Queen's online tool addresses sexual harassment
Queen’s University’s Human Rights Office (HRO) is taking its expertise to the marketplace to address an emotionally charged and often poorly understood issue: sexual harassment.
HRO has developed an on-line training module that can be used to increase awareness, or as a remedial tool in the workplace when allegations of sexual harassment demonstrate the need for additional training.
The module consists of three sections: a questionnaire about the principles of sexual harassment, three scenarios illustrating how it can happen and what might be done about it; and a final quiz. Participants must score at least 90 per cent on each of the three sections to qualify for a printable certificate.
“The module not only defines what sexual harassment is, it helps you figure out the steps to consider in addressing it,” says Margot Coulter, Human Rights Advisor/Sexual Harassment Prevention Coordinator. “It provides enough information so the employee or employer understands and thus can protect their rights or meet their legal obligations. And because it can generate a scored completion certificate, it enables institutions or workplaces to be more accountable.”
The value of the tool is its deep knowledge base. One of Canada’s oldest university-based human rights offices, the Queen’s group had more than 20 years of experience to draw on. The case studies, for example, are varied enough to be relevant to non-academic settings within post-secondary institutions.
“The office decided to make the tool more broadly available in response to demand,” says Ms Coulter. “A lawyer called me and said she’d looked all over North America for training for a corporate client and this was the best thing out there.”