Institutional betrayal and the board of directors of the Ontario Securities Commission 

“Is this really something we can be proud of ?” 

If the OSC’s board of directors was unaware of the damage done years ago when I was bullied by top management into remaining silent about being sexually assaulted, and it had no knowledge of the organization’s more recent efforts to muzzle me — Harvey Weinstein-style — into remaining quiet, it would have to be as disengaged and passive as the boards the Commission has strongly criticized during times of corporate scandals.  

 

On the other hand, If it knew, and intentionally turned a blind eye to conduct that every expert in the field would call out as being harmful and dangerously re-traumatizing, and that plunged me into a life-threatening medical crisis, what does that say about the OSC’s board to be in the same league as the boards of organizations like the Weinstein Company and CBS?  They, too, turned a blind eye to actions dreamed up by lawyers intended to punish victims for coming forward and silence them from speaking out. They, too, were oblivious to the consequences for the victim.  As an outside review of CBS’s actions uncovered “(w)hen faced with instances of wrongdoing, the company had a tendency to protect itself, at the expense of victims.”

 

Over the years, the OSC’s board has supported rules and practices that require the boards of publicly listed companies to be more aware of, and responsive to, gender-related issues. Maybe it’s time the OSC’s board of five women and six men, including three full-time members, began to ask, “Is being in the same club as these purveyors and enablers of institutional betrayal really something we can be proud of?”  

More than ever, all organization stakeholders expect that boards of directors will up their game in protecting women in the workplace.  When improprieties occur, that includes providing an iron-clad assurance that victims can come forward without fear of  being blamed or shamed the way I have been, and that they will be treated with respect, as I definitely was not. Wise boards know that viewing a victim through the narrow legal lens controlled by heavy-handed lawyers, and not through the healing, victim-friendly lens that experts recommend, is the wrong — and potentially dangerously toxic — approach at this time of awakening.

Yet that is precisely what the Ontario Securities Commission’s board allowed.  

More coming soon.

OSC Board of Directors as of 2019