What’s Been Happening in Australia in Relation to Sexual Harassment, Discrimination and Bullying from 24 June 2019 – 30 June 2019

Word Searches Related to Work Dominated by Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination Search Terms
According to data analytics platform, SEMrush, Australians are suffering from poor wellbeing at work and it’s showing in their google searches. The words ‘bullying’, ‘harassment’, ‘diversity’ and ‘discrimination’ were among the most used keywords used in online searches associated with ‘work’ by Australians between May 2018 to May 2019. While SEMrush Global Marketing Director, Olga Andrienko, said that ‘the high-ranking search for ‘diversity at work’ is a positive sign, which could reflect the desire of Australians looking to work within a work culture that offers variety; our findings suggest that Australians are more concerned with their mental health or navigating unpleasant experiences in their workplace culture’. This conclusion supported a State of Workplace Mental Health in Australia report, in which only 52% of employees reported having a mentally healthy workplace.

President Elect of Law Council of Australia Stands Down Following Investigation of Alleged Misconduct
Following an investigation into alleged misconduct, President-elect of the Law Council of Australia, Konrad de Kerloy, has announced his resignation before his term even began. The independent investigation commenced after a fellow Law Council director alleged that de Kerloy – a Herbert Smith Freehills partner and former President of the Law Society of Western Australia – engaged in inappropriate misconduct at a work function earlier this year. While the investigation revealed no adverse findings against Mr de Kerloy, the President-elected voluntarily stood down, concluding that his involvement with the organisation may pose as an ‘unnecessary distraction from the important work of the Law Council’. After Mr de Kerloy tendered his resignation this week, current Law Council of Australia President Arthur Moses remarked that the decision was ‘in the best interests of the Law Council’. In affirming the Law Council’s stance on misconduct within the profession, Moses said that the Council ‘does not tolerate sexual harassment or discrimination in any form.

Hair Stylists Australia a voice for Hair Stylists to Speak Out Against Inappropriate Behaviour
Vanessa Watts, a hair salon owner and ambassador for Hair Stylists Australia (HSA) has spoken out against the hardships within the trade. After feeling unsupported during her apprenticeship, Watts came to find that many other trainee hairstylists felt the same. Watts described what she and many others experienced, citing ‘bullying, from either the boss or other staff’ as a main issue. Since joining the HSA campaign – a new initiative run by the Australia Workers Unions (AWU) – Ms Watts’ says she feels empowered to speak on issues that hairstylists confront every day. Daniel Walton, Secretary of the AWU, said that ‘there’s not been a union presence in this industry before so it’s an easy target’. ‘What we’re trying to do is empower women [to] come together through small community engagement to really give them a stronger voice’, Walton added.