Empowering safe workplaces: CCA and WomanACT join forces to tackle harassment in STEM and trades

TORONTO, January 17, 2024

The Safe STEM Workplaces project is a collaborative effort between WomanACT and the Society for Canadian Women in Science & Technology (SCWIST) aimed at fostering safe and harassment-free workplaces, particularly within the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and trade sectors.

The project, funded by the Department of Justice, seeks to enhance prevention and response measures for gender-based and sexual harassment. It directly confronts harassment in workplaces, especially affecting women, with the goal of reducing stress, enhancing productivity, and retaining women in these industries. This program could not be possible without the involvement of employers such as the Canadian Construction Association (CCA), Chandos Construction, Tandem Launch, and EllisDon, who are among many employers dedicated to nurturing respectful and secure work environments.

The pervasive issue of workplace harassment has garnered global attention, catalyzed by the #MeToo movement. Alarming statistics persist, with approximately 40 per cent of women worldwide experiencing workplace sexual harassment (Mayer et al., 2020). These concerning figures are mirrored in the Canadian context, where reports of sexual harassment from women consistently outnumber those from men by ratios ranging from 2.4 to 3.6 times (Angus Reid Institute, 2018; Angus Reid Institute, 2014).

WomanACT and SCWIST have partnered with the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) to launch a transformative micro-lesson training series. This dynamic initiative, available through CCA partner associations to CCA integrated members at no cost, aims to reshape workplace cultures and eliminate gender-based and sexual harassment within workplaces. The micro-lesson series offers an interactive training program encompassing essential concepts, practical strategies, and actionable steps. Participants will delve into trauma-informed practices, procedural fairness, equity, as well as the nuances of gender, sexual orientation, and harassment, and will receive a certificate upon completion. The series empowers participants to foster accountable workplace cultures, implement preventative measures, and respond effectively to incidents.

Harmy Mendoza, Executive Director of WomanACT, emphasized, “Our partnership for the Micro-Lesson Training Series with CCA signifies more than collaboration; it signifies our shared commitment to reshape workplaces. We’re writing a story where harassment has no place, and equality and respect thrive.”

The Micro-Lesson Series epitomizes the synergy achieved through cross-sectoral partnerships. The Canadian Construction Association’s commitment to cultivating a culture of respect and safety aligns seamlessly with the shared objectives of WomanACT and SCWIST. “The construction sector continues to invest in an inclusive and respectful workplace. We are delighted to offer this training to our member firms through our integrated partner associations across Canada,” said Mary Van Buren, CCA President.

About WomanACT

Since 1991, WomanACT has been a Toronto-based organization dedicated to planning and coordination. Today, we are a charitable organization working collaboratively to end violence against women and promote gender equity through education, policy, and community mobilization. For more details, please visit www.womanact.ca.


SCWIST is a leader in programs, partnerships, mentoring and networks across Canada for women and girls in STEM. Through innovative research, capacity building and collective advocacy, SCWIST has advanced women and girls’ participation and leadership in STEM since 1981. For more information, please visit www.scwist.ca.

About CCA

The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) is the only national association representing contractors (general, trade, civil) and manufacturers, service providers and suppliers in Canada. Backed by 18,000 member firms drawn from 62 local and provincial integrated partner associations, CCA gives voice to the public policy, legal and standards development goals of contractors, suppliers and allied business professionals working in, or with, Canada’s institutional, commercial, industrial, and civil (ICIC) construction industry. For more details, please visit www.cca-acc.com.

Harmy Mendoza
Executive Director, WomanACT

Rodrigue Gilbert
Senior Vice President, Public Affairs and Procurement Practices
Canadian Construction Association