B4: Male-Dominated Workplaces, Gender Relations, and Mental Health
In recent years, mental health researchers and practitioners have drawn attention to serious challenges to wellbeing in male-dominated workplaces such as in construction, mining, transport, utilities, and agriculture. Examination of the issues has shown high rates of depression, substance use, and suicide, as well as under-reporting and use of mental health resources. Given that the Alberta (and Canadian) economy relies heavily on a number of these industries, increased attention to mental health in male-dominated workplaces is needed. How can we understand the causes of this phenomenon? And what can be done about it? We draw on a recently completed study in the Alberta oil sands to illustrate and foreground some of the factors of concern, including stigma, masculine workplace culture, and sexual harassment. After providing a few key examples of prevention and support, we open up to small group discussions of issues and solutions in Alberta and Canada. 
Meet your Speakers

Sara Dorow, PhD is Professor of Sociology at the University of Alberta, where she also directs the International Institute for Qualitative Methodology. Her teaching and research are in the areas of family, work, and mobility using an intersectional gender approach. Over the last fifteen years she has conducted a series of research projects on social aspects of the Alberta oil sands, sharing her work through reports, publications, websites, and media.

Valerie is a certified ICISF Instructor and Trauma Responder for over 20 years. She also facilities many workshops including Stress Management, Cumulative Stress and Crisis Intervention. In the past 10 years, Val has been working with First Nation communities on building Crisis Teams.

Workplace mental health conference contact


Tansi — Cree | Oki — Blackfoot | ​Aba washded — Stoney (Nakota) | ​Ɂedlanet’e — Dene |  We respectfully acknowledge that we are on the traditional lands and territories of Indigenous people in Alberta. We want to recognize the significance of our relationships with the land and the peoples who call this ‘home.’ We commit to a reciprocal relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous worldviews that honour and respect ways of knowing and being.