On March 5, Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins released her landmark Respect@Work: Sexual Harassment National Inquiry Report.
The report is the culmination of 18 months of investigation into the prevalence and impacts of sexual harassment in Australian workplaces.
Over 10,000 Australian workers were surveyed about their experiences of workplace sexual harassment.
The Commission found that workplace sexual harassment occurs in every industry, in every location and at every level in Australian workplaces.
Workplace sexual harassment is devastating for victims, and is extremely costly for businesses.
Workplaces where there is a higher risk of experiencing sexual harassment include those which are male-dominated and those that have an over-representation of men in senior leadership roles.
WGEA data reveals that there is a long way to go when it comes to gender balance in leadership. 38% of boards have no women on them, while just 0.8% of boards have no men. Similarly, just 17.1% of CEOs are women.
The Commission’s recommendations arising out of the report include greater support for victims and employers, strengthened and explicit anti-sexual harassment provisions in the Fair Work Act, and the creation of a positive duty of care for employers to take reasonable and proportionate measures to eliminate sexual harassment.
We hope that the report will create even more momentum for positive change. By working together in the pursuit of workplace gender equality, and taking action to eradicate workplace sexual harassment, we will build a better future for all Australians.