Women in Construction

Virtual Event
Women in Construction 2023
March 8, 2023 at 11:25am ET

Session #2 – Tackling Harassment in the Workplace

Moderator: MJ MacDonald, CEO, Construction Safety Nova Scotia


  • Anita Gara, Project Manager, Electricity Human Resources Canada
  • Erin Pollard, Electrician & Project Manager, Black & McDonald
  • Luiza Vikhnovich, Employment Lawyer, Sherrard Kuzz LLP
The statistics speak for themselves: 63% of women who experienced harassment did not file a complaint, and nearly 3 in 4 sexual harassment claims in the workplace go unreported.

Harassment is still an unfortunate reality on our jobsites, serving as a barrier to successful attraction, and especially retention. Attend this session to learn how to proactively develop and foster a harassment-free workplace.

MJ MacDonald possesses over 30 years of experience in the private and public sectors in progressively senior leadership roles, and currently serves as the CEO of Construction Safety Nova Scotia.

The association is focused on improving occupational health & safety outcomes in the construction industry by engaging with its membership to reduce injuries and improve safety culture.

MJ holds a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from Technical University of Nova Scotia (now Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Engineering), and an executive MBA from St. Mary’s University.

A life-long learner, she recently attained her designation in corporate governance from the Institute of Corporate Governance at the Rotman School of Business.

Anita is EHRC’s Vancouver-based Project Manager and Western representative. She possesses a strong background in non-profits and research, along with a passion for making a difference with her work.

She supports EHRC’s projects focusing on diversity and inclusion, with the aim of helping all Canadians participate in our economy. Currently, she is leading a project in partnership with the Department of Justice Canada to address Gender-Based Harassment and Violence in the workplace.

In addition to project management, Anita has years of experience in strategic development, stakeholder relations, communications, and public relations.

Anita holds a Masters degree in International Relations and Political Diaspora from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, as well as an Honours degree in Political Science, with a Minor in French, from Carleton University.

Erin started her career in the skilled trades as an electrical apprentice back in 2005. Today, she is a licensed electrician who serves as a project manager with Black & McDonald—an integrated, multi-trade service provider of over 5000 employees across North America.

She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), and holds a Business Administration Diploma from Centennial College.

Erin has been a mentor through the Canadian Association for Women in Construction (CAWIC) and actively volunteers with the Kiwanis. She has also been an integral part of starting up the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee at Black & McDonald.

Her favourite role is being a mother to her two young children.

Luiza advises, represents and advocates for employers in many areas of employment and labour law. She began her career with Sherrard Kuzz LLP as a law student, during which time she participated in a secondment with the Ontario Labour Relations Board.

Among Luiza’s many areas of focus are Construction Labour Relations, Employee Relations, Employment Standards, Grievance Arbitration, Human Rights and Accommodation, Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution, Pay Equity, and Workplace Investigations.

She is a member of the Law Society of Ontario, Canadian Bar Association, and Ontario Bar Association (Administrative Law, Labour & Employment; Civil Litigation, Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights, Privacy and Access to Information, Workers’ Compensation), and is bilingual (English/Russian).