North Country

northcountry.jpg The tagline for North Country (2005) is “All she wanted to do was to make a living, Instead she made history”. The history in this case was the first major successful class-action sexual harassment case in the United States – Lois E. Jenson v. Eveleth Taconite Co. The movie is a fictionalized account of the experiences Jenson had working at the company mines and her legal battle with the company that tolerated and implicitly encouraged the sexual abuse against Jenson and other female employees. In the movie Josie Ames (the fictionalized Lois Jensen) starts working at a mine, the only employment provider in the small Minnesota town where she grew up. However, mining has traditionally been a male-dominated industry, and Josie Ames finds herself fighting against commonly-held ideas her male co-workers and other people in the town had about the role of women in the mines. Josie goes from a single mother trying to make ends meet to becoming a social pariah in the community to winning a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the company. How times change!

Perhaps, the most interesting message the movie had for a business audience was that “a stitch in time saves nine”. There were many opportunities when the top management could have stepped in and taken some action to stop the abuse, but for some reason did not. One law firm gives a five-step plan for management when they find themselves in a similar situation:

 Implement an effective anti-harassment policy.

On receiving a harassment claim, have impartial employees investigate it.

When warranted, take appropriate and prompt corrective action.

Don’t retaliate against the complaining employee.

When confronted with egregious and credible evidence, consider every opportunity for early (and inexpensive) resolution.

I am curious why the top management of Eveleth did not do anything about it. None of the websites present I searched presented the company’s perspective on the whole case.

Anyway, those interested in reading the real story that inspired the movie, click here.  

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96 responses to “North Country

  1. I really enjoyed this movie. I love Charise Theron as an actress, and she was amazing in this film. I was hoping that this movie was over-dramatized as I don’t really know that everything that was done to the women was completely accurate. But regardless, the film does a wonderful job portraying how hard women had to fight to gain rights. Decades after winning the right to vote, these discriminatory acts were continuing. And to an extent they still are today. It is really hard sometimes to break through barriers that exist in different roles. ‘A woman’s job is to stay home to cook, clean & raise babies.’ ‘A man’s job is to go out and work, bring home the bacon.’ People still generalize in this manner today. I am fortunate to have met some wonderful people that have thrown down those barriers and live happier lives because of it. I hope that this film gives a wake-up call to those who are behaving in an inappropriate manner.

  2. As a female, watching this movie stirred up a lot of emotions. It made angry and sad. At times it was almost painful to watch. I think this movie was very vivid and did a good job of showing what has actually happened, since it was based on a true story, and what could happen in the business world. I think it could possibly work as a deterrent to men in the business world who still think they can get away with this type of behavior. I also think this movie could possibly work as a motivator for anyone who is in this type of situation in their lives. This movie showed that sometimes equal opportunities have to be fought for; and it is worth the fight.

  3. Rachelle Jershin

    I can not believe in the begining of the movie when it displays the year 1989! It is hard to imagine that not even 20 years ago women were treated like this in a work enviornment. We have an ethics hotline at my job at Sprint that we can report harrassment and humna resources with conduct an investigation. I work in a sales enviornment with mostly men and can only imagine what they would be like with no rules. The character in the movie Josey Aimes broke a gender barrier when everyone and everything was against her and there was no where to go except the court room. She broke leagal ground with the first class-action sexual-harassment lawsuit.
    It is a shame a woman could not just make moey like a man. I watched this movie in my Women’s Studies course as well. It is a shame that women currently make 77 cents to the dollar that a man makes. There are many reasons why but just think that less than 20 years ago it was acceptable for a woman to be raped at work. Seriously. In 1992 The EEOC reported a 62% increase in the number of harassment complaints received between 1991 and 1992. This movie also reminds me of Anchor Man in a way and the way she was treated. No so graphic and realistic but the same issue. There was no where to go for help with in the company.

  4. Blake DeNoyer

    WOW…it’s unbelievable to imagine that kind of crap went on during our lives. When you think of equal rights in the work place you think back to the 50’s and 60’s where women were supposed to be stay-at-home mothers and weren’t wanted in the workforce. Then you see this movie and see how it happened in the late 80’s. I can’t believe the women of this mine weren’t awarded more money than they were, though I’m sure vindication was more of a concentration. It’s a sad story, especially with the whole rape thing, but the ending gives you a since of satisfaction when you see the CEO of the mining company about ready to cry in the courtroom after everyone stands up to testify.

  5. Lindsay Cordle

    The sexual harassment and abuse displayed in this movie are extremely inappropriate manners in which anyone should ever act. I was outraged as I watched these poor women endure harsh abuse from their male coworkers. The sad thing is that this behavior does occur around us to this day; however, not as much is the workplace thanks to women like Josie who stand up for their rights. Even though she may have felt hopeless at times, Josie persistently fought to put an end to her and her female coworker’s mistreatment and abuse. The fact that her own bosses would not even give her a chance to speak and told her that she didn’t belong there must have made her feel very discouraged, but she didn’t give up. In fact, she even was able to gain the support of the other women who were hesitant to admit their abuse at first in fear of what the men might do to them if they were to find out they took legal action. No one should ever feel threatened as these women did, and it is heroic of Josie to stand up for personal rights and win the first sexual harassment lawsuit. Without people such as her, we would not have the laws in place today that allow for punishment of this behavior with specific steps to take if found in situations like this. My favorite quote from this movie is, “Stand up and tell the truth. You stand up even when you’re all alone.”

  6. Amber Sutton

    This movie made me disgusted, but so thankful to where we have come with abuse in the workplace. I found it hard to watch this film because the women were so mistreated and didn’t feel like they could really stand up for what they knew was wrong. They were told to “get a sense of humor” but it wasn’t about having a sense of humor, it’s about having respect for one another. It was unbelievable that even the CEO of the mining company disregarded Josie’s concern with the abuse and was going to fire her for speaking out against it. One thing to note about this case is that it isn’t gender specific, both men and women can be exposed to harassment. Employers are now required to have compliance for such issues as harassment and must take action for any misconduct.

  7. When watching the movie, I was totally appalled at the things that went on in the mine. They had no way to get help. If they tried, things got or would get worse. Even when Josie went to get help from the CEO, he basically told her to quit. At the beginning of her lawsuit, none of the other women would even stand with her for fear of what could happen. It was cool how Josie did it anyway and ended up helping to change the whole business world. I thought it was awesome when her dad stood up for her in the meeting.

  8. Nicole Dwornicki

    I really enjoyed this movie. I cannot imagine how hard it would be to work in such horrible conditions. The sad thing is that the main character Josey was just trying to make an honest living, yet the male workers felt the need to show her and the other female workers that they were not wanted there. It was also very sad that at first her father was so embarrassed to have her working there that he would not step up to defend her. I hope that when males watch this movie they understand how horrible that kind of behavior is, and the effects that it has on others. Though I have not worked in a male dominant field, I hope that as a society we have grown past the need to belittle women. I think that as women we face enough issues in the work place, the last thing we need to be is afraid to go to work every day. I am not saying that sexual harassment is only aimed at women; I just think that it is more commonly experienced by women.

  9. Jillian Bierce

    This movie was very interesting to watch. I can’t believe that women were treated like this in their work place in 1989. That wasn’t that long ago. The managers and CEO knew everything that was going on, but cared to do anything about it. The women couldn’t even speak up about how they felt without get harrassed more or even fired. I liked how Josie’s father changed throughout the movie. At the beginning he was ashamed of her, but by the end of the movie he was seeing her side and stuck up for her. I am glad that women rights in the work place have came a long way and women are not treated like that anymore.

  10. It is amazing to know that these situations exist and are tolerated in this world due to the fear of retaliation. Working for an employer who tolerated these acts is unacceptable to me. It is surprising to me, to a certain extent, that upper management and CEOs would allow these situations to exist in their companies. The purpose of a business is of course to make a profit but not at the expense of their employees. There is always a first in every type of new rule or policy and if anything it should be something to be proud of in this type of corporate restructuring and it is disturbing to know that this is most likely still occurring today’s workplace.

  11. Daniel Miller

    I thought that North Country was a good movie. It amazes me that the mine was able to get away with how they were treating those women for so long. Plus, the fact that they would have gotten away with it for even longer if Josey hadn’t stood up for herself. I was also surprised at how the men didn’t say anything either. There was only a handful that were being jerks, but the rest of them didn’t have the backbone to say anything. When you start to think about the fact that the movie was based on a true story it really makes you appreciate how much one person can change the entire business world. When Josey took the mine to court and won, she completely changed the face of business. After her lawsuit there were a number that followed in her footsteps.

  12. Nicole Furman

    While there were so many things about this movie that shocked and upset me, I think the worst part was realizing how close to our own time period this all happened. As a 21st century woman, I would never expect someone to be bias against me because of my gender let alone outright insult me on a daily basis! This movie has definately given me a newfound respect for the women of the feminist movement who fought for equal rights among men and women. This movie also gives sexual harassment a whole new meaning for me. I’ve worked in jobs where men and women both get caught telling a dirty joke from time to time. In fact, I’ve even been at the end of a “you can’t do that because you’re a girl” line. However, in neither of these situations was the intention to be mean or hurtful. Any “sexual harassment” that I’ve been around has always been in a joking fashion, so I’ve always viewed sexual harassment as sort of a joke. After watching this movie, I sort of feel guilty for taking that position. This movie also makes me wonder if I would have the guts to stick up for myself like Josie in such a situation. I admired her courage to stand up not only to the men who were harassing her, but also to the women who were to afraid to stick up for themselves. This is definately a trait that I hope I can remember if I am faced with a situation I know is wrong.

  13. I was very shocked while watching this movie. I think it was really hard to watch because it was very vivid. I can not believe that women were being sexual harassed in the 80’s. I also think that it was very sad to see that no one else was on her side. She was fighting an extremely hard battle by herself. It was good to see that some of her fellow workers decided to get on her side. This movie was a great thing for us to watch. We are now aware of sexual harassment and how to deal with it.

  14. Rajeev Arora

    North Country is a detailed picture about workplace sexual harassment. The struggle of a single mother, along with a case of ongoing workplace sexual harassment is clearly articulated by the movie. I was shocked when I watched the movie. I did not realize that women have to face that kind of sexual behavior. I admired the courage of josey who stood up justice. Josey was not a man hating feminist she just wanted to be able to go to work every day and not be scared of attacks or verbal abuse.I think this movie did a good job of showing what had actually happened. The movie might be give the courage to people who faced sexual harasment at work and was not able to speak up just because to keep the job. The another good part of the movie is support of family and friends. Family forget her past and stood up with her when she need the support of her family to face the male dominent work envoirnment. I think the movie did a superb job of exposing the really vicious, threatening and inconceivably maddening ugliness of sexual harassments.

  15. Eli Martinez

    I was taken back by how recent this story took place. It ws hard to watch this movie because of the anger and frustration that occured when these women were being treated so harshly and being harrassed.I think one of the harder things would have been when Josie’s dad would not even support her and was in a sense ashamed of her. But as someone mentioned before, it was good to see that he came around by the end of the movie.This movie was an eye opener and a reminder of how we have rules and regulations now to help prevent anything like this from happening.

  16. Sarah Eltiste

    North Country seemed to be unreal at times. It was hard to believe that with an employee reporting sexual harassment to a CEO of a company, her complaint and report would be treated as a lie and be completed uncredited. Josie was very descriptive in her complaint, and even that didn’t seem to be taken seriously by the CEO. Sexual harassment occurs often, and it’s important for all company’s to take the reports seriously and reprimand immediately if necessary. I think a lot of women have a hard time reporting such matters, and when situations occur similar to the ones in the movie (disbelief of occurrence, fathers not believing the issue, harassment occuring more often), it makes it even hard for women, and sometimes even men, to report a situation where they know sexual harassment occurred.

  17. There were many chances throughout the movie to stop the sexual harassment, but nobody except Josie had the courage to step forward. The supervisor didn’t believe it was a problem. The CEO didn’t want to hear about it. The female workers and some male workers feared more abuse, their jobs, etc. The harassment would have never escalated had it been stopped when it was first brought forward.

    It was interesting reading that the story the movie was inspired by wasn’t settled until 1998. It basically started in 1975, but the first formal grievance came in 1984.

  18. North Country was a powerful movie based on a true story of the first successful class-action sexual harrassment case in the US. I was disturbed by the level of harrassment which took place, but even more bothered by how the company not only looked the other way, but encouraged in it in an indirect manner. This movie was moving–to think of the depth of character and courage it took Josie Ames (Charlize Thezron) to come forward and report all the wrong-doing, and then to stand and not turn back is amazing. It was satisfying to know that this terrible situation was brought to justice, but also sad to think that this was probably just one of many going on in our country at the time.

  19. MorganWalker

    This movie showed how much worse things were for women in the workplace before and during the 1970’s. It is interesting to think about how much things have changed since then and how much differently women are viewed in the workplace. It used to be almost unacceptable for women to be in the business world as anything other than nurses and secretaries. Now, women are running companies and we even have a woman running for president. However, most people recognize that discirimination and sexual harrassment is still going on in the workplace. There are way lower numbers of women than men in CEO type positions and there are way more filings of sexual harrassment charges by women than men. If things have changed this much since the 70’s, it will be interesting to see how much more they have changed when my children or grandchildren are getting started in the working world.

  20. Bobbie Adams

    When I watched the movie North Country, I was shocked. I think it would be horrible to have to go through what the women went through on a daily basis. To have to be scared to go to work everyday, in fear of what is in your locker or to see something written about you, or worse is disgusting. Those girls had to have been really strong to put up with that treatment. I thought the main character, Josie, was really brave to stand up for herself, when all the girls were telling her not to, and all the guys were making fun of her, that had to have been really hard. I just don’t understand why the guys put so much effort into making the work conditions that horrible, didn’t they ever get tired of being that mean?

  21. The movie is based on a true story which makes it even more powerful than just being a fictional account. It’s sad to think that women in the work place could actually be treated the way the women in the movie were treated. It makes it hard for me to see that happened because no one should be treated with disrespect. It is sad that a place like the United States could have such outright discrimination. What is even sadder is that there are still workplaces that are no better than the company that these women worked at, even here and now in 2008. I thought the message to the movie was a good one to send and it is original because most movies are not prepared to take on such a difficult discussion as sexual discrimination in the workplace.

  22. North Country did a great job of showing how women have been mistreated and disrupted in the workforce. In the movie, Josey along with her fellow female friends were constantly harassed by her male co-workers. At some points they were even sexually harassed while they were at work in the mines. The men showed they felt they were superior to women and felt they could treat them however they wanted. When Josey finally stood up for herself and confronted her boss about the situation, he didn’t believe her and sent her back to work. He should have listened because not too long after he was hit with a sexual harassment lawsuit that would pave the way for women in the future. I thought the movie was ok. The best part of it was Charlize Theron.

  23. Watching this movie makes me mad at those men for thinking its ok to treat women in inappropriate manners. The male workers in this movie obviously thought that they were superior and women shouldn’t be able to work with them. It also makes me upset that the company didn’t even take Josie’s concerns about the harassment seriously. I don’t know if I would have been able to stick up to those men like she did in this movie. I think that it was a good movie and it really shows how much business has changed since then. Hopefully some day this wont ever happen to women again in the work place.

  24. Alex Williams

    After watching this film, made me realize how bad it was for women in the 1970s and 80s. It is so hard to imagine that these kinds of sexual harrassemnet took place in the business world, especially only twenty years ago. It is quite pathetic! It was defenitely a good movie and very informative to people especially men who lived through this era and maybe worked in this type of work enviornment. I hope they have learned a lot from this film. I feel horrible for the women who had to go through this punishment and embarresement. At least the U.S. has finally learned by there mistakes and is enforcing regulations and aggressive punishments now that it is 20th century,

  25. Scott Stronck

    Josey is a very strong woman for standing up against the crowd. She not only did this once, but until the situation was realized by everyone. I realize that even in today’s society these kinds of things happen all the time. This movie depicts a huge decision though with the court awarding her the damages from all the abuse she took. Josey was a pioneer in this regard, standing out to make her point known and to help and educate all future working women. I am sure that many others are glad that she was able to do such a thing.

  26. Richard Caniglia

    It is hard to believe that something like that could have ever been allowed. Josey really made an effort to just deal with it in the beginning, but decided if no one else was going to stand up for the women in the mine she would. I like movies that are based on real life events that changed the way the world is. What she did was not easy because even her family wasn’t on her side the whole time.

    The men in the mine made it obvious that they resented the fact they had to work with women. The managers must have figured as long as they don’t physical sexual abuse them they wouldn’t get in trouble. Fortunately for the women that wasn’t the case. This was a landmark case where Josey was awarded damages for the abuse she endured. Her and other strong women paved the way for a better workplace.

  27. Lauren Harre

    I had no idea what this movie was about, and was shocked when the harassment began. The things the men did were so beyond wrong, I can not believe any woman would stay working there. Charlize Therons character was so determined to support her children and stay away from her abusive husband that she had to stay. I do not know which of her situations was worse. I was really happy that she won the case, someone needs to pay for letting that stuff happen. I really can not believe that people would do those things, don’t they have morals?

  28. People, People, People…. come on the biggest problem in this movie was mullets. I mean come on… who thought of that hair style? Anyway the movie could have been a lot better. All jokes aside… women did go through a hard time and they sure made us pay for it. Yeah, women went through a very tough time…. thats about it.

  29. Jeremy Windeshausen

    I have seen this movie before and didnt really care for it that much. I though it was a little dramatic and overacted. Watching it for a second time really opened my eyes up and made me realize that things were probably really like that. It is scary to think of what men could get away with during that time. I wonder if things would be the same, maybe not as bad but you know what I mean, today if there were no sexual harassment laws? I couldnt imagine what creepy guys would try to get away with this day and age.

  30. It is sad and sickening to think harassment happened like that then and in some respects still happens today. You watch rap videos, music, movies, and all the other garbage that portrays women as objects; it is disgusting. Women’s rights has come a long way, but there is room for improvement. Men and women should be treated equally–that is the bottom line. The saying “it is all fun and games, until someone gets hurt” should not apply to sexual harassment. I just hope that people stand up for their rights and voice their concerns just as the character did in the movie, both men and women because sexual harassment goes both ways. One voice is all it takes to bring about change.

  31. Corey Bronson

    This movie depicted the harsh reality of the treatment of women in the workplace and how it has was not eliminated when womens rights were established. This movie is a clear indicator of how gender can be seen as means to demean individuals and how others take advantage of women. The movie also shows how persistance will pay off in the end. These men got what they deserved after being convicted. It’s a sad reminder of how human beings treat one another through discrimination. These acts will only halt progression not only in the workplace but also on a global basis. These types of work conditions may rear its ugly head in emerging markets in the world in the years to come.

  32. It is amazing how far along America has come in respects to these discriminating issues. It is a great thing to see that we, for the most part, are a non-discriminating country. And the companies who do try to discriminate, whether it’s based on race or SEX, get punished harshly. I truly believe our country’s success lies not in being the smartest or most intelligent country but lies on our country’s ability to create good-will with its citizens and among its citizens. We have a bulit-in correcting mechanism beyond the capability of any other country that requires us to be respectors of all people not matter what shape, form, size, race, or sex. Way to go America!

  33. Robert Brown

    I felt like this was a good movie and definitely sends a good message. The way women were treated in the past was terrible. But of course the film isn’t perfect. I did think that there were parts of the film that were a little cheesy and maybe attempted to beat their message into you. Overall, it was well done though. It makes you think about how much business has changed for the better over the past few decades in regards to this kind of behavior.

  34. This film did a good job of showing just how mean and nasty some men can be when they feel threatened by the females in their workplace. Fear drives them to do the most unspeakable things! The movies that are placed in Minnesota just have a weird feel to them. I always think of Fargo.

  35. My favorite line in the movie was Josey’s father standing up and speaking about how wives and daughters come to the company barbecue and aren’t called names or had lewd pictures drawn of them, why is the mine different? This embodies the issue to me – people are people, and coming into a work environment doesn’t change their needs, wants, ambitions, or relationships. The same basic societal rules apply to the world of work that apply to the world outside of work. Most of the movies we’ve seen this semester repeat this theme in one way or another. Being manager of a business does not make one king of a closed society where he/she is allowed to do whatever he/she wants (such as stealing (Enron), lying (Wallstreet), harassing (North Country)).

  36. I thought that North Country was a good movie. I was appalled by how the male employees treated the women employees and not only that but for how long they got away with doing it. It makes you wonder how much longer this would have continued if Josey didn’t step up and take action. Without the stories like this we would probably not be where we are now.

  37. People can be extremely evil and i think this movie portrayed this well. I love how they showed her basically standing alone. She really dug to the core of what everyone should be/feel and stood against the grain. It was terrible how everyone turned against her, but hey thats life. I might not watch it again, but overall i would recommend it.

  38. I think the thing that stood out to me the most was the fact that this was based on a true story that hapened only twenty years ago. It wasn’t even that long ago that discrimination like this was happening in our country.

    It had to be hard for women to try and voice anything on this issue but when they finally did it was a shot heard round the world. Any american has to be proud of the women who stood up for themselves and in complete shck that this was happening not so long ago.

    This movie had a great message to stick up for what you believe in and stand by your rights. This movie was great on many levels and I’m happy it was one we watched for this class.

  39. Farrukh Kamolov

    I could never believe that women in US could be treated like Josey did. She did a good job representing the rights of all the women that worked in that factory, even though it was very hard to overcome all the challenges that she had. If she wouldn’t done that, I am wondering how long it would take somebody else to represent all those women, so it would completely change the attitude toward the women.

  40. This was an excellent demonstration of the struggles women have had to overcome in history regarding inequality and sexual harassment in the workplace. Unfortunately, these incidents did not rest with this case. Women today are still facing similar problems, even though companies risk their reputation and credibility if they don’t take problems like these seriously. There are still men that refuse to allow a woman to work with them on the same level, or even respect them as a superior. However, women should learn from this movie that they do indeed have a voice and if persistent enough, will be able to overcome instances such as these in the working environment.

  41. Scott Bradley

    This was a very entertaining and dramatic film. I did not know that sexual harassment laws began in 1989 because of these female miners. It is unbelievable what they had to endure. I beleive this is a great illustration of the stuggles minorities have had to endure to get equal rights. Josey was incredibly strong, and did not give up. She had a belief that this was wrong, and was determined to not allow other women to be treated the same way.

  42. Umutai_Mamarasulova

    North Country was a great movie. And Charize Theron did a great job playing Josie. Persistent, optimistic and strong, she demonstrates that one can make a difference by strongly pursuing what he or she believes is right. I strongly believe that business students should watch this movie, because discrimination, be that based on age, gender or sex, is an important and ongoing issue. Employers and employees should be aware of it and make every effort to avoid discrimination.

  43. Megan Weatherwax

    I forgot to leave my comment…

    I really really enjoyed this movie and I have a lot of respect for the woman charlize played. What an awful thing to experience…but lets not kid ourselves. This kind of harrassment happens still today. Maybe not on this level…or maybe. It is sad how much she just wanted to live life and support her kids and there was that major wall she had to climb. And her relationship with her father didn’t help. but in the end she overcame both things and played a major role in history. I would definitely reccomment this movie

  44. abusinessprofessor

    A recent New York Times article reports about another law suit that black and hispanic employees brought against Allied Aviation, a firm that fuels planes at airports throughout the US (March 12, 2008). The complaints these employees made about the company include:

    1. It was not only co-workers who engaged in eggregious conduct against Blacks and Hispanics but that the management also implicitly supported it. The management’s philosophy was if you don’t like the behavior, feel free to leave the company.

    2. An employee found “his name and the names of four other black employees on a bathroom wall underneath the title “hit list,” which included a racial epithet”.

    3. Many white employees “routinely brandished” KKK membership cards and nooses and drawings of swastika (both considered symbols of hate in the US) were common in the workplace.

    4. Racial slurs and other derogatory remarks were painted on the fuel panel of an AA plane.

    5. A hispanic employee “went into a meeting with a supervisor to discuss the conditions, only to find himself depicted in a racially offensive cartoon on display under glass on the manager’s desk”. The incident so traumatized him that “he was later hospitalized for two weeks”.

    Though this is an example of racial discrimination, rather than sexual, it is sad that such things happen even today.

  45. I am very glad to have watched this movie. I commented to my wife about how it was just so great how they made Josey seem stronger than a superhero. She was all alone–and despised by most of the people around her. She did a great thing by standing up to all of the men that did her wrong, including her father. Definitely a great role for Charlize as I am now getting used to just how depressed she can make people feel. Anyone seen monster???

    It’s too bad that things like this still happen in the United States. Even though the laws are more refined and the public is more educated about sexual harassment and racial discrimination, there has to be a constant effort on EVERYONE’S part to make sure that it is minimized. People are just so easily swayed by the majority because they are afraid to be seen as different. If everyone would just have one-tenth the courage of Lois Jenson (the real-life Josey), then this sort of treatment would be a thing of the past.

  46. Trevor Luchsinger

    This movie was a good one. It showed how badly women were treated in the work place and how sexual harrasment took place also. This is a movie that helps open our eyes and understand that nothing like this should ever be happening anywhere including the workplace.

  47. Craig Thommes

    This i a great movie when you watched it and think about how far America has come in the last forty years. You would like to believe that this doesn’t happen anymore, but that may just be wish-full thinking. I really have to commend Josey on stinking up for herself at a time when it would have bee nso easy to shut up and take all the punishment.

  48. abusinessprofessor

    I was recently reading the NEWSWEEK magazine from Nov. 12′ 2007 (I know I am running behind on my reading!). It discussed Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of NYC and founder of the Bloomberg company. I thought the following was relevant to our discussion of workplace sexual harrassment:

    [T]here have been serious questions raised about the treatment of women within the Bloomberg corporate culture. In 1998, in a complaint against Bloomberg and the company filed in a federal court in Manhattan, Sekiko Garrison, one of the earliest recruits to Bloomberg’s largely female sales force, claimed that Bloomberg insulted and harrassed her and other female employees. Garrison’s most startling allegation was that when she told Bloomberg she had become pregnant, he told her to “kill it”. She said that Bloomberg also expressed dismay that she was the 16th company employee to go on maternity leave. (A Bloomberg LP official called the allegations about discrimination against pregnant women “ridiculous… untrue, and said that the company “really goes above and beyond the norm in providing family benefits, and that it’s an incredibly family-friendly culture”).

    For those interested in the complete article (‘The Revolutionary’), you can read it in the Newsweek of Nov 12′ 2007. And, if you are a former or current Bloomberg employee reading this, we would love to hear about your experience working at the company.

  49. Eraj Tabaraliev

    This movie showed how women are treated in the US workplaces back than. The movie depicted the true story, which made it more interesting. I believe that there should be respect between men and women, but this movie made this belief stronger in me. I felt sorry for females in the movie and I am pretty sure if I was there I would have done more to help them.

  50. abusinessprofessor

    The New York Times of July 2, 2008, had a story about a similar sexual harrasment lawsuit in NY. Here are some details from the story:

    Martha Nyakim Gatkuoth, a refugee from Ethiopia, found a job as a hostess at a famed restaurant tucked within Central Park: Tavern on the Green. In the beginning, she says she enjoyed her work, but slowly found herself to be a victim of continuous sexual harrassment. “I was asked to perform sexual favors in great detail by this manager,” she said. “And when I refused, I was told that I was not going to get the schedule I wanted. It resulted in my paycheck being cut.”
    Ms. Gatkuoth said that when female employees passed through the kitchen to get to their lockers, they often faced a torrent of bawdy commentary from the kitchen crew.
    “Sometimes they would say: ‘When are you going to get pregnant? That’s all women are good for,’ ” she said. “Sometimes there’d be a big group of people, and the manager would make a comment about your private parts and get a laugh out of everybody.”
    “Most of the time it was in private; I’d be by myself,” she said. “He’d just come and grab my butt and slap it. It’s a big place and there’s a lot of places where things go on that most of the customers don’t go to.”
    “He’d make statements like, ‘Why do you think so and so gets this schedule?’ I’d wonder whether they were threatened the same way I was threatened.”
    Ms. Gatkuoth said that despite her anguish, she felt she could not leave the job. As the eldest child of parents who had died in the violence and tumult of East Africa, she needed steady work to help send her two brothers in the United States to college and a 15-year-old brother still in Africa to boarding school there.
    For more than a year, during the job, she did not tell anyone about what was happening at the restaurant. She was too embarrassed, she said. And now she feels embarrassed that she was embarrassed.
    “How could I have let this happen?” she said. “Is it something in me that someone saw as a weakness? I became more angry with me.”
    “You always think it’s just happening to you and that’s what makes it worse,” Ms. Gatkuoth said. “A lot of women suffer silently. But I think if this becoming so public could help other women out there, then it was worth it.”
    Ms. Gatkouth filed a complaint with the EEOC against the sexual harrasment. initially filed the criminal complaint with the Manhattan district attorney — his office dropped the case — and then a lawyer suggested she contact the commission. The E.E.O.C. interviewed more than 50 workers.
    She is now the lead complainant in the commission’s federal discrimination lawsuit, in which Tavern on the Green agreed to a $2.2 million settlement last month.
    The lawsuit contains coarse and graphic words to describe the demands and demeaning language that Ms. Gatkuoth and several other female employees said they faced. Kam S. Wong, a lawyer for the E.E.O.C., said the director of operations was so intimidating and forceful that many workers were scared to speak up.

    More details about the story can be had from the NYT website.

  51. james o'neill

    Blog 9 – North Country (Business Ethics)
    North Country tells the story of Josie Aimes and her struggles in a male dominated work environment. This film particularly focuses on equal rights in the work place and the ethical issues that arise when equality is not present at a specific job. Josie is a single mother desperate to provide for the welfare of her children, and her best available opportunity is at the local mine. When Josie arrives, she encounters hostility at the workplace in receiving jeers, insults, sexual harassment, and ultimately physical confrontation and harm, at which point she decides she can no longer tolerate the injustices at the mine. The ethical dilemma arises when Josie hires attorney Bill White to defend her against her employer. Josie needs at least two colleagues to corroborate her story for the lawsuit to be deemed credible, but because the other workers don’t want to be ostracized by going against the union and their coworkers by conceding to Josie’s wishes, nobody gives initially. Clearly, the ethical issues are numerous here, as Josie was obviously being wronged, but because of a sort of conglomeration against her, those who were committing the injustices were absolved (for some time) from punishment. Another ethical issue in a case where sexual harassment is the question is whether or not sexual history is an adequate measure to judge character upon, and consequentially, at least help to determine partially the likelihood that the woman making this claim is telling the truth. Sexual history may or may not reveal characteristics about a person’s decision making or lifestyle, sure, but should it play a role in the courts?

  52. Jeanette Cole

    The film “North Country” is based on a true story about Josey Aimes, a woman mine worker, who files a class action lawsuit against the mine for charges of sexual harassment. The film takes place in 1989, “in 1975 iron mines of North Minnesota hired their first female miner. By 1989, male employees still outnumbered females, thirty to one.” The film focuses on the issue of business ethics and in particular, sexual harassment in the workforce.
    In the beginning of the film we see Josey leaving her abusive husband in search of a better life. She travels to her home town and stays with her parents while she gets herself back on her feet. After some time she runs into an old friend and her friend suggests that she tries a job at the mine. Josey decides to take up the offer and goes and applies for a job at the mine.
    The issue of business ethics and sexual harassment in the workplace is apparent within the mine. She and the other women miners are continually harassed by the male miners. The women have to cope with this harassment daily and few are brave enough to stick up for themselves. None of them want to go to management and tell them about what is going on at the mine. Josey gets up the nerve to tell management about the issues that are taking place at the mine and they simply try to get rid of her by having her “resign.” She does not give into their tactics, and continues to work at the mine. The final straw is when Josey is attacked by one of the miners in the powder room. At this point she decides to quit and file a class action lawsuit against the company.
    The class action lawsuit would be the first of its kind, the first sexual harassment class action suit. In order for the suit to be filed there must be three plaintiffs. Josey attempts to find two others that are willing to stand up with her, but no one will. She continues with her pursuit and files the suit. In a union meeting we see that Josey attempts to give a speech about women’s rights at the mine. She is denied the right to speak by the men; however her father stands up and speaks on her behalf and finally takes the side of his victimized daughter.
    During the trial we learn more about Josey’s past and that she was the victim of a rape in high school by her teacher. After Bill White gets Bobby Sharp to confess to the fact that he was a witness to the rape and did nothing, the judge points out that it is still not possible to file a class action without having three plaintiffs. In that instance others in the courtroom finally stand up to support Josey. The result is the ability of the women to file their lawsuit. The women win their suit and in doing so got a sexual harassment policy written up that would protect them and women working at the mine in the future.
    This film gives a real-life example of sexual harassment in the workplace. It is apparent that the women of the mine had to deal with unspeakable abuse and harassment daily. While harassment of this type may be uncommon in the business arena, it is still in existence. Sexual harassment is an issue in today’s business world and something that employees and management alike must be aware of. The issue of business ethics is something that extends beyond just sexual harassment, but this is the main focus in this film in a business ethics regard.

  53. After watching the movie, North Country, I admire the courage and determinations of Josey Aimes and despise the mining company. Top executives of the company knew the problem but they chose not to deal with it. The movie addressed about business ethics and presented the problem between male and female. Sexual harassment is a problem for many organizations. Even nowadays, there are lots of lawsuits involved in this topic. It is important for female to increase the understanding of sexual harassment. Also, it is essential for company to enforce anti-harassment policies and to prevent sexual harassment from occurring. Besides sexual harassment, there are other business ethics issues in corporation. North Country reminds me another movie, Erin Brockovich, which is also inspired by true story and described another different type of unethical corporation. Erin Brockovich is a single mother tried to earn her living likewise. When worked in a lawyer office, she found the records against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company, PG&E. She revealed that PG&E should responsible for the illness of the residents and filed a lawsuit to ask for compensation for victims. From these two movies, I think the boundary of the business ethics is broad. Oftentimes it is unethical for company by doing something without violate the law. However, it is more appropriate for companies keeping themselves in lines of ethics rather than obeying the law only.

  54. Anthony Olenik

    North Country brings sexual harassment in the workplace to the silver screen. Josey Aimes works in a predominately male profession, mining, where she is repeatedly harassed with other coworkers. The other women miners do not stand up for their rights until Josey finally took a stand in court. After court proceedings, the mine began to enforce sexual harassment work policies to safeguard all the women miners in the workplace.
    Sexual harassment was fairly commonplace in many professions decades ago and still is in some places. With the movement for women’s rights in the workplace and more of these lawsuits taking place, most employers have received the message and prohibit sexual harassment in any form. Large employers, like mine, actually require ethics training to ensure these situations are avoided both physically and verbally. Corporations that take a proactive role in communicating proper ethics help their organizations avoid lawsuits and create an open culture, where employees don’t have to be afraid of working.

  55. Tzu-Chuan Chiu (Anson)

    The North Country describes the phenomenon of some ethical issues and sex discriminations among male-dominant working environment. Before seeing this movie, I cannot image how unfair female could be treated in the working places. And I feel very angry about those people who treat women without respect. People were born with different abilities, and female may physically not stronger than male. But this shouldn’t be the excuse for any one to discriminate female. My personal view is that this movie focuses more on the sexual harassment and gender discrimination than on business ethics. Some behaviors played in this movie are basically illegal (such as language violence, body violence and so on). In the business ethics class, the first rule we learn to identify whether the things we are conducting are ethical or not is to make sure that it doesn’t violate the law. But most ethical dilemmas are legal but unethical issues. Although we are learning business ethics topic in strategic management class right now, very few ethics dilemmas have unanimously opinion in our class. We are all thinking things from different sides, and this makes many ethical issues become puzzling issues.

  56. This movie perfectly describes the sexual harassment in working place and unethical issues that the company tried to conceal and ignore the female employees’ right. In the film, Josey and some female workers had been treated unfairly. Surprisingly, they could not acquire any support from supervisors, union, or even from their female colleagues. This sexual discrimination caused and developed to serious consequence – unhealthy culture within the company. Eventually, the impact may hurt the company’s reputation and lead shareholders to doubt company’s capacity of solving problems. A company should create healthy environment for workers, establish credibility for customers and society, and take responsibility for shareholders.

  57. I do not if the same situation happening in my country what will be the result? Recently, women’s sexual harassment are becoming more concerned in this two or three decades. Sometimes, people are just afraid to change tradition. Then, let undesirable customs keep going on. However, thinking differently from past would probably help get rid of these bad habits.

    Male and female are born equally. Even in the work place or public, we should respect each other. Be aware of some boundaries, such as body contact and flirting. Also, as far as the company concerned, it should have some regulations to restrain employees or employers. In addition, companies also can provide some paths for females to claim this kind of complaint.

    Anyway, this case really helped female earn their own right. Also, it remind the society getting more attention about these sexual harassment.

  58. The movie `North Country’ directed by Niki Caro is a story based on women sexual harassment at workplace. It’s credible to have such a true story out for the viewers, as there are so many such instances that go unheard. What Josey and her other female co workers faced was sexual exploitation at workplace and it’s commendable for the way she fought for justice.

    But more likely this would be less that 1 % of the cases that may have been fought upfront in legal. Sexual bias and harassment is prevalent among any groups of organization, small, middle, big, private, public, etc. They are many times so scuttle that they go unnoticed. The example in this movie showed some hard hitting harassment, with no management support whatsoever. But in today’s organization they come in a different role and different form, and may seem to be normal yet provocative that it becomes difficult for a female employee to really fight it out. A working women is usually either a professional who wants to make a career or someone in need of money. In both instances the job becomes her first priority; hence she tends to overlook other factors to pull on with her living. Now if you take the scenario of cities in a developing nation (India), even though at a pretentious level you may find savvy female professionals working in hot shot cities, but in reality there are some underlying gender biases and taboos that she carries with her all along. And so to protect her dignity she passes her thoughts away from a revolt as she doesn’t want to be seen as someone with so much baggage.

    But on the other hand I would like to comment that sexual harassment is given major importance and is protected under law. There is a fair amount of awareness and policies to protect a working female employee. But the fundamental question is, do women in the first case need to be harassed sexually? Now taking a look at business ethics, it is not about how ethical or unethical in question this is? It’s about gender bias and attitude towards women in the society which percolates even in workforce. But now with so many female professionals gaining important positions, hopefully sexual bias would soon be a passé thought.

  59. Philip St. Clair

    Are we ever going to watch a movie that shows how great and positive the business world and environment can be? Nevertheless, North Country is yet another superior example of business ethics. It also shows how business culture, at times, can seem impossible to change. However on the contrary it shows how one person can use the judiciary system to make a difference.
    Josey Aimes did not ask for a lot out of life. Only the ability to earn a decent wage and feed her family. However, the sexual harassment that she had to endure in her small Minnesota town, made the achievement of these goals easier said than done. It is hard to put myself in her shoes, which is normally what I do when evaluating other people’s decisions. Still, from articles I have read about the situation, the movie only scratches the surface as to the harassment she received.
    What did management do? They did nothing because they were stuck into the same notion of everyone else in the industry; that coalmining was a man’s job. The easy analyze here is to say that, yes, sexual harassment is wrong and that, yes, all companies need to have policies in place to deter sexual harassment and measures in place to report and resolve situations. I hope that is clear to everyone is this class. However, this problem is only the branch to the tree. The root of the tree is that management and employees were resistant to change. This is why management shunned Josey and why fellow employees did not support her cause. They were all resistant to any kind of change in an industry that had not changes in hundreds of years. Remember, we are not talking about Microsoft in 1989, or any other company that rapidly changes where culture is crucial. We are talking about a coal mine that had not changed its cultural practices in years, if ever. This then pounds away at the point that all companies, large or small, hi-tech or low-tech need to be ready, willing and proactive to changes in industry best practices, technology and of course organizational culture.

  60. This movie is over sexual harassment with female workers thereby showing that how badly a woman can be treated at the workplace. Women face these kinds of problems even today. It was really hard to see the extent to which the woman is disrespected in this movie. Among all the workers, Josie Aimes had the courage to rebel and she went ahead told her supervisor about but he didn’t believe her that this kind of problem is going on. She even went to CEO but he didn’t want to hear it.

    This movie is the lesson for the female workers that whenever some thing wrong happens with them, they should persistently rebel against it. Employers should also take actions for any misconduct like harassment and all rather than just sitting and ignoring the issues of their workers.

  61. North Country is a movie which once again shows the bad things that happen in a business set up. In this movie the director talks about sexual harassment .Sexual harassment is one of the worst things that happen to a woman and if something like this happens at a work place it gets just too tough for any woman to handle it. But, Josey is shown to be a strong woman who tries to fight back for her dignity .Although she doesn’t really get any support from her co-workers or the management but she still fought to change what had become a convention. It is very important for organizations to realize that we need to make sure that such things don’t happen to the employees and especially at the work place.Also, it is extremely important for women to escalate these issues to the management in the right way so that there is equal respect and dignity for all the employees.

  62. The movie tells that sometimes the right thing to do is the hardest thing to do. When Wells and Adams visited the nuclear power plant, vibration happened, which attracted their attention. They tried to investigate into the fact but encountered tremendous hold backs. While the treat became seriously, Godell sensed the dangerous situation and tried his best effort to change the situation. However, his advises were rejected since the proposal is not in favor of the profit of plant. It is like when people are driven by evil and unethical ideas; they can hardly stop once started. The right choice is simple: delay restarting reactor, it became so difficult when opposite strength are strong and justice is lonely. Just as most of the ending of a film, the final result is justice overcome the evil at the price of blood and life.
    Maybe there is a hidden rule in business that profit comes first, and company could draw the line where it feels comfortable to satisfy the profit growth. When refer to the business world nowadays, a large number of companies please the customers with the products and service which are actually not good to them. Sometimes, companies think they can’t afford to ignore the profit and therefore choose to do things which are unethical while release themselves by thinking every else does this as well. Actually, in some industry, it is actually hidden rule that profits are made on business behaviors which are critical and not fully ethical. However, while we could expect someone in the industry with fully knowledge to speak out for the consumer and public, there is far from enough.
    Business ethic is not something far from out life, although receive ethic class all the time, what choice you will make in some specific situations. Take the example of something I just heard, Food court and all the other dining halls, the oil they used to make fries is changed once a week. That mean you brought the field chicken today, and 6 days later, 10:00 pm Sunday night, you got the fries made in the same container. While the students worked their aware their friend to be away from fries during weekend, no one speaks out for making changes. The right thing is the most difficult thing to do sometimes. If it a very serious situation, like live or death in this movie, I believe most people will speak out, maybe through some covered-up ways. But if it is not as seriously as that, what would you do in that situation. Refer to the business ethic flash I saw on YouTube: just imagine that things you did is the heading of the newspaper. Do you feel comfortable of that?

  63. There are a lot of important lessons embedded in the movie “North Country.” As far as the topic, business ethics, is concerned “North Country” is great example of exactly what should not happen in today’s workplace. The movie shows how the women working at a mining company, Mesabi Iron Range, were harassed and demoralized on a daily basis. Making matters worse, was that not only were women at the mine treated cruelly, but neither operation managers nor top management did anything about it. When the main character, Josie, went to the manager he told her to come back when she had a real problem. Josie later went to CEO, Pierson, but was going to be forced to resign (fired basically) if she was going to continue with her complaints. The male employees and all management truly felt that there was no place for a woman to work in the mines and therefore turned their heads the other way, with exception of a few workers. However, the few workers that didn’t like the way the other males were treating the females didn’t do anything about it, most likely because of the harassment they would be subject to if they did stand up for them. Even more appalling, Josie’s own father made no attempt to stop or lessen the travesties from continuing (until the end of the movie anyway) and stated repeatedly that she brought the treatment upon herself (which was far from true). Josie refused to back down though and eventually won a class action lawsuit against the company and wins. Nobody deserves to be treated the way the women in “North Country” were. I’d hope that if anybody ever witnesses such dehumanizing behavior that they would try to stop it.

  64. Kuo-Shen Huang

    This movie definitely gives me the impression about the cruel in the business society, especially for women. Even in this equal society for men and women, sexual harassment still takes place in the work place. “North County” provides good examples for us to recognize the diverse situations in the business world and also give the good opportunity for us to experience this working condition.
    I think that Josey Aimes has very strong and courageous personality to deal with any difficult environment she encounters. No matter working in the mine where most “men” work there or be experienced by sexual harassment, she not only overcome all of this difficulty but she also fights back about her frustration by taking the lawsuit. Her behavior really lets me feel worthy of respect and victory finally is always on the side of justice.

  65. Jennifer Gilligan

    Watching the movie “North Country” made me very mad. I could not believe how the men at the mines treated the women who worked there. It was sad to watch all of the harassment the women who worked at the mine had to endure. Work is a place of employment and no one should have to deal with harassment while trying to earn a living.

    While at work it is the company’s responsibility to make sure that their employees are treated with respect. If employees are being harassed and mistreated at work then it is the company’s responsibility to regulate these actions. Employees should be free to work in a safe environment where they don’t have to be scared.

    Also I don’t understand why the men thought that women could not perform these jobs. I understand that is it dirty work and that it isn’t considered a typical women’s job, but it is not rocket science and the men working there definitely were not the brightest crayons in the box.

    In the end the mining company got what they deserved. For too long they defended their sexist employees. What they were doing to the women employees was horrible and the money they had to pay out was a minor retribution for what those women had to endure.

  66. It is hard for everyone to do a decision when you face a dilemma in your life or in your work environment. Sometimes you know it is wrong, but you do not dare to challenge the authority. Most of people do not want to be too “special” in our society. If we go to a new place, it has a strange culture. Do we really try to change that? Or we just take it as reasonable. In U.S. culture, people encourage everyone to say what he or she think. In Chinese culture, we encourage people to listen and to do, but do not say too much.

  67. North Country depicts sexual harassment in the work place that took place in Minnesota coal mines in the 1980s. Unfortunately, the film depicts situations that were all too common in the “real world” at the time, and draws certain similarities to movies such as “Philadelphia.” Although (at least I would hope), this type of discrimination and harassment is not anywhere near as common today as it was twenty years ago, the film serves as a good moral compass for many students today.

    Reading through some of the previous comments, there have been many students that are outraged by what was going on in the movie. Looking at the movie in terms of business ethics, it is hard (if not impossible) to create a positive argument for the coal mine, or its managers, but what is hopeful is how many future managers and business people were outraged by what they saw, as the ethics of a company can only be represented through the opinions and actions of it employees and managers.

  68. Michael Warren

    This film does a good job in showing how sexual harassment can exist in the work place. The movie follows Josey, who starts to work in a predominately male profession of iron mining. She and the few other female workes are treated unfairly and harassed by their coworkers. Josey takes a stand against these unethical practices even without the support from her other female coworkers, supervisors, or community. Sexual harrassment is a major concern in many busineses and there are many measures taken to prohibit such behavior. Companies now have ethics training and whistleblowing policies to make people aware of unethical behavior like sexual harrassment. This is imporatant because the first major step in stopping these unethical practices is being aware of them and training to identify it as well as knowing the proper steps to take to stand up against such behaviour. A safe and friendly environment in the work place helps create success and establish credability for that company.

  69. Wen-Ting (Doris) Wei

    Nowadays, there is no sexual harassment in most workplaces, but I believe that some might still exist and be hided. Sexual harassment is a gender-neutral offense. Statistics show that the majority of the claims are brought by women claiming that they were suffering sexual harassment by men, either husbands or coworkers. Way too many women are afraid of revealing the truth, so obviously there are much more facts under the table. I admired Josey for her courage and maturity. This movie conveys some ideas, one of which is the employer’s legal obligation. An employer has a responsibility to maintain a free sexual harassment workplace. If he allows it to grow in the workplace, he may have to pay an inestimatable price because of low productivity and lawsuits.

  70. North Country shows how unethical behavior, specifically sexual harassment, can snowball out of control when top management does not place standards or a code of conduct within the workplace. I admire Josey for standing up for herself and her female coworkers even when it would be much easier for her to just walk away from the situation, given how much she was being harassed and slandered by her community and even her family. I am also thankful as a female MBA student that these women stood up for themselves and risked losing a good job, making good money, in order to maintain equal rights in a male dominated field. As a result of this class action suit against the mine, these businesses were forced to instill a sexual harassment code, and as a result the workplace is a much more even playing field today.

  71. Lauren Spielberg

    It is evident that in the movie North Country there was a lack of ethics at the Pearson Mining Company. The women were treated like second class citizens and were constantly harassed by the men. In terms of business ethics, Pearson didn’t provide the women with a proper working environment. Additionally, when Josie would go to her manager after being harassed or seeing other women harassed, she was told to either forget what had happened or that what happened never actually did. Josie and the other women weren’t allowed to voice their opinions, and when they did, they were harassed even more than before. The women were sexually discriminated and harassed and Pearson had an ethical responsibility to stop this, but they didn’t. The women were afraid to whistleblow because they knew if they went back to work that they would be treated even worse. In the end, the women finally came together in order to win the case against Pearson to create better working environments for women, especially in the mines. It’s interesting that Pearson rather have a law suit filed against him and lose than to just listen to his women workers in order to improve conditions. Wouldn’t it cost more for all of the legal fees and rewards given to the women than to just fix things internally?

  72. Chris Bellinzoni

    The illustration in this movie of the struggles of women entering into a predominately male industry, and the pressures they faced, represented to me a lost opportunity for Pearson. Clearly the way they treated women entering their company, and passively allowed them to be treated, was morally bankrupt, that conclusion doesn’t require very much discussion. What Pearson did here was let the mob mentality cloud their judgment. What occurred to me after watching the movie was the tremendous opportunity cost they suffered as a result of their treatment of women in their workforce. I understand that it would have required some very unorthodox thinking for the time, but had Pearson embraced their new employees rather than demoralize them this could have been a story of innovation instead of embarrassment.

  73. Josie is living a miserable life and decides to leave her husband when he gets violent on her. She and her daughter go to her parents where her father asks if she has been cheating her husband. Her mother also wants her to reconcile with her husband. The disrespect of the father and the ignorance of her mother towards her are clearly depicted. She gets a job washing hair in a hair salon and meets her old friend, Glory who talks about a good job opportunity in the iron mines. She decides to apply. She gets a job in the iron mine, moves in with Glory and her husband in hope to have a better life. The only reason women were being hired in the iron mines was because the government had made it mandatory. The men working were very hostile to the women. The women have a shift leader who is very abusive and sexually harasses them. The women face a lot of problems while working. They are intimidated and harassed. Even when Josie complains to the supervisor there is no action taken.
    The company takes a while when the women wanted porta johns for the women. When they finally receive it Sherry goes to use it but ends up being harassed by the men. Josie goes to the owner, Mr. Pearson who tells her that he will help her resign. When she says she does not want to resign and just wants better working conditions she gets accused of sleeping with her male co-workers. The rumor is all over town and even her son calls him a “whore”. One day Bobbie attacks her and she decides to quit. She meets with a lawyer and he tells her to get other women to corroborate her story. No one is willing to help her. She goes to the town meeting with her lawyer. All the men say the charges are false. Her father comes to her defense and says he is proud of her.
    The courtroom drama begins. They already have 2 plaintiffs to get a class action lawsuit and all they need is 3.
    The movie is a great example which shows if you’re in the right and have a strong will to fight against the wrongs of the society you can win. The movie presents several unethical practices by the men in the working mines and even the owner. It was quite shocking to see Josie being accused by the owner. But in the end truth prevails and and Josie wins.

  74. Chin-Hsiang Lin

    This movie told of sexual harassment with female workers. I was very angry while I am seeing this movie. The movie depicted that how badly a woman can be treated by that way in the workplace. How could a company roughly ignore women’s right? I admire Josie Aimes that she insisted on doing the right thing even though she did not really get any support from her co-workers. This movie gives a general awareness for current companies or any organizations that generating profit does not always come first above other issues, such as sexual discrimination, the employees’ health care and etc. In my opinion, a good reputation is built by company through protecting employees and making them in a safe environment rather than earning maximal profit.

  75. Matthew Passero

    This movie provides a great depiction of when a company violates basic human rights and ethics, which in this case was present in the Pearson Mining Company. Basically all of the women at this company were mistreated in several different ways ranging from harassment to discrimination. Unfortunately there are companies in the world such as this which clearly do not treat all of their workers fairly, and just like in the end of this movie, sometimes a court case is necessary to get the change that is owed to these people. It’s companies like this which clearly do not realize that ethics and employee treatment should come before making a profit.

  76. I believe this movie was all about sexism, which relates to unethical approaches not only in a company but also in the environment.
    Yes we blame the mining company to allow sexual harrasments and treating employees unequally, but sexism, up until late 80’s and 90’s was one of the biggest humanist problems across the world. Workplace was not the only place where these kind of unethical behaviours happened. I mean look at her husband, her father even her mother. They all thought and lived as men were the superior just like most of the people around the world back then. I don’t think this movie was a great choice to explain the ethical issues in the workplace as i have mentioned, sexism was happening all over the world, not only in the coal mines in Minnesota.
    But nowadays there are strong laws against sexism, sexual harrassment and relative unethical behaviours. So there is a very very small chance that we can face these issues today, at least not in the U.S.

  77. North Country is a film that depicts a woman in an unconventional role, a coal miner in Minnesota. It shows the great struggle the heroine of the film had to endure to simply be able to make a living. In the course of the film she is sexually harassed, which brought awareness to an issue previously not considered prior to the 80’s and early 90’s. While nowadays this seems unacceptable and shocking that a company can completely ignore human rights violations such as this, it all comes down to a matter of perspective. At the time this action was socially acceptable and now it is egregious, but just because current social norms are in place now, doesn’t mean in the future they will be judged as acceptable. For example in recent events Chiquita was found paying $1.7 million to militants, designated by the US as terrorists, in Colombia to help their operations abroad. Now while currently they are being prosecuted and people are shocked, how long have companies been doing this for as a social norm? Every generation faces different challenges, and as future managers it is our jobs to take a proactive approach on the way we lead and focus on the future.

  78. Shih-Ching Wang

    In this decade, business ethics becomes a very popular issue, especially after the Enron case. Both the management and the staff are able to face the ethical dilemmas when they work. Since having more power, the management is asked for higher ethics. If the management has less or no ethics, they may ignore or cover what happens unfairly, like what this movie shows, in the firm. Once those things, if they exist, are known by the public, it will damage the social image of the firm. Then, potential investors probably leave to invest another firm. Moreover, the government may intervene, so the existing investors possibly stop investing. The management also does some unethical things in order to get more profits. For example, in my country, some managers will lay off the older employees who will retire in few years, because they don’t want to pay them the pensions. Although they have to pay severance, it is much less than the pension. Also, they can pay fewer salaries to hire young people instead of old employees. It is legal, but not ethical.

  79. The movie leaves a grim feeling about how serious can be sexual harassment in a workplace. It shows a clear picture that a viewer does not have to unveil about why feminist movement was necessary. The movie shows scenes from which we can see how corporate responsibility is being neglected, and managers simply close their eyes and avoid actions that ultimately would hurt their profits. They are ready to endanger health and lives of workers, lay them off and blackmail anyone who might represent threat to their business. Ultimately, the movie shows that whistleblowers can reveal people self consciousness and bring up their best values. In the final scene during the court the lawyer could break the cast on people’s hearts and bring out the truth thus protecting future of the brave young woman that didn’t bend under heavy societal and work atmosphere pressure currents and could stand up and defend her and her female colleagues’ rights giving a precedent for the whole industry.

  80. The film “North Country”, centers around social injustice faced by women working in the mines. Josie took the mining job because it paid well and she had to support her children. While she knew the job was going to be challenging, she did not expect the level of harassment she would receive from her male co-workers.

    Even the application process was an inexcusable violation of her rights. Physically checking to make sure she was not pregnant. Her boss has no problem making it clear that he does not think women belong in the field. Her co-workers perform a series of disgusting “pranks” to intimidate the women. This all creates an awful work environment and no one seems to care.

    Josie, refused to deal with the harassment any longer and begins the motions to file a class action law suit. By the end of the film, other women join her to testify against the men in the company. Josie showed amazing courage by standing up for her rights. Hopefully, one day sexism and harassment in the work place will no longer exist, but until then it takes strong individuals like Josie to fight for what is right.

  81. Daniel Pokidaylo

    “North Country” follows the story of Josey Aimes, one of few female miners. Josey was constantly harrassed by the male miners because they felt that she should not be working in a ‘man’s’ job. The movie disucssed unethical situations in the workplace, and the strength it takes for someone to step up and say something is not right.

    The movie shows how hard it is for some people to step up and get a company in trouble, even when they know they are right. In todays society, these people are called whistle blowers, and it is a very difficult situation to be in. From Watergate to Enron, many people were involved or knew of the events that were going on, but only a few people were able to step up and say something. Ethics seem very obvious in class, but these are situations most people would not want to be in, but from my own experience I know that Keatan would be delighted to be given the chance to expose a large corporation and get a nice book deal to talk about his role in the downfall of a company.

  82. The movie “North Country” is a about a sexual harassment case. I completely agree with my colleagues saying that it shows the dark side of a corporation. Such an act is completely unacceptable. I feel it is an ethical issue. It is unethical on the part of the person acting like that and even unethical on the part of the women not raising their voice against it. So in a way I was moved by the story.

  83. Ethics problem is a problem that we have already talked a lot, but still sometimes it’s never too much to talk about it. North County is a film that deals with a serious issue, sexual harassment, in a serious way. The films also touches female’s hiring at the mine and the problems female workers faced there. During the film, everyone is against Josey, her friends, son, and father, as well as her enemies. All the other women in the mine, who are also ridiculed by the male workers, turn against Josey. I think the reason here is that they don’t want to lose jobs that pay well, and even though they are also ridiculed, they choose to tolerate the situation. Though facing such a touch situation, Josey still tries to overcome such oppressive harassment both personally and legally. From this movie, I see how difficult it is to fight against such “unethical behaviours”. Luckily, in the end Josie wins. She is really a brave woman. I feel nowadays for company, they should try to protect employees and provide them a healthy working environment. Only with it, employees can work efficiently and help companies earn positive outcomes.

  84. Michael Buxbaum

    North Country takes a look into the unethical situations that can arise when a woman is put into a male dominated industry. I believe many of the scenes in the film are exaggerated, such as the disrespect Josey initially receives from her parents; however, it is still hard for women to not endure the cruelty they did in the mines during the 1980s. It is definitely disheartening to see how difficult it was for the women to speak up because they were afraid of the consequences and did not want to lose their jobs or be further beleaguered. It is also frustrating that Pearson refuses to believe the women, when we all know he knew the truth of the situation. Consequently, Josey is left to stand up for herself, even if it meant standing alone. This is an exceptionally courageous act, which leads to Josey, and women as a whole, winning a class action lawsuit against sexual harassment.

  85. Jeff Wolniewicz

    North Country gives us a look at discrmination in the workplace and how important of a role ethics can play. In the film, Josie takes a job in a coal mine in Minnesota in order to support her family. From the very beginning, Josie faces incredible discrimination because of her gender. Her boss checks to see if she is pregnant, tells her that she shouldn’t be there because it is a “man’s job”, and her coworkers play demeaning pranks on her. Finally, Josie gets fed up and takes a stand. Josie eventually wins her case and creates change.

    The main thing that I took away from the movie is how hard it can be create the changes that Josie did. It takes remarkable individuals such as Josie to overcome adversity adversity and make a difference. Josie faces adversity from her boss, coworkers, and even her family as they all disagree with her actions. Josie puts herself on an island and perserveres to make a difference. She helps not only herself but women everywhere through her actions. Today, though still not perfect, the workplace has far greater gender equality. Some social norms are ingrained in society and are difficult to overcome. It takes great individuals, such as Josie, to make great change.

  86. Ariana Axelrod

    The movie “North Country” touches upon the issues surrounding discrimination against women, along with the reservations one may feel when it comes to whistleblowing. The women of Pearson Mining Company faced extreme discrimination and sexism. The main character, Josey Aimes, was harassed daily by her male co-workers, due to ill sentiments about the women of the company performing a “man’s job”. No one wanted to stand up for themselves for they were concerned that they would be harassed even further. When Josey takes the initiative to stand up for herself she is abandoned by her friends and fellow women co-workers to fend for herself. Her courage and the fact that she stood by her beliefs helped her allow women to take a giant leap towards fighting sexual harassment.

    As a woman engineer I feel as if this movie has been the most pertinent to my life out of the ones we have watched for this class. Engineering to this day is a male dominated field and is seen by some as a “man’s job”. Although I have not experienced the discrimination the Josey experienced, I have definitely experienced some sexual harassment to an extent, as well as felt some discrimination from my male counterparts within the field as well as the classroom. Therefore, I find the fact that Josey fought for her rights is extremely admirable.

  87. Venkata S Mudunuru

    North Country is about a woman’s struggle in a community where even the good people were afraid to support her. It is a strong movie that talks about sexual harassment and gender discrimination issues. I really can’t imagine that things would ever be this bad for a female working with a bunch of males. Though the base line of the movie is sexual harassment and discrimination, you can’t get away from the horrible working conditions of miners.. It is the responsibility of the company’s management to ensure healthy, safe and congenial environement for all the workers. Also i found the court proceedings as completely unsupportive for a women deprived of her privileges in a society, rather they add up to her plight. I thought that perhaps, the court trial scenes have been exaggerated a little bit in the movie to attain the cinematic effect, but i have found the following lines while i was searching on google to read about the actual case that inspired this movie: [Lois Jenson’s saga lasted an agonizing quarter of a century and was a process so enervating that one set of judges who ruled on it said, “If our goal is to persuade the American people to utilize our courts as little as possible, we have furthered that objective in this case.”- Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times]

  88. Chang, Ting-Chia

    North Country is about a Woman worked with bunch of male in the mines and was suffering sexual harassment and gender discrimination. Even no one could rescue her. I could not imagine how horrible the workplace was. In this film, Josie took the mining job because she had some economical burden for raising her child. In my opinion, the film discuss about the unethical issue of discrimination in working place. As a manager’s point of view, we should create a fair and un-bias environment. No matter how the gender or race component in this industry, we should not sacrifice the right for minority.

  89. The North Country is a movie about misconduct of business ethics over two decades ago in a mine at Minnesota. In the movie, a single mother works as hard as men at the mining site expecting to earn enough income just to feed her kids and live a normal life as everybody else. However, unethical business behaviors of sexual harassments happen all the time at the working place that seems to be ignored by the management. Josey Aimes, the protagonist of the movie feels that she’s been insulted by male workers and that she could not tolerate this behavior anymore. She tries to meet with the management to talk about the problem and persuade her female colleagues to fight against the situation and protect their own rights. Despite the effort she’s made, no one including the top management cares about the issue and all of them give a green light for the ethical behavior while telling Josey to keep quiet and just do her work. After being sexually harassed one time after another, Josey decides to stand up and make whatever it takes to reveal the misbehavior to the public. Going through all these tough procedures of convincing her female colleagues who had the same experience as being sexually harassed and also the court for actions of punishing the bad conduct, Josey eventually wins the law suit and pushes management to put in place a sexual harassment policy that will protect women’s rights thereafter. Given the rough time and situation back then in the 1980s, Josey’s bravery of fighting against the unethical behavior at work is greatly admired. Management on the other hand should develop ethical codes for their business and enforce ethical training for all the employees so that when misbehavior happens, they will be able to investigate and resolve the issue within the framework of the overall accepted and practiced business ethics.

  90. Chiao-Yin Chang

    When I saw “North country”, I feel very touched by the courage which Josey has. She is a single mother working in the iron mines. She has to tolerate the sexual harassment and be humiliated by her male co-workers in workplace. I admire her
    Courage to confront the unfair treatment she encountered. She doesn’t fear to fight for her belief even the whole world don’t stand for her. At the end, her father who see her as family shame change his attitude to support his daughter. The moment was really moved. I totally agree with Josey that women should have the equal right to work. Nobody has the right to torture or discriminate others.

  91. In this movie, Josey Aimes, a single mother working in a mine in order to provide her kids better life. It is a hard work but good pay. This mine provides residents stable jobs. But for a long time, it has been considered a man’s job. In a society so conservative, all the male workers think women should not work in the mine and compete with men. So sexsual discrimination and sexsual harassment are common in the workplace.
    Josey cannot accept this unfair treatment keeps happening, so she decisides to fight back. But what she did just puts her in a worse situation.
    I think she is very brave. When the whole world is against her, she still insists her belif; even she has to fight alone.
    This movie points out the situation that exsists in every workplace. People must aware that the society needs higher and stronger ethics to fight against vicious power.

  92. This movie shows the sexual harassment and discrimination in the work place. These two are the common business ethic issues. In the film, the top manager of the company tried to conceal the problem because of the reputation.
    Even in these days, sexual harassment is still a problem in many organizations. When companies face this kind of issue, they should try to deal with the problem rather than dissemble it. Companies may think that it would hurt their reputation if the scandal erupts. However, it would hurt companies even more if they do not cope with that.

  93. This film is the story of a single mother raising her kids, caught in a dilemma: should she keep her mouth shut at the sexual harassment going on at work, or should she be a whistle blower and stand up to injustice at the risk of losing her job. Some of the sexual harassment that takes place in this film are pretty grotesque and unimaginable, but it shows the extent to which some people must be pushed in order to stand up for whats right. I am not speaking of the main character here, but the other women who suffer as she does but don’t say anything because of the fear of losing their jobs, or having their names dragged through the mud, or any number of corporate tactics that may be used to harm whistle blowers. Her own father is turned against his daughter by the company, and it is not until the end of the movie that we see the class action suite come to fruition. It takes the actions of one woman who was not afraid to sacrifice everything, even her own image in her children’s eyes, to make others take action. This shows the deep seeded ethical issues that can be present in certain businesses, especially those with such history. Another interesting point is that when she tries to go over her bosses head straight to the top, she is ignored, and nothing happens. This issue is very interesting because as we discussed sometimes ethical issues must be taken care of out of house, meaning by the government. This is what happens with the court case, when a company can not show that it is responsible for taking care of ethical issues itself government must intervene.

  94. North Country tells the story about a single mother who experiences sexual harassment in the workplace. She is torn about her decision to say something, risk everything, and become a whistle blower or to remain silent at the injustices being performed. Josie decided to make a stand for what she believes in. Every day the corporate environment brings ethics and acceptable business practices to the forefront. Both employees should make a stand for ethical behavior. Josie is a role model that shows even when it is difficult to whistle blow it is the most ethical decision.

  95. Edw@rd Centof@nte (since we have no privacy rights on here)

    Such a depressing movie. What is there to say? All we can do is keep a vigilant eye for sexism (and racism) in the work place and do whatever it takes to root it out. Just as important, we can identify it among our personal relations and not tolerate it. Most importantly, we can raise our children with respect.

    Lack of respect being taught to children seemed to be the biggest problem in northern Minnesota. Hick parents not teaching their kids respect for others or respect for themselves. And what do you get? Boys growing up with no self respect and no honor, treating girls like property. Girls growing up with no self respect, measuring their self worth by how many guys look at them, and not walking away the very first time their ass-hole boyfriend or husband raises their hand against them.

    There wasn’t a single moment in this movie where I didn’t want to throttle one of the guys (except the lawyer, or Glory’s husband). Its sad thinking there’s parts of this country where trash like that is actually raised. Funny thing, though, it sure makes it hard to sympathize with the steel industry after watching this movie.

  96. George DeVardo

    North Country shows that being a whistle blower in a corporate situation has many risks involved, but in order for things to change in our world mistreatment of women or anyone for that matter needs to be brought to the attention of upper management. Women have come a long way in the modern world and they should be should the same amount of respect as men, however it is not a surprise that there are still companies and firms that do not uphold these rights and that is why a person like Josie, is a good role model because she knew things were not the way they should be and even though by saying something she was risking everything, but it needed to be done because injustices like these do not belong in any work place let alone a modern one.

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