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Women, Work, More: Young Women Navigating Food Service — with Kaitlyn Matulewicz

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Author: Alyha Bardi
Author: Johal, Am
Author: Paige Smith
Author: Kathy Feng
Women, Work, More kicks off with an investigation into the experiences of young women in the workplace. Host Alyha Bardi speaks with Kaitlyn Matulewicz, a labour organizer with a background in labour law, who is also the Executive Director of the Worker Solidarity Network. They speak about the unique barriers and harassment experienced by young women working front-of-house positions in the food service and hospitality industry. Kaitlyn speaks to gendered power dynamics in restaurants, issues around shift scheduling and tip-out practices, and how women workers are pushing back and finding ways to resist the culture of harassment. She also points to examples that set legal precedent for harassment in the workplace, and shouts out the organizing movements working to protect workers and shift power dynamics within the industry. Woven throughout this episode, we hear stories from anonymized young women currently working in front-of-house positions, as they share their experiences sexual harassment and resistance.
Kaitlyn Matulewicz has a PhD in Law and Society from the University of Victoria. Her dissertation examined how women restaurant workers' unwanted or uncomfortable sexual interactions with managers, co-workers, and customers are still happening more than three decades after sexual harassment was first named sex discrimination in Canada. She argues that restaurant work in BC is organized in such a way that uncomfortable or unwanted sexual experiences at work are made normal. Her dissertation tells the story of how law is implicated in the construction of such restaurant workplaces within which sexual harassment and unwanted sexual experiences are normalized. Kaitlyn has seven years of experience working in restaurants. She is the executive director of the Worker Solidarity Network and co-chair of the BC Employment Standards Coalition. Resources:Worker Solidarity Network: I?:…rvice-industry/ May I?, zine:…-online.pdf F.E.D. U.P.: Law, Sexual Harassment, and Restaurants: Law's Gendered Subtext:…-9322-z Law and the Construction of Institutionalized Sexual Harassment in Restaurants:'s articles for the Tyee:
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