The following is excerpted from a release by the Province of British Columbia.
On Friday, June 15, Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, announced a new Diversity, Gender Parity and Respectful Work Culture Fund.
“The #MeToo movement has elevated awareness that abuse, discrimination and harassment are serious problems globally,” said Beare. “Our government is deeply committed to ensuring that the people working in BC’s creative industries are protected. And that’s why I’m implementing new measures to promote safe, respectful workplaces for workers in the creative sector, in partnership with our provincial agencies, Creative BC, the BC Arts Council and Knowledge Network.”
This funding is aimed at supporting immediate steps in BC creative industries on this issue. The $175,000 fund will be used to deliver respectful work-culture training for the board and leadership levels of creative industry associations and regional film commissions.
Creative BC will administer the fund, which will also pay for the development of toolkits, training, education and workshops to promote safety, diversity and equity in the creative sector. Eligible organizations can apply for grants of up to $15,000 for respectful workplace training.
“We all deserve to go to workplaces that are free from harassment and bullying. By creating safe, respectful work environments, we can help boost productivity and innovation across all industries,” said Mitzi Dean, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity. “This partnership is a great example of how we can work alongside industry, to create healthier, more equitable workplaces for everyone, and especially women and people who identify as LGBTQ2+, or with other equity-seeking groups.”
The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture is also working with its agencies to create policies and strategies aimed at promoting respectful workplaces. As part of the initiative, Creative BC and the BC Arts Council are changing contract requirements for grant applicants. Organizations must now commit to ensuring their workplaces are free from bullying and harassment to qualify for funding. Knowledge Network has also published a new Respectful Workplace Statement of Expectation for its producers.