Letter of Information

Letter of Information and Consent Form (download pdf)

Title of Research Study: A Study about LGBTQ2S+ Workplace Experiences and Inclusion

Before agreeing to participate in this research study, it is important that you read and understand this research consent form. This form provides all the information we think you will need to know in order to decide whether you wish to participate in our project. If you have any questions after you read through this form, please contact Dr. Suzanne Mills (contact information below). You should not agree to participate until you are sure you understand everything included in this form.

Principal Investigator:
Dr. Suzanne Mills
Department of Labour Studies
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
(905) 525-9140 ext. 24810

Research Sponsor: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

Purpose of the Study:
We are doing this study to better understand the work experiences of LGBTQ2S+ workers working outside of major metropolitan regions, specifically in Windsor and Sudbury, Ontario. We’ll also look at the role of unions in cultivating cultures conductive to the wellbeing and productivity of LGBTQ2S+ workers. We hope that this information will lead to the creation of more inclusive and protective policies for LGBTQ2S+ workers in both unions and for the workplace as a whole. This project is being run by researchers from McMaster, McGill, and Laurentian Universities, as well as the Universities of Windsor and Southampton.

What is involved in taking part in this study? What will happen during the study?
You can take part in this study if you are 16 years of age or older, identify as LGBTQ2S+, work in Sudbury or Windsor and can do the survey in English. Taking part in the study involves doing a survey online or on paper and can be taken at a time and place convenient to you. It will take between 30 minutes and 1 hour to complete.

What kinds of questions will you be asking?
Everyone who participates in the survey is asked the same questions. Most of the survey questions are close-ended, meaning you will see a list of options and you choose your answer(s) from that list. There are some which are open-ended where you will need to either type or write your answers. You can skip any question that you don’t want to answer by picking the option, “Prefer not to say.”

The survey will ask you questions about demographic information (such as sexual orientation, relationship status, income), your experiences of belonging to the LGBTQ2S+ community, your experiences in the workplace, and mental health, among other topics. Examples of questions that will be asked in the survey are: How safe would you feel at work having your sexual orientation and/or gender identity known? Would you report discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity/expression to your boss/supervisor? And: How satisfied are you with your life currently?

Are there any risks to taking part in the study?
The survey asks you some personal questions about your experiences working as someone who identifies as LGBTQ2S+. There is a chance that you might feel uncomfortable or upset by some questions. Remember that you can skip any question that makes you uncomfortable or that you don’t want to answer by picking the option, “Prefer not to say.” You can also withdraw (stop taking part) from the survey at any time.
The survey also asks some open-ended questions, meaning you type or write in an answer. Depending on the information you provide, there is a possibility that you could be identified by the answers you give. Further, if you choose to complete the paper survey and/or choose to pick-up the grocery gift card in-person there is a possibility you could also be identified as participating in the study. To minimize this small possibility, we ask that all survey materials be placed in the plain envelopes provided and when picking up the gift card, please provide your referral code. You will have to sign for the gift card and are able to use a pseudonym.

We will do everything possible to keep your answers to the questions private and secure – this is described in more detail below under ‘Confidentiality’.

Are there any benefits to taking part in the study?
There are no immediate benefits to participating in this study. However, the information we get during this study will help us to better understand the working experiences of LGBTQ2S+ in Windsor and Sudbury and possibly policy changes that could help make workplaces more inclusive for LGBTQ2S+ workers.

We will give you a $5 Tim Horton’s gift card as a thank-you for taking the time to do this survey. If you skip any questions, you will still receive the gift card, provided you submit the survey (online: by clicking ‘submit’; in- person: by returning the completed survey package to the worker centre). If you chose to withdraw (stop the survey), you will not receive the $5 Tim Horton’s gift card.

If you refer friends to participate (using the referral code at the end of the survey) and three of them participate, you will also be entered into a draw to win an iPad.

All of the information you give us will be stored on password-protected computers and servers which encrypt data and are located on the main McMaster campus and in locked filling cabinets in a secure research office. Only the research staff at McMaster who are working on this study have access to this information. All of our staff have made a promise to keep your information private by signing an oath of confidentiality. The information you give us will be combined with information collected in other people’s surveys.

Once the study is complete, an archive of the data, without identifying information, will be maintained for a period of 15 years. All identifying information provided (i.e. signed consent forms, email addresses) will be retained for one year prior to the completion of the project.

If you participate using the online survey, you are participating in this research anonymously. No one will know whether you participated unless you choose to tell them. Your answers to the survey are recorded using LimeSurvey, an online survey software program and the data is stored on the main McMaster University campus.

We have a separate online survey which will ask you if you would like to receive study results, how you would like to receive the $5 gift card, and if you wish to be contacted for a follow-up interview. These questions ask for your name, telephone number, email and mailing address, should you wish to provide them. There is no way to tie this information to your survey answers.

Participation and Withdrawal – What if I change my mind about being in the study?
Your participation in this study is voluntary – it is your choice to take part in the study or not. If you choose to take part, you can still decide to stop (withdraw), at any time, even after signing the consent form or part-way through the survey up until you submit your responses. Once you have submitted your responses (online: by clicking ‘submit’; in- person: by returning the completed survey package to the worker centre), your answers will be put into a database and will not be identifiable to you. This means that once you have submitted your survey (online) or have handed back the survey (paper), your responses cannot be withdrawn from the study as we will not be able to identify which responses are yours.

If you decide to withdraw before submitting your survey responses, you will not be able to collect the $5 Tim Horton’s gift card, since compensation will be sent through the email or mailing address that you provide on another form after submitting. There will be no other consequences should you choose to withdraw. If you choose to withdraw, any data you have provided (answers to the survey questions, contact information) will be destroyed unless you indicate otherwise. If you do not want to answer some of the questions you do not have to, but you can still be in the study.

How do I find out about the results of this study?
A summary of the results will be made available at local workers’ centres in Windsor and Sudbury and can also be obtained by emailing Dr. Suzanne Mills (contact information below) and on the study website. You can also request to have a report of study results emailed or mailed to you by checking the box on the form after you submit the survey.

Questions about the Study:
If you have questions or need more information about the study itself, you can contact:

Dr. Suzanne Mills
905-525-9140 ext. 24810

This survey is part of a study that has been reviewed and cleared by the McMaster Research Ethics Board (MREB). The MREB protocol number associated with this survey is 2018-071. If you have concerns or questions about your rights as a participant or about the way the study is conducted, please contact:

McMaster Research Ethics Secretariat
Telephone: (905) 525-9140 ext. 23142
C/o Research Office for Administrative Development and Support