Women pushed out of "non-traditional" jobs by harassment and discrimination

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Unionist
Women pushed out of "non-traditional" jobs by harassment and discrimination

Wasn't sure whether to put this here or in feminism forum.

Unionist

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2013/03/27/quebec-discrimin... pushes women out of Quebec construction jobs: report[/url]

Quote:

When it comes to the number of women working in Quebec's construction industry, the province ranks behind the rest of Canada and a report to be released today is calling for the government to step in.

Julie Miville-Dechêne, the chair of Quebec’s council for the status of women, says the discrimination in the industry goes beyond bad jokes or unequal pay.

“Sexual harassment is tolerated on construction sites,” she said.

According to Quebec's construction association (CCQ), in 2011 only 1.3 per cent of Quebec’s construction workers were female — the lowest of any province.

The overall Canadian average for 2011 was 3 per cent and Quebec’s council for the status of women says it’s hoping the province will meet that minimum in the next three years.

[url=http://www.csf.gouv.qc.ca/modules/fichierspublications/fichier-50-1713.p... is the news release announcing the report. Unfortunately everything seems to be in French.

Besides construction, I think the same phenomenon is still rampant in skilled trades, despite the Supreme Court of Canada decision decades ago - I'll post more about that later.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

It is really hard to change the culture when the dominant force is macho males brought up in a rape culture.  In the late 80's my union tried to do what it could to attract young women into our trade by doing things like trying to recruit young women at high school job fairs.  We had very little success but did recruit a few women who never made it through the four year apprenticeship.  As a steward on a construction site where we had a couple of women apprentices I remember taking down all the Hustler and Penthouse soft porn from the lunchroom walls only to find that they were replaced by the Sun Girl of the day. I have to admit I didn't try to take those down because as the "boys" pointed out they were just clipped out of the newspapers they were reading. 

How do we change the overall culture of our society seems to remain the main challenge. 

Unionist

That's my take as well.

Might as well just quote what I wrote in [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/anti-racism-news-and-initiatives/responding-ques... - don't think it's changed much:

Unionst wrote:

A really good example of the challenges involved is found in Action travail des femmes v. CN. In short, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal found systemic sex discrimination by CN Rail in hiring in its rail repair shops in the St. Lawrence Region (basically Quebec). These are better-paid skilled trades positions. In an unprecedented ruling (probably before or since), it ordered CN to hire one woman for every four men in that region.

That was 1984. After court appeals, the Supreme Court upheld the decision in 1987. One in four may not seem like much, but considering that the ratio of women in these jobs was probably around 1% (that's a pure guess - you'd have to read the original decisions), it was enormous.

Well, 20 years later, there are still a tiny percentage of women in the CN skilled trades. Why? Layoffs by inverse seniority over the years have surely been one reason. But the principal one is that not enough women apply. They are "screened out" by vocational schools, by their churches, by their "boyfriends", by their families, by their education, by Cosmo and Strut and music and movies and art and... by society as a whole.

Our society needs "affirmative action", but not in the heavy-handed wash-our-hands approach of legislators and jurists. We need a social revolution. We need to free people from the shackles of economic, psychological, physical, social, and I don't know what other kinds of discrimination.

And it won't happen without lots and lots of talk and laws and marches and strikes and movements and more talk.

Make that 30 years. And it's not just the harassment on the job. They don't apply in the first place. How does that change?

ETA: [url=http://canlii.ca/t/1lpg8]Here[/url] is the 1987 decision of the Supreme Court in Action Travail des Femmes v. Canadian National Railway Company. And will it surprise you to learn that Harper defunded Action Travail des Femmes?

 

lagatta

No surprise at all, given that they also defunded Sisters in Spirit.

I have a friend who was one of the women who went through Action Travail des femmes. She was a backhoe operator at Notre-Dame Cemetery for years (retired now). I was thrilled to see that one of the workers on the ENDLESS road and waterworks work on my street was a young woman. We chatted a bit and I talked about my friend.

Construction per se is also such a jobs trust, not only through the type of unions involved (whatever their affiliation) but the whole family structure. I don't see many workers "of colour" getting hired either (hate that term, but you know what I mean). Here they are typically either Québécois francophones, or of Italian or Portuguese descent. Perhaps some Latinos...

Unionist, I heard this story both on Radio-Canada and CBC, so imagine that material will also be available in English (and NO WAY am I translating that government thing unless I'm paid...).

 

 

Unionist

Haven't listened to this yet, so consider it a kind of bookmark - plus I wanted to bump this thread:

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/thesundayedition/documentaries/2014/04/24/women-in-tra... in trades (CBC Sunday Edition)[/url]

Unionist

A rabble.ca podcast from December:

[url=http://rabble.ca/podcasts/shows/f-word/2013/12/women-trades]Women in trades[/url]

Quote:
Nicole Deagan interviews Charlotte, one of the founders of WMovers (Women Movers), which is an all-female moving company with the mandate of empowering women and trans folks through safe and stable employment. And, Carissa Ropponen speaks to Erin Maguire about her experience taking a Women in Trades Program at Camosun College in Victoria, BC.They talk about why this program is important and empowering for women.

lagatta

When I was young I wanted to be a printer, but counsellors advised me that it was a job headed to obsolescence. I loved that printing press, the smell of the ink...

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Quote:

A member of the Canadian Labour Congress's (CLC) national executive has made allegations of abuse and sexism within the organization.

Marie Clarke Walker, the national Executive Vice-President of the CLC, confirmed to rabble that on April 23 she presented an open letter to the executives of the CLC and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) that outlined a number of grievances against CLC President Ken Georgetti.

http://rabble.ca/news/2014/04/clc-executive-vice-president-alleges-abuse...

Unionist

Kropotkin!!!!

Please stay!!!!

This is bizarre... I was staring at an old thread today, saw kropotkin's name, and missed him sorely. You felt my vibes?

And yeah, I saw that story about Marie Clarke Walker. Why am I not surprised.

 

Slumberjack

Kropotkin1951 is leaving?