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Ontario Construction News staff writer
The Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ), in partnership with the Conseil d’intervention pour l’accès des femmes au travail (CIAFT), is launching an awareness campaign that denounce discrimination, intimidation and harassment in the construction sector, especially toward women. This project is also being carried out in collaboration with the industry’s employer and union associations, CCQ says in a statement
With the themes “Ouvrons les chantiers aux femmes, tout le monde y gagne“ and “Chantiers inclusifs pour la diversité, tout le monde y gagne“, the videos, which feature the industry’s workers, encourage companies to adopt zero tolerance policies on construction sites.
Despite an increase in the number of women on construction sites in 2020, it estimated that 22% of them will leave the industry after one year, and 55% after five years. According to a recent survey, 35% of the women who no longer work in the industry state that they experienced discrimination related to their sex or ethnic background, and almost one woman in four said that she had been intimidated or harassed.
“It should also be noted that workers, both men and women, from all underrepresented groups in the construction sector are likely to experience situations of discrimination, intimidation, or harassment. It is these behaviours that compel them to leave the industry,” the CCQ statement says.
“These videos are intended to send a clear message that discrimination, intimidation, and harassment still exist on construction sites, and that we all have a role to play in stopping them,” said CCQ CEO Diane Lemieux.
“To deal with the issue of labour scarcity, our industry must offer a healthy working environment to women and to people from cultural diversity to ensure their integration and retention. When we change our behaviours and denounce these situations, the entire industry wins.”
“Consolidating the attractiveness of the construction industry to all women, especially in this context of relaunch and labour shortage, is essential, because they are part of the solution!” said Danielle Fournier, president of CIAFT. “In this respect, the partners in the industry are called upon to mobilize and take action as a consequence by choosing policies and practices adapted to the specific and systemic realities of women workers in order to keep them in the industry.”
To offer support to women with regard to access to, integration into, and retention in jobs, notably in the construction sector, CIAFT launched the Femmes. Métiers. Avenir. phone line last May.
The videos are available on the Web and will be shared in coming weeks on the social media of the CCQ, CIAFT, and the associations and partners in this project: the Association de la construction du Québec (ACQ), the Association des constructeurs de routes et grands travaux du Québec (ACRGTQ), the Association des professionnels de la construction et de l’habitation du Québec (APCHQ), the Association des entrepreneurs en construction du Québec (AECQ), the Association patronale des entreprises en construction du Québec (APECQ), the Corporation des entrepreneurs généraux du Québec (CEGQ), the Corporation des maîtres électriciens du Québec (CMEQ), the Corporation des maîtres mécaniciens en tuyauterie du Québec (CMMTQ), the Centrale des syndicats démocratiques (CSD Construction), the Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN-Construction), the Fédération des travailleurs du Québec (FTQ Construction), the Conseil provincial du Québec des métiers de la construction – International (CPQMCI), and the Syndicat québécois de la construction (SQC).