Male Champions of Change seeks to end sexual harassment in the workplace

A coalition of Australian leaders working to reshape men’s role in achieving gender equality have launched a groundbreaking report calling for an overhaul of systems managing sexual harassment at work.

RLC’s employment practice contributed to the Male Champions of Change (MCC) report released in September.

Disrupting the System: Preventing and responding to sexual harassment in the workplace, offers a roadmap for businesses to guide future approaches, leadership actions and practical resources to address sexual harassment in the workplace, and sets a new standard for organisations across Australia and the world.

The report forms part of the MCC’s broad and long-term mission to achieve gender equality, advance more women into leadership and build safe, respectful and inclusive environments for all. The report calls for greater and more visible leadership to eradicate sexual harassment from workplaces

The founder of MCC, former Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick AO, says current strategies focused on compliance and managing cases have not worked for employees, organisations or the community given the well-documented persistence and prevalence of sexual harassment in Australian workplaces.

“We are saying that unless leaders take action to intervene against sexual harassment, they remain part of the culture that enables it. We are suggesting a totally new approach, that aims to eradicate this insidious and deeply harmful behaviour from organisations and our community,” says Broderick.

The drafting of this report involved consulting with people who deal with sexual harassment complaints within organisations including CEOs, Boards, human resource leaders, legal advisors and communications teams. Academics, community lawyers, federal and state human rights commissioners and other experts in the field were are also engaged.

RLC employment law solicitor Sharmilla Bargon welcomed the launch of the report, saying: 

“RLC regularly advises and represents people who have been sexually harassed at work. In addition, we contribute to law reform to address problems through existing legal protections.

“What we really want is to stop the harassment from happening in the first place. We are proud to have informed the development of this important new tool to address sexual harassment at work.”

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