There has been much talk about bullying and sexual harassment and assault in the workplace lately. In January, GeoWomen posted a short, anonymous survey to its website to ascertain how our community’s experiences correspond with the rest of the world’s. No names, no details, just collecting statistics on yes/no responses for the future panel discussion on this subject to inform us of experiences and strategies to manage similar situations.
GeoWomen would like to acknowledge Susan R. Eaton, P.Geol., P.Geoph., for assisting with writing the questions for this survey and Yulini Arediningsih, M.Sc., P. Geo, for posting it and making it a reality.
GeoWomen #MeToo / #TimesUp Survey – January 2018
These findings confirm other surveys:
41.2% – The percentage of GeoWomen respondents who have been sexually harassed at work.
44% – The percentage of GeoWomen respondents who reported to a superior or HR.
20.6% – The percentage of GeoWomen respondents who have been sexually assaulted in the workplace.
25% – The percentage of GeoWomen respondents who reported to a superior or HR.
#MeToo Attitudes: Some findings challenge conventional wisdom
52% – The percentage of Canadian women who say they have been subject to sexual harassment in the workplace
28% – The percentage of Canadian women who say they have been subject to non-consensual sexual touching in the workplace
GeoWomen Panel Discussion May 14, 2018
The history of sexual bullying and sexual harassment and abuse here in Calgary in the oil and gas industry is long and persistent. Each female geoscientist has her own experiences and knowledge of other women’s experiences— yet, there has been no public accounting of gender-, race-, or sexual orientation-based bullying and sexual harassment or abuse to hold the perpetrators to account or to stop the practice altogether. While individual companies have internal harassment policies, rarely does the execution of these policies become public. It is “understood” that secrecy is the overarching policy of most companies when bullying, harassment, and abuse occur.
Our esteemed women panelists will discuss stories of bullying and sexual harassment and abuse, either in person or as anonymous submissions. Many submissions remain anonymous because of either the perceived and/or real and negative implications of speaking up publically. The panelists will describe the legal implications and psychological realities that are experienced by workplace bullying and sexual harassment and abuse. What are the steps that a woman geoscientist can take to mitigate the damage to her career, safety and mental and physical well-being?
We know that the best way to right persistent wrongs is to shine the light on them. To begin – ask some simple questions and examine the responses. Next, make these findings known to the public. Finally, insist that significant measures be put in place to drive change and ensure a safe and equitable workplace for all.
The findings from this panel will be communicated to the Alberta Status of Women in answer to their Business Plan – Key Strategies 1.4 – Facilitate collaboration among community organizations, local governments, and stakeholders to share information and leverage collective resources to improve social outcomes for women and girls. Suggest that the Alberta government require reporting systems for bullying, harassment and sexual abuse occurrences, analyses, and outcomes that will result in government credits for good behavior and costs for non-compliance.
If you are a woman geoscientist in Canada, we encourage you to complete our GeoWomen #MeToo and #TimesUp online survey, click here to participate.
Susan’s career in the oil and gas industry has spanned more than 30 years—she’s worked as a geologist and geophysicist with multi-national energy companies and international consulting firms, as a regulatory geophysicist with the federal government in Ottawa, and as a vice-president of exploration with several privately-held and publicly-traded junior oil and gas companies.
Equipped with a journalism degree, Susan began her media career as an on-camera news reporter with CBC-TV. Today, as a freelance writer, she reports on science and technology, business, energy, the environment, geotourism and adventure travel. Her articles and photographs have been widely published in American and Canadian magazines and newspapers.
Susan explores the world’s oceans—from Antarctica to the Arctic—in the snorkel zone, a unique land-sea-ice-air interface where charismatic animals and snorkelers comingle. Since 2010, she has participated in several science-based polar expeditions, studying the interplay of plate tectonics, oceans, glaciers, climate and life.
The founder and leader of the all-female Sedna Epic Expedition, Susan has led two scuba diving and snorkeling expeditions to Labrador, Nunavut and Western Greenland, documenting disappearing sea ice in the Arctic and delivering ocean knowledge mobilization programs to Inuit youth and Elders, with a particular focus on empowering Inuit girls and young women.
In 2015, Susan was named one of Canada’s top 100 modern-day explorers and trailblazers by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (the “RCGS”). In 2016, the RCGS named her one of Canada’s 25 greatest female explorers.
She holds a B.Sc. Honours degree (Geology and Biology) from Dalhousie University, a B.J. (Journalism) Honours degree from Carleton University, and an M.Sc. in Petroleum Geology (Geophysics Specialization) from the University of London’s Imperial College (the Royal School of Mines).
Alicia Bjarnason MA PGeol. is a Senior Geologist with 15 years of experience within the oil and gas sector. She is currently the President of the AWSN (Alberta Women in Science Network) and the Program Director for the Work Re-engagement Program – funded by Status of Women Canada and Alberta Status of Women. Alicia is the former Program Manager for the BESTT Program (Bridge for Engineering, Science, Technology Talent). She is a Co-Founder of the WINN Network (Women’s Workplace Improvement Network), and currently sits on the Women in APEGA Advisory Committee. Alicia has also volunteered for a variety of STEM-related groups including CCWESTT, MentorUP Calgary, and the Operation Minerva Calgary Program.
Alicia recently finishing her MA from the University of Calgary in the Geography department. Her project focused on the role Professional Women’s Groups play within the greater discussion of diversity and inclusion within the work environment of Alberta’s Resource Sector.
Catherine McAteer is a lawyer who runs her own practice focused on supporting individuals and small business during times of employment transition. She also practices in the area of immigration law and is a professional photographer specializing in birth.
Catherine lives and works in the inner city with her two daughters, spouse and tries to squeeze in as much time on a bicycle as possible. Prior to starting her own practice, she was a lawyer with one of the largest law firms in Calgary and in-house counsel for an oilfield services company. Now she is able to juggle it all with the help of a very understanding boss.
Dianna Campbell Smith is a psychologist, executive coach, author, and speaker who works with individuals and couples, solopreneurs and executives to help them understand, manage, evolve, and be successful in their life and their work. After spending over a decade as a geologist in the oil patch and over another decade as a psychologist, she truly understands the connection between logic and emotions – how to be successful both in life and in the workplace. She knows it matters how well you connect with others and are able to communicate that understanding back to them. Her experience as a Director for over 5 years in a large counseling agency allowed her to put those strong communications skills into action.
She has been interviewed for television and radio on a variety of topics, as well as for print articles. She has developed and taught a number of workshops including ‘Towards Happiness’ with her most recent being ‘Sharpen Your Emotion Awareness and Skills Edge’. This last online workshop has expanded on the work of her PsyD and her book ‘Skills for a Life of EASE’.
Dianna holds a BSc in geology from Carleton University, as well as 3 degrees in psychology leading to a PsyD from the University of Southern California.
Amaka Sanni is an IT sales Manager at Axia Fibrenet. She has a degree in Electrical Engineering from Madonna University but moved into the IT space because she found it very interesting and challenging. With over 10 years experience in customer service and quality assurance in the Telecom industry, she enjoys solving problems and sometimes creating new ones.
Amaka has led and facilitated many training sessions and discussions on leadership and effective communication in Toastmasters international where she is currently serving as an Area director.
She is passionate about empowering women and encouraging them to support each other.