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You’ve Come a Long Way Baby…. But They Haven’t


Evelina Silveira, President Diversity at Work

News Flash!  Sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape are making the global headlines.  Whether it is the gang rape of women and children in India or closer to home the stories about our Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the American Military.

We have a real global problem. With all of the advances women have made we  are not taking seriously on the job.  We are still in an age where authorities will turn a blind eye to violence against women and children.  We don’t have to look very far to see that women’s basic right to safety continues to be violated even in democratic countries like India, Canada and the United States.

Our Western countries are supposedly the beacons of progress and equality – but I guess that is not the case if you are a woman who wants to enter into a patriarchal institution like the US Military and the RCMP.

I have a few questions for the officials.  Did you ever prepare to have women be a part of your forces?  What proactive steps did you take to ensure that the women would be taken seriously by yourself and those you lead? What policies were put into place? What kind of screening questions were used to disqualify members who could not work respectfully in a male/female workplace? What training was given? Did anyone ever argue that there was a  “business case” for having women in these positions? What kind of training was involved to bring acceptance and respect for fellow female officers in these institutions?   It seems like none of this happened.  Clearly the RCMP and the US Military have failed women when it comes to affording them the same respect that male officers have been given.

 A lot of pain could have been prevented that the brave women endured.  An infrastructure was needed which could have:

  1. · screened out people who cannot work respectfully alongside members of the opposite sex,

  2.        had a knowledgeable and sensitive official who the victims could trust .

We’ve come a long way indeed, but some of our institutions definitely need to catch up when it comes to workplace respect and safety for women.

If you would like more information about gender sensitivity training, please contact:

Diversity at Work   519-659-4777 or

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