A new study has designed a way to calculate the costs companies face because of violent acts against women, at home or in public.

Michelle Harris-Genge

Michelle Harris-Genge was interested in making a business case for ending violence against women. (Laura Chapin/CBC)

University of Prince Edward Island MBA student Michelle Harris-Genge based her algorithm on the rates of intimate partner violence, violent crime, harassment and sexual assault women in Canada are likely to experience each year. She was then able to work out the cost of that violence to companies based on the number of women they employ.

She gave the example of a company with 57 employees, with 40 per cent of them women. Given the rates, three of the female staff at that company would likely be victims of violence, costing that company almost 20 days in lost productivity a year.

Harris-Genge told CBC News she was interested in stating a business case for taking action against violence against women.

"It's just not really seen as something that businesses need to take action on," she said.

"Hopefully, through research such as this, it will be determined that this is something that's in a corporation's best interest, not only to provide services within their corporation but also through philanthropy, being able to provide dollars to community groups that are doing this work.

Harris-Genge said her research shows funding programs that oppose violence against women or offer services to women who've experienced violence will bring benefits to corporations in the long term.