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Working with workplaces and corporations

2 minutes

This setting includes industry, employer networks, unions, employment agencies and the public and private sectors. 

Why this setting?

Workplaces provide an opportunity to reach large section of the population as they have almost universal reach across all employed people in Australia. This is a diverse setting and includes employment sectors with large migrant and refugee workforces, male- and female-dominated sectors and rural and remote workplaces. 

Violence, harassment and sexism all occur in workplaces. Violence that occurs elsewhere can also have impacts in the workplace. Workplaces can play a part in influencing the attitudes, behaviours, social norms and structures that allow violence to occur.

Whether intended or not, workplace policies and practices can also perpetuate gender inequality, such as through biased recruitment processes, the underrepresentation of women in senior roles, and leave and return to work provisions.  

Workplaces can play a part in influencing the attitudes, behaviours, social norms and structures that allow violence to occur. 

Workplaces provide an opportunity to reach large section of the population as they have almost universal reach across all employed people in Australia. This is a diverse setting and includes employment sectors with large migrant and refugee workforces, male-dominated sectors and rural and remote workplaces. 

Key benefits for workplaces

Attract and retain talent and increase staff performance

A workplace that is known to support women and men to reach their potential will have a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining the best talent. Diverse, inclusive and respectful workplaces produce higher satisfaction levels, which increase employee engagement and performance.

Save money

Violence against women cost Australian employers $1.9 billion in 2014–15, including through leave, staff turnover, absenteeism and lost productivity.

Increase profits

Workplace gender equality can increase profits — one study suggested that change from a predominantly-male or predominantly-female office to one split evenly along gender lines could increase revenue by over 40%.

Enhance understanding of diverse markets and clients

Just as 70% of retail decisions are influenced by women, a high proportion of service users and stakeholders are women. Gender equality in your workforce gives you more understanding of how to increase reach and engage all customers and clients.

Minimise risk and ensure staff wellbeing

You have a duty to ensure the wellbeing of your employees and prevent discrimination and harassment. Meeting these obligations minimises your risk of financial and reputational loss from lawsuits caused by discrimination.

Support positive change and enhance your reputation

Working to change the social and structural conditions that drive violence is good for business. You build trust and loyalty, and enhance your reputation by showing leadership on issues the community cares about.

Things you can do

  • Secure the commitment of leaders and staff. 
  • Ensure conditions support gender equality, including recruitment, remunerationpromotion and flexible work conditions and processes. 
  • Reject sexist and discriminatory culture, such that all staff feel safe and confident, including to raise concerns. 
  • Support staff and stakeholders who experience violence, including by putting structures and practices in place to respond appropriately to staff and stakeholders affected by violence, bullying and sexual harassment. 
  • Integrate gender equality into your core business, including using your advertising, sponsorships, stakeholder engagement or supply chains to challenge stereotypes, support women’s leadership and independence, and promote gender equality. 

High quality prevention tools for workplaces


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