Liqian Yang is visiting us for the 2018-2019 academic year from Renmin University in Beijing, China. As a doctoral student at Renmin University’s School of Labor and Human Resources, Liqian researches Chinese unions and followership. Liqian’s supervisors while here in Toronto will be Professor Anil Verma and Professor Rafael Gomez. The CIRHR is very pleased to welcome Liqian on her first visit to Canada!
You can find Liqian on Twitter here
The following interview has been lightly edited.
What sparked your interest in Industrial Relations?
I became interested in industrial relations gradually. I was initially interested in female employment discrimination caused by childbirth. From 2015, the implementation of a universal two-child policy in China has aroused heated discussion on female employment discrimination in both academic and practical fields, and I have been a part of that, wondering how changes in the family planning policy affect the employers’ employment and whether the female employment discrimination has intensified in this context.
What will you be working on while you are at the CIRHR?
The project that I’m working on now looks at how Chinese unions’ practices influence their members’ citizenship behavior.
While at the CIRHR, I hope to learn more about the structure and functioning of the Canadian industrial relations system, negotiation and administration of collective agreements, strikes and dispute resolution, how Canadian unions work, and Canadian industrial relations in an international context, all of which may give some experience to China's industrial relations practice.
How did you hear about the CIRHR? What made you decide to spend a year in Toronto?
My supervisor at Renmin University of China, Yanyuan Cheng, once visited CIRHR, and she highly praised the Centre and our colleagues here. The University of Toronto's comprehensive strength and reputation made me decide to come and spend a year here. Toronto is safe and suitable for the Chinese to live in, so coming here was my ideal choice.
What is your favourite thing to do outside of academia? Have you made any favourite discoveries since you arrived in the city?
Travel with friends and enjoy being around nature. After coming here, I found the scenery surprising. The old Gothic architecture and the blue sky and white clouds set each other off beautifully and present a splendid sight. The CN Tower, I think, is Toronto’s most extreme attraction.