May 16, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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Harassment at work | LGBTQ + people are mostly targeted

Harassment at work |  LGBTQ + people are mostly targeted

LGBTQ + individuals are more likely to be harassed in the workplace, according to a recent Léger marketing survey commissioned by Fondation Émergence. The organization, which fights homophobia and transophobia, believes it is possible to reduce this problem by educating employers and their employees about gender and gender diversity.

Posted at 9:00 a.m. yesterday

Veronica Laroc

Veronica Laroc
Press

The Leger Marketing Survey indicates that approximately 35% of Cubans have been subjected to psychological or sexual harassment at least once in the last five years. Statistics reached 65% of LGBTQ + individuals. In particular, they are prone to receiving unwanted advances, offensive jokes or insults and teasing.

Patrick Desmarais, president of Fondation Émergence, was not surprised to see this gap. One-third of the LGBTQ + people surveyed said the harassment they experienced at work was so traumatic that they quit their job or wanted to do so, he points out.

“When we think we have a shortage of employees today and we are trying our best to keep them, it seems to me that this is a sign to employers,” said Patrick Desmoris.

“LGBTQ + 101”

According to the President of Fondation Émergence, LGBTQ + is a way to train people on sexual and gender diversity to prevent offices from being “toxic”.

This is exactly what the Foundation has been doing with its ProAllié program for just two years. “A kind of LGBTQ + 101 course”, summarizes Patrick Desmorise.

“Making sure there are basic elements in the idea. We describe what it means to be a person with sexual and gender differences. We use statistics to show people that LGBTQ + people still have problems. ⁇

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On Thursday, the company launched better training focusing on harassment prevention and the inclusion of LGBTQ + individuals in the workplace, Conseil du patronat du Québec and Standards, the Equity Commission. , In partnership with Occupational Health and Safety. Videos on the subject have also been posted online.

“It made all the difference to me”

Mary Isabelle Zendron believes that this approach will have a major beneficial effect on the lives of LGBTQ + individuals.

Photo by Mary Isabelle Zendron

“It simply came to our notice then. Transformation is a big inner journey. We don’t consider it necessary to comment on such fabrications. ”

In 2014, when she went through her transition, she was able to count on the support of her employer Pratt & Whitney, who worked for her for 40 years. “Looking at my company support made all the difference to me. ⁇

A letter was prepared to inform all his colleagues, including those abroad. A video was later released.

People in his department were invited to a special meeting. “They gave a variety of training. […] It’s a show to raise awareness for my work colleagues, especially men, ”explains Mary Isabelle Zendron.

During this meeting, a heavy weight fell from his shoulders. “I’m totally female … it’s a big day when I come back to the office in a dress,” she joked.

Did her colleagues, who had already noticed her becoming more feminine, all respond well to the statement? “There are colleagues who want to work in another shift because they are not comfortable with it,” said Mary Isabelle Zendron.

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“People have distanced themselves,” she adds, adding that invitations to vacations with colleagues are low.

“Humiliating remarks, glances, we have a lot of them, not just at work,” said the now-retired man.

However, she strongly believes that the actions taken by her employer have facilitated her transition. “Training helps to broaden people’s perspectives and promote acceptance,” said Mary Isabelle Zendron.

“It simply came to our notice then. Transformation is a big inner journey. We do not need other hazards from the outside, ”she concluded.

Learn more

  • 14%
    Ratio of information or trained cubes on the inclusion of LGBTQ + people in the workplace

    Emergency Foundation

    20%
    The proportion of Quebekers who feel unprepared to develop a comprehensive and secure office

    Emergency Foundation