Good gender diversity strategies on Parliament Hill

EQUAL VOICE RELEASE: Conservative MP Michelle Rempel’s article about everyday sexism on the Hill in last week’s National Post is another sobering reminder of a male-dominated workplace in which women who occupy positions of power are met with varying degrees of hostility and/or ignorance far too often. This is not unique to Parliament Hill. Gender-biased behaviour and cultural norms, which undermine or diminish women’s influence in traditionally male fora, are commonplace and often quite resistant to change. And while it may be tempting to characterize the particular brand of sexism we see on the Hill as particularly egregious, I am not sure it is.

Fundamentally, though, it’s about respect. This is why, in 2014, Equal Voice launched its Hill-focused campaign #RespectHer inviting male and female MPs to commit to a more constructive environment. … Tens of thousands of Canadians have legitimately elected the 88 women MPs in our national Parliament to represent their interests in Ottawa. These MPs should not face an uphill battle to carry out the mandate they’ve been given by constituents because of antiquated notions of how women should look, speak or conduct themselves. Canadians expect far better comportment by all MPs.

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