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Addressing Workplace Harassment in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police

  • RESET

Category:

EMPLOYMENT CONDITIONS

Sub-Category:

Sub-Category: GENERAL

Resolution Number:

300.10.37

Club:

Edmonton

Province:

Year:

2023

Status:

Open

Background:

Women in the RCMP have been subject to sexual harassment, bullying, sexual assault, and gender-based discrimination (GBD) in the workplace for over 30 years. Together, the Broken Dreams Broken Lives’ (BDBL) report (Bastarache, 2020) and the Final Report on the Tiller/Copland/Roach (TCR) RCMP Class Action (Kirkpatrick, 2022) examined over 3600 workplace harassment claims and found a toxic, misogynistic, and homophobic workplace culture causing “incalculable damage” to female employees within the RCMP (Bastarache, 2020). Workplace sexual harassment and GBD affects all aspects of a victim’s life, as victims suffer significant psychological distress, physical health ailments, and career disruptions leading to ongoing financial stress (McLaughlin et al., 2017). Women constitute 21.8% of Regular Members and, throughout 2021, represented less than 2%of regular member applicants (RCMP, 2022a).
● Many women faced not only GBD and sexual violence within the RCMP, but also harassment
based on race, Indigeneity, language, and sexuality (Bastarche, 2020).
● Since 2007, 15 separate reports highlighting workplace harassment and GBD within the RCMP
have been released (Misra et al., 2022). Embedded organizational misogyny manifests itself in poor handling of sexual assaults, gender-based violence, and missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and it has led to calls from the United Nations and Human Rights Watch, among other organizations (Misra et al., 2022). Increased female RCMP membership can catalyze greater changes and benefits for Canadian society; female officers are shown to improve policing success, trustworthiness, and community reputation (Fritsvold, 2022). Recognizing this need for diversity, many provincial and regional organizations work to improve opportunities and outcomes for women in law enforcement at the local level (AWIP, 2022). The changes necessary to make an inclusive and safe environment for female employees complement existing RCMP Indigenous employment initiatives (RCMP, 2022b) and nationwide action toward Truth and Reconciliation (TRCC, 2015). The BDBL report calls for a thorough, independent, external review of the RCMP, alongside the implementation of 52 “stop-gap” measures geared towards deeper cultural changes to address the pervasive misogyny and homophobia within the RCMP

Comments:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW Canada) urges the Government of Canada and relevant ministries to work in unison and commission an independent review of the RCMP to identify systemic barriers in place that may prevent women from succeeding in the RCMP; and FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that BPW Canada urges the Government of Canada and relevant ministries to implement the recommendations put forward within the “Broken Dreams Broken Lives” (BDBL) Report, specifically starting with Recruitment, Training and Leadership development recommendations.

©BPW Canada  www.bpwcanada.com

Article ID: 13358