Research Seminar

Addressing sexual harassment as a work-related risk: issues and dilemmas

This talk examines the integration of sexual harassment prevention into a work health and safety framework, addressing common and specific risk factors while emphasizing the need for targeted measures and a balanced policy design approach.


In this talk we will discuss dilemmas that arise when we integrate prevention of sexual harassment into a work health and safety (WHS) framework. Some of the organizational risk factors for sexual harassment are common to several psychosocial hazards. Similarly, some of the risk factors for violence in general are also risk factors for sexual harassment. Yet other risk factors for sexual harassment are more specific, be they organizational or individual.

While there are undeniable advantages to incorporating prevention of sexual harassment into more general prevention mechanisms, naming sexual harassment as such is also a form of prevention. Too, targeted measures such as outside support for victims as well as the need to adapt risk identification processes (for example, anonymous surveys) and to design tailored training (bystander interventions are known to be crucial) are an integral part of effective prevention of sexual harassment. Starting from the legal landscape of Québec, the presenter will look for principles that help balance out the various considerations at play when we look to designing policy aimed at preventing sexual harassment through a WHS framework.

Guest speaker

Prof. Rachel Cox, Faculty of Political Science and Law,
Université du Québec

Chair: Catherine Saget, Unit head, Work, Income & Equity, ILO Research