How you Paid-It-Forward to Women's Rights + Mental Health!
The discussion of women's rights, safe work environment, and equal pay in the workplace isn't new. Even I have experienced prejudice, sexual harassment, and pay related issues when working for or with a male. This discussion keeps getting hotter and hotter and the conversation needs to continue.
On May 26th, 2022, radio host Laura Mainella came forward on social media to describe her experience working for the number one radio station in Ottawa. She was new in the industry and was quickly put in her place by her male co-hosts. They told her that she had to "prove herself" and they would take her payments because she was only a "volunteer". This behaviour was just the tip of the iceberg and included verbal, sexual, physical and mental harassment.
Laura's story is shocking for many reasons but one HUGE thing that failed her is the "zero-tolerance policy" for harassment in the workplace that she believed would protect her. I always thought of it as a definitive solution too, but sadly that's not the case. In one of Laura's Facebook posts she said: "What people find attractive about the term "Zero Tolerance" is that is sounds strict, inflexible, final, and direct." but her experience didn't reflect this. She reported the inappropriate incidents and was told to stay home from work while they "investigated". Her male co-hosts remained on the air. Eventually she was deemed "mentally unstable" and the network decided to keep the offending male hosts because they were the money generators.
This incident happened to Laura over 17 years ago but the damage has left an everlasting impression on her mental health and wellbeing. We wanted Laura to know she's not alone and she has a huge community supporting her. In honour of Mental Health Awareness month and on behalf of our MBL Community, we sent Laura a gift bag of products to support and encourage her journey. Thank you to our loyal customers for continuing to support our company and our Pay-It-Forward initiative! Your thoughtful donations allow us to give FREE products to people who need a reminder that they are not alone.
To hear Laura talk about her experience first hand, listen to the True North Eager Beaver Podcast here.
To read more of Laura's story, visit her Facebook page here.
Thank you Laura, for sharing your story and paving the way for all women to come forward and speak up. Let's all keep the conversation going xo.