If you haven’t been following the news, after Shauna Hunt – a CityNews reporter – was heckled by TFC fans, one of them was identified as a Hydro One employee and subsequently fired.
Apparently this heckling of female reporters is a new trend that began last year.
It’s sexual harassment.
And the fact that it is a trend, is even more disturbing.
Hydro One drew a hard line in the sand. This could be good for their employees and for a safer and more respectful workplace environment – if it’s a line that informs their workplace in daily practice as well as in policy.
Inclusive and safe workplaces are an ongoing commitment. Policies are an important part of that commitment, but it certainly doesn’t end there. New employees have to read and sign policies to show they agree to abide by them. And then these policies must be reviewed regularly, to ensure that:
a) employees remember what they signed and what the policies say
b) employees that are victims of (in this case) harassment know what the policies say and how they are supported
c) any questions can be answered and situations can be discussed.
The last point is important because intervention is part of creating and keeping a safe and inclusive environment. Giving employees the opportunity to think about, discuss, or even role play situations that they may find themselves in or witness, helps to increase comfort in dealing with these if they occur. And stepping in when someone is being disrespected helps to make workplaces safer.
So, congratulations Hydro One in taking a public stand.
And here is hoping that it’s a stand your employees feel every day.