This year on International Women’s Day, it is clear that the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements have become impossible to ignore. They have rocked industries and workplaces, taken down Hollywood titans, media heavyweights, political leaders and more. They have created heated dinner table conversations, spurred significant self-reflection and adjusted behaviours. They have left some fearing what’s next and have others optimistically anticipating the next phase of this massive cultural moment.
“International Women’s Day is a moment to celebrate the strong women we work with every day and to reflect on what still needs to be done to reach gender equality for everyone,” said Sheila Wisniewski, senior vice president and general manager, Hill+Knowlton Strategies. “This year, more than ever, I am seeing women who are empowered and are empowering each other. Across industries and countries, they are speaking up and being heard and it’s incredible to see.”
This movement is about more than people telling their stories, it is about societal change. A recent study conducted by Plan International Canada, in partnership with Hill+Knowlton Strategies, found that about one in two Canadians (46 per cent) think that these two movements are paving the way for real gender equality. The study also found that two thirds (67 per cent) of men are re-evaluating how they interact with women as a result of the #MeToo and Time’s Up campaigns.
According to Elliott Gauthier, senior vice president and lead investigator, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, a generational analysis of the data suggests that harassment and discrimination remain “a fact of life” for the most recent generation of women in Canada: “We note that in several instances women in the youngest age cohort (i.e., 18 to 24) are more likely to indicate that they have felt fear, harassment or discrimination than are older women.”
Gauthier points to another interesting, and surprising, finding: “Social movements are by their nature controversial. But our survey shows that Canadians are generally positive about the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. Moreover, we see a remarkable amount of consistency in how these movements are viewed by men and women.”
It is the hope that the legacy of this movement is the empowerment of young women. In fact, the study found that two thirds of Canadians (67 per cent) agree that the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements have empowered women and girls. This movement can build-up empowered young women who will no longer accept harassment in the workplace or out in public, will stand up for others when they see it and will not fear retribution should they report it.
About the survey
The research consisted of an online survey with a representative national sample of 3,000 adults, randomly selected from LegerWeb.com’s online survey panel.
- The sample includes 1,000 men and 2,000 women. Women were oversampled because they were the focus of this research.
- A typical public opinion research survey samples 1,000 people. The large sample size drawn for this survey allowed us to conduct more in-depth analysis based on key population characteristics such as gender, age and education.
- The data was weighted to 2016 Census figures to ensure representation by age, gender and region of Canada.
The survey was conducted from February 16th to February 23rd , 2018. The survey questionnaire was designed by the Hill+Knowlton Strategies research team in consultation with Plan International Canada.