Indigenous, Black and Racialized women face unique, intersecting, and compounding forms of gender and racial discrimination that impact their employment opportunities and experiences in the workplace.

This brief provides an overview of the structural and individual dimensions of gender and racial discrimination and how this intersection impacts the opportunities and experiences of Indigenous, Black, and Racialized women in Canadian workplaces. Additionally, it spotlights the intersection of gender-based violence in the workplace.


Domestic violence can impact employees’ ability to find and maintain work. It can impact employees’ productivity and safety at work. However, there is workplace legislation in place across Canada to support employees’ safety and employment.

This quick guide provides information for employees on their rights in the workplace, who they can speak to if they need help and services and supports in place.


Domestic violence is the fastest growing type of workplace violence in Canada. Domestic violence impacts employees’ ability to maintain employment and be productive at work. Domestic violence also frequently spills over into the workplace, making it unsafe for both the employee at risk and their co-workers. Employers are required to take every reasonable precaution to protect the safety of their employees.

This quick guide for employers provides information on what employers in Ontario are required to do and highlights best practices for preventing and responding to domestic violence in the workplace.


Intimate partner violence is closely connected to women’s economic security, including their income, employment, and housing. Research has shown that intimate partner violence both directly and indirectly impacts survivors’ ability to work and maintain employment. This can be compounded by other factors, including gender, race, and age. Racialized women face systemic barriers to economic equality and are more likely to be in precarious and low-income employment than non-racialized women.

This research report draws on qualitative data gathered through surveys and interviews with racialized survivors. The report explores the experiences of racialized survivors in accessing and maintaining employment. It discusses the impact that trauma from racism and intimate partner violence has on women’s employment and what is needed to better support racialized survivors to access and maintain meaningful employment.


Intimate partner violence is directly connected to women’s economic security, including survivors’ employment and career progression. Studies show that intimate partner violence is associated with job instability and job loss. Furthermore, the barriers to employment for some survivors is compounded by structural discrimination.

This literature review explores existing research on the relationship between employment and intimate partner violence, with a focus on the experience of racialized survivors. It examines the impact of intimate partner violence on employment stability, the barriers faced by survivors in the workplace and the impact of structural racism on racialized survivors’ employment. Lastly, the review looks at promising practices for supporting survivors to access and sustain employment.


The rise of the #MeToo movement has shifted dramatically society’s awareness of gender and sexual harassment, but global rates of gender and sexual harassment remain high. While there are many contributing factors, time and time again male-dominated workplaces are found to have higher rates of workplace gender and sexual harassment than spaces that have greater gender parity. This is particularly important for STEM fields, where women are a low percentage of the workforce.

This literature review explores the knowledge available on the subject of preventing and responding to gender and sexual harassment in the workplace, with a focus on STEM workplaces. It explores strategies for workplace prevention, training and response systems in addition to examples of best practices.


Employment sabotage and disruption can include tactics to prevent a survivor from working as well as making it difficult for a survivor to maintain work. These tactics can be used both outside of the workplace and in the workplace.

This infographic introduces the definition of employment sabotage, examples of employment sabotage and workplace responses.


Intimate partner violence can have a significant impact on women’s economic security and employment. It can lead to job instability and loss. This can be because of poor mental health, trauma, relocation and sabotage by an abusive partner. For racialized women with experiences of intimate partner violence, this can be compounded by structural barriers and racism.

WomanACT consulted organizations that serve survivors of intimate partner violence and organizations that specialize in employment services for women on the barriers faced by organizations and survivors. The report explores what we heard from services providers, including their ideas for advancing survivors economic security and employment.


The Supporting Safe STEM Workplaces project is working to improve access to legal supports and resources for victims of sexual harassment in STEM industry workplaces across Canada.

Sexual harassment is a prevalent issue across Canada that permeates into places of work. In the workplace it can negatively impact productivity and motivation, increase stress, and increase the likelihood of employees leaving their jobs. In response to the high rates of sexual harassment in STEM workplaces, the project will work with STEM industry partners to better understand the needs, barriers, and opportunities related to preventing and responding to sexual harassment.

WomanACT is partnered with the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology to provide tailored support and training to help workplaces prevent sexual harassment, develop comprehensive policy, establish trauma-informed reporting mechanisms and develop avenues for resolution and referral pathways to support.


Literature Review: Safe STEM Workplaces

Partner with us

Are you a STEM employer in Canada? Are you committed to creating a safe workplace? Are you interested in free tailored support? WomanACT is working with STEM employers to improve the prevention and response to sexual harassment in the workplace. This includes free training, coaching and support.

Get involved

Complete this short and simple Letter of Interest form:

Letter of Interest

Contact Amal Qureshi, Partnership Manager


In Ontario, the Employment Standards Act (ESA) outlines various leaves of absence that employees are legally entitles to take. Domestic or sexual violence leave was added to the ESA in 2017.

The factsheet answers frequently asked questions about the leave as well as how employees can access the leave entitlement.