her weekly YouTube channel, Faith on Friday, is a source of encouragement, humor, and challenge to those who see it.
Rikki enjoys reading, working out, and playing golf. She has been married 22 years to a retired Army Veteran, she is mother to four adult children and grandmother to two grandsons.
How to find Rikki Smith: