The BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) and SumOfUs are encouraged that 10% of independent shareholders voted for the company to tie executive pay to preventing sexual misconduct at the firm
Today, BCGEU and SumOfUs presented a proposal that called on Brookfield Asset Management to address sexual misconduct in the financial services industry by penalizing executive compensation packages. According to recent studies, one in three women in the finance industry has been sexually harassed at work. The groundbreaking proposal is the first of its kind in Canada and is based on recommendations by proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services.
In recent years, the #MeToo movement has achieved significant progress around the world as countries and companies implement policies that address sexual misconduct across the public and private sector. The groups believe that this proposal could completely shift the landscape of the financial services industry and hopefully prevent more #MeToo moments.
In response to today's vote, Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President Stephanie Smith released the following statement:
"The BCGEU believes every worker has the right to a safe, healthy workplace free from all forms of violence, harassment and discrimination and today's vote shows that Brookfield shareholders agree. Clearly, the financial services sector has a long way to go to protect workers from sexual misconduct and we will continue to push for change until they get it right."
In response to today's vote, Dana Wise, UNITE HERE, released the following statement:
"Brookfield's largest investment in 2018 was in real estate and that includes hotels, where sexual harassment is a pervasive problem. In Chicago, nearly two-thirds of women working in hotels and casinos have been sexually harassed by a guest. In Seattle, 53% of housekeepers reported sexual harassment and assault. UNITE HERE, the hospitality workers union, believes hotel owners like Brookfield have a responsibility to address sexual harassment at work at all levels of the company. All women at Brookfield deserve to be treated with respect and that is why we think management should take action on this issue."
In response to today's vote, Amelia Meister, Senior Campaigner at SumOfUs released the following statement:
"This groundbreaking proposal is ahead of its time, and it's encouraging to know that some shareholders are on the cutting edge. It is clear that this pressure is forcing management to pay attention. We hope this will open the conversation in the board rooms across the financial industry to use proven measures, like the one in our shareholder proposal, to address sexual misconduct in their workplace."
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