Fighting sexual harassment helps women rise through ranks: Trudeau

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took the stage today at a Toronto summit highlighting the work of prominent women from around the world.

Trudeau, IMF's Christine Lagarde speak at women's summit in Toronto

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau answers questions during the final day of meetings at the Liberal cabinet retreat in Nanaimo, B.C., on August 23, 2018. He is expected to speak at a women's summit in Toronto on Monday. (Chad Hipolito/The Canadian Press)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says movements such as Me Too play a role in changing a workplace culture that often keeps women from top-level positions.

Speaking at a women's summit in Toronto, the prime minister said sexual harassment is one of the barriers that can prevent women from rising through the ranks in business and in politics.

Trudeau said recruiting women in these fields is the first step, but the challenge now is retention.

Trudeau and some members of his cabinet are taking part in the Women in the World Canada summit, a one-day event bringing together politicians, artists, journalists and other high-profile individuals.

The prime minister, who is appearing at the summit for a second year in a row, joined the manager of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, in a conversation with broadcaster Katie Couric on how the global economy could benefit from tapping into the talents of women.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, meanwhile, is set to participate in a panel titled "taking on the tyrant" about the global rise of populism and "authoritarian strong men leaders."

Maryam Monsef, the minister of the status of women, is expected to take part in a talk on tackling the stereotypes that hold women back in the private and public sectors.

Other speakers and panellists include bestselling author Gillian Flynn, actress Mira Sorvino and Pam Palmater, Mi'kmaq lawyer and professor.

On its website, the summit says it showcases "women of impact," but also, increasingly, men who champion women and the issues affecting women. Its founder, Tina Brown, said Trudeau is making the advancement of women a priority in his government, his budget and his policies.