FIRST INCUBATOR ACCELERATOR TO ADOPT AN ONLINE PLATFORM FOR REPORTING SEXUAL HARASSMENT, BULLYING AND DISCRIMINATION.
North Forge entrepreneurs, FabLab™ members, mentors, contractors, investors, and staff will now have 24/7 access to REES (Respect, Education, Empower Survivors) – a centralized, online platform for reporting sexual harassment, misconduct, and assault. REES has been adapted for use in the startup community and North Forge is the first Canadian incubator accelerator to adopt the platform. Through REES, incubators and accelerators are able to reduce barriers to reporting by offering multiple reporting options, providing information about supports and resources and creating safer spaces for everyone in their communities.
“The culture around the startup ecosystem needs to evolve. We need to put more resources in place that will protect people of all genders or backgrounds from harassment or violence and encourage their participation. We believe that diversity, equity and inclusion must begin with safety. North Forge will be the first incubator in Canada to implement this platform that will create a safer, caring and supportive community for everyone,” said Joelle Foster, CEO of North Forge Technology Exchange. “I want to strongly encourage all organizations to adopt this platform.”
A homegrown startup, REES (Respect, Educate, Empower Survivors) was founded by Mary Lobson in August of 2020 while participating in the Ascent stage of the North Forge Founders Program. Since then, their Campus Partners have grown tremendously across the country, including at all post-secondary institutions within Manitoba.
“Sexual harassment and discrimination are prevalent in the startup ecosystem. There is a broad network of founders, mentors, advisors and investors with limited processes for reporting and accountability. North Forge is unique as an all-female leadership team and we applaud their commitment to addressing this important and pervasive issue,” said Lobson.
To learn more about REES and how to onboard the platform for your organization, click here.
To learn more about starting a technology, advanced manufacturing or science-based company with the support of North Forge, apply here.
About North Forge
North Forge Technology Exchange is an incubator/accelerator and the innovation partner for the Province of Manitoba. We fuel Manitoba’s innovation economy providing founders with growth coaches, mentors, entrepreneurs-in-residence, and a four-stage Founders Program. We have helped over 220 companies and created hundreds of jobs. Armed with Canada’s largest non-profit fabrication lab, we operate out of 27,000 square feet across Innovation Drive and Innovation Alley in Winnipeg, Canada.
REES launched in 2020 for reporting campus sexual violence and has partnered with 20 post-secondary institutions across 6 provinces. REES can be adapted for use across any sector or industry and includes REES Campus, REES Community, and REES Corporate.