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Gender + Sexuality

Tyee Writer Recognized for Work on Women’s Equality

Rachel Sanders nominated for annual Landsberg Award for her series ‘Slaves to Tips.’

Tyee Staff 20 Apr

A Tyee contributor whose investigative series brought legislative change to working conditions of restaurant and bar servers in B.C. has been nominated for a national award recognizing exceptional coverage of women’s equality issues.

Rachel Sanders, who wrote the three-part “Slaves to Tips” series last year, is nominated for the annual Landsberg Award.

“It’s an honour to be a Landsberg Award finalist,” Sanders said when the nominations were announced this week. “I’m in the company of outstanding journalists who have done important work on the subject of women’s equality. It’s a credit to The Tyee that such a small, independent newsroom consistently supports and publishes work that has a real impact. Many thanks to founding editor David Beers for his mentorship on this project and to Tyee editor Robyn Smith for believing in it.”

Her series exposed widespread sexual harassment and discrimination faced by women workers in restaurants and bars.

Her articles explored the causes, from the lower minimum wage for servers to a lack of effective enforcement of the Employment Standards Act.

The articles led to immediate action, as the government changed regulations under the Workers Compensation Act to prevent restaurants and bars from requiring servers to wear high heels on the job.

The government has also launched a review of the lower minimum wage for servers with the announcement this week that the server wage would be abolished by 2021.

Named for Michele Landsberg, a noted journalist, author, social activist and feminist, the Landsberg Award honours a journalist who raises “awareness about women’s equality issues in Canada and aims to inspire an increase in the media coverage and voice of women in Canada.” It’s offered by the Canadian Journalism Foundation in association with the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

Fellow nominees with Sanders this year include a stellar list of Canadian journalists: Robyn Doolittle of the Globe and Mail; Emma Jones of Discourse Media; Kathleen Goldhar of CBC’s The Current; and Anna Panasuk of Radio-Canada’s Enquête.

The winner will be announced in June.  [Tyee]

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