Gender Discrimination: A Call to Action for Workplace Equality

Gender Discrimination: A Call for Workplace Equality

Gender Discrimination in Managerial Positions: What do recent statistics reveal?

A recent report from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Business Data Lab revealed some unfortunate statistics regarding women in managerial positions in Canada. Of 37 countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Canada is all the way back at 16th place. With the current pace of women being promoted into such positions, we can expect gender parity by 2129, more than 100 years from now.

Changing this disappointing trend will require societal changes beyond simply tweaking legislation.  Luckily though, Canada and Ontario’s strong laws regarding discrimination are powerful tools in our quest toward gender parity, and they are tools we have available to us today.

What legal protections exist against Gender discrimination?

Under both the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Ontario Human Rights Code, sex and gender are protected grounds. Withholding of training, promotion, and advancement opportunities can constitute discrimination if they are on the basis of an employee being a woman. For example, informal mentoring programs could exacerbate existing biases; a largely male managerial force may tend toward taking more male employees under their wing. As well, any termination that is at all on the basis of a protected ground like sex or gender is illegal.

There are various methods to gain recourse depending on the circumstances. Human rights complaints can be directed to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO). If they are attached to another claim, such as a wrongful dismissal, then such matters can be brought forward in the courts as well.

Keeping in mind however the notorious backlogs in both the courts and the HRTO nowadays, there is still another way. An experienced employment lawyer can help leverage the specific facts of your case into a valuable settlement.  The time, legal fees, and energy saved from avoiding trial is significant, and a worthwhile settlement can help discriminated-against employees move on with their lives faster.

How can Whitten & Lublin assist women facing discrimination?

If you feel you may be missing out on opportunities at work because you are a woman, expert legal advice is vital in assessing your options and deciding your next steps.  If you would like more information on how Whitten & Lublin can help you fight discrimination as a female employee, please contact us online or by phone at (416) 640-2667 today.

Author – Sohrab Naderi