Online incident reporting enables anonymous reporting of bullying, abuse, harassment or discrimination in Alberta’s tech ecosystem.
CALGARY, June 23, 2023 – The A100, in partnership with other ecosystem stakeholders, has launched an online incident reporting program to help make Alberta’s tech community a safer, inclusive place. Founders, mentors, investors, service providers and community supporters can use the online tool to anonymously report any incidents of bullying, abuse, harassment or discrimination. The Alberta tech ecosystem is the first tech ecosystem in Canada to implement an incident reporting tool of this kind and is now available on the Start Alberta website.
This innovation is being driven through a partnership with REES Technologies Inc., and with the support of Alberta tech ecosystem stakeholders Alberta Enterprise Corporation, Platform Calgary, Edmonton Unlimited, Venture Capital Association of Alberta, and ThresholdImpact Venture Mentoring Service.
“While there is greater dialogue today in the global tech community on abuse, harassment and discrimination, incidents continue to occur and are not reported,” said Tamara Woolgar, executive director of the A100. “To ensure a safer, inclusive space for all, the first step is to provide an avenue to report and collect quantitative data on any unwanted behaviours that make someone feel unsafe or unwelcome.”
REES, a trusted third-party encrypted platform already implemented in dozens of organizations, campuses and volunteer communities across Canada and the U.S., allows users to create a confidential and anonymous record of an incident. It also offers critical information about resources and supports available such as sexual assault centres, healthcare and other support services.
As the lead sponsor of the program, the A100 will work with the Calgary-based team at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP to develop a process for sharing and communicating the anonymous quantitative data with program partners and the community to help identify trends and inform prevention efforts within the Alberta tech ecosystem.
“Having clear reporting options and access to resource information is critical in making sure that people feel supported and heard,” said Mary Lobson, founder and CEO of REES. “The data and insights about when and where the incidents occur can help develop awareness and ongoing prevention strategies and help create safer spaces for everyone.”
The program does not replace existing HR policies or processes within Alberta tech organizations but aims to understand any incidents occurring at public events or when founders, mentors, investors, service providers or other community supporters gather or interact. Anonymous reports submitted to REES will not initiate investigation or recourse.
“A key health factor of our province’s tech ecosystem is whether our community is safe and inclusive, especially as we think of how vital it is to attract great talent and keep people here,” said Kristina Williams, CEO of Alberta Enterprise. “Tech companies, investors, service providers and supporters all play a role in providing safe spaces.”
REES was founded by Calgary-raised tech entrepreneur Mary Lobson, a recent graduate of the CDL Rockies program. The online reporting program can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on the Start Alberta website.
About The A100
Founded in 2010, the A100 is a membership-based community of acclaimed technology leaders, founders and investors. A100 members drive economic diversification by building networks and connecting people, providing deal flow pathways, and through mentorship and peer knowledge sharing.
About REES Technologies Inc.
REES (Respect, Educate, Empower Survivors) is a centralized online reporting and information platform for bullying, abuse, harassment, and discrimination. It can be adapted for use in any sector or industry and can include ethics and compliance-related reporting. REES was developed by Mary Lobson using a trauma-informed approach with a key focus on privacy and data security. REES has offices in Winnipeg, MB and Tampa, FL.
Supplemental quotes by supporting organizations
“Platform Calgary is committed to providing a safe space and welcoming for everyone in our programs and at events, whether in person or online,” said Terry Rock, president and CEO of Platform Calgary. “We are proud to support this initiative as it aligns with our shared values and dedication to creating a positive and respectful environment for everyone.”
“To champion innovation in Edmonton and position our city as a global innovation capital, we see inclusion as paramount to growth, leadership, and international relevance,” said Edmonton Unlimited CEO, Catherine Warren. “We applaud the A100’s partnerships and launch of this reporting system as an important next step in building a world-class, inclusive Alberta tech ecosystem for all Albertans.”
“Innovating together is the best path to opportunity and prosperity for the talented people in Alberta’s tech community,” said Omi Velasco, executive director of the Venture Capital Association of Alberta. “Maintaining a safe and inclusive environment is key to fostering growth within Alberta.”
“The launch of this online reporting tool is a collective commitment to fostering a culture of respect and inclusivity in our tech community,” said Caitlin Whitson, manager of ThresholdImpact Venture Mentoring Service. “Together, we can work towards building a vibrant and thriving tech community that attracts and retains top talent.”
jen @ materialinsight.com