The CEO of a B.C. resort who’s been positioned on go away due to current sexist remarks was additionally the topic of complaints at his earlier job for an alleged remark regarding rape, CBC has realized.
Vivek Sharma of Fairmont Sizzling Springs Resort in southeastern B.C. is currently the subject of a third-party review into his feedback on the opening of the B.C. Tourism and Hospitality Convention (TIABC) in Richmond on March 9.
His suggestion that girls within the viewers “go clean some rooms and do some dishes” shocked a lot of these in attendance.
Nevertheless it didn’t come as a shock to Mel Bahula, who was the convention providers and gross sales coordinator of Solar Peaks Grand Lodge and Convention Centre when Sharma held a earlier job as normal supervisor of the resort. Bahula is one in all three former staff of the resort positioned northeast of Kamloops who’ve come ahead to precise their issues about Sharma’s behaviour throughout a Jan. 19, 2016, city corridor employees assembly.
“Vivek was trying to basically motivate the staff after a very long and hard Christmas season,” Bahula mentioned.
“He said to us, ‘Well, sometimes you get raped. You just need to lay down, take it and enjoy it.’ The whole room, of course, gasped.”
Emails shared with CBC affirm Bahula emailed Solar Peaks Resort vice-president Darcy Alexander the week of the city corridor to ask how administration was going to reply.
A second worker additionally contacted Alexander the day after the assembly to denounce Sharma’s alleged “tasteless, inappropriate, unprofessional, insensitive, and downright disgusting” remarks, in response to emails shared with CBC.
Solar Peaks ‘very conscious of … unacceptable feedback’
Sharma has not responded to requests for remark concerning the allegations.
Nevertheless, Alexander confirmed in an e-mail to CBC that Sharma, who left Solar Peaks in 2019, has a historical past of claiming distasteful issues. He didn’t straight handle the alleged 2016 remarks.
“We have recently learned of Mr. Sharma’s inappropriate and disrespectful comments at the TIABC conference, and are very aware of some of his unacceptable comments in the past,” Alexander instructed CBC Information in an e-mail.
Bahula mentioned she requested an apology from administration on a number of events, however nothing occurred. In one other e-mail to Alexander on Mar. 29, 2016 — greater than two months after the city corridor — Bahula requested him to take a seat down with a bunch of staff who continued to really feel “uncomfortable, substandard and embarrassed” because of Sharma’s remarks.
Alexander instructed CBC he could not present any particulars about how the resort responded to complaints about Sharma’s behaviour due to privateness legal guidelines, however added that the resort has “zero tolerance for discrimination or harassment” in addition to insurance policies and coaching to satisfy that commonplace.
“To the extent that there were historic complaints about any employee, including Mr. Sharma, those would have been handled in accordance with our policies. If, after an investigation, Sun Peaks determined that discrimination or harassment had occurred, we would have taken immediate corrective action,” Alexander wrote.
A former upkeep employee on the Solar Peaks resort who additionally attended the 2016 assembly and confirmed Bahula’s model of occasions mentioned he was indignant to find out about Sharma’s remarks this month.
“It pissed me off because I just remember how everybody felt in my workplace when we had those comments,” mentioned the previous Solar Peaks worker, whom CBC has agreed to not title due to issues about defending his present job.
He mentioned the impartial guide reviewing Sharma’s newer feedback has already reached out to him to debate the alleged Solar Peaks incident, and they’re scheduling an interview this week.
The board at Fairmont Sizzling Springs Resort has launched few particulars concerning the third-party assessment, which was introduced on Friday. Board chair Steve Giblin has but to answer questions concerning the scope of the assessment or whether or not it’ll embody Sharma’s earlier employment.
‘It isn’t about one particular person’
In the meantime, the outrage over Sharma’s feedback has prompted a bigger dialogue concerning the position of girls within the trade.
Joanna Jagger, founder and president of the WORTH Affiliation for ladies in recreation, tourism and hospitality, mentioned her group was horrified to listen to about Sharma’s alleged 2016 remarks.
However, she mentioned, “It’s not about one person. This is happening in every back-of-house boardroom, for women across the board in our industry and others.”
Jagger mentioned there is a rising acknowledgement throughout the trade that gender and racial fairness efforts have fallen behind, and COVID has uncovered even deeper issues, as ladies grew to become extra more likely to lose their jobs.
“A lot of women left the industry altogether and have elected not to return,” she mentioned.
“When we dig into the issues as to why women are exiting, it’s due to higher levels of harassment, extreme burnout, unmanageable workloads and cultures that don’t accelerate women or show them the path into leadership roles.”