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What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Female Miner

by Debbie
(Crowsnest Pass, Alberta, Canada)

I work in an almost all male company. Advancement is based on seniority. I bid on a posting that only has males. No female on any of the crews is a loader operator.

The day my win was posted behind the glass that I was the successful candidate coincidentally coincided with my name in another envelope. The "random" drug and alcohol testing. I went from being excited about the posting and had been operating the loader the day before and ran an integral part of the mine alone with little training or direction. I was told I did well.

The night it was officially posted was our first night shift. I hoped to get familiar with surroundings in the first 2 hrs with remaining daylight but was instead singled out for drug testing and was blindsided. I felt intimidated. I felt my chances of success were being sabotaged and that I was being sent a message of future targeting.

After I passed the random test I opted to go on familiar equipment which was my original post. Haul truck. I am unable to sleep now thinking about the harassment and do not want this to be my life.

They want a male on the loader so I will step down tonight as I have no desire to fight an uphill battle and lose. I'd rather lose now and keep my health. I was a very good loader operator for a day. Praise to the people who can fight workplace intimidation and harassment.

Comments for Female Miner

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Steel heels
by: Anonymous

I feel you sister. I also work in a mining environment and although we do have many female’s in the office environment I find some of the men will go out of the way to sabotage either my work or belittle me. There is one particular colleague of mine who constantly mutters under his breath whenever I am speaking, comments on my arrival time /leave time (even though I work 10-12 hour days) , and will use any opportunity to make me feel stupid. I have been working on a project for months and he had asked where I saved it on the G drive ( where everyone has access) only to realise a week later that the work i have been doing had mysteriously disappeared. Fortunately, I did have back up copies but I will not run the risk of losing work again so have had to go to the lengths of securing my work with passcodes. He has 15 years of age on me and I although he has been in the industry for longer than me I come with a masters degree in health and safety.
I also fear that speaking to HR will only raise more issues as being the loud and sarcastic person that he is he will turn my concerns of bullying into ‘not being able to toughen up’ and make light of it. It’s such a boys club and they live to make women feel inferior to them and that we are ‘emotional’ or need to ‘toughen up princess’ to get anywhere in the industry.

I am also questioning my ability to pursue my career in this industry. They are calling out for women to join this industry but have not supported a culture change with their existing staff. If they are not onboard then they need to go!

Drug and Alcohol tests have to be randomised unless there is a challenge test (legally that means if someone wants you to be tested - they too need to be tested). Have a look at your Drug and Alcohol SOP’s. It may not do any good though seen as you had a negative result.

Goodluck

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