Non-profits are prone to toxic work environments, experts say

Labour and human rights violations within social impact organizations

Why It Matters

The non-profit sector, while employing 2 million Canadians, remains mostly off the radar when it comes to public cases of labour and human rights violations. But those in the sector say toxic work environments are leading to employee burnout.

As conversations about social and racial justice become more mainstream, some people in the non-profit sector are sharing their grievances publicly, in what many are calling a shift in the sector. 

In July, seven staff members and consultants of the Nobel Women’s Initiative, including all the women of colour in the Ottawa-based women’s rights organization, collectively resigned. Weeks later, they issued a statement calling for “profound organizational reforms — based on transparency, equity, inclusivity and a commitment to uproot embedded patriarchal practices.” 

In August, a third-party review of the Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg went public, which found “pervasive and systemic” racism within the or

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