What’s Been Happening in Australia in Relation to Sexual Harassment, Discrimination and Bullying from 9 March 2020 – 15 March 2020

Behavioural Change at South Australian Police

The South Australia Equal Opportunity Commission has released its final report into the South Australian Police (SAPOL). Commissioner Dr Niki Vincent wrote that the report focused on how SAPOL has changed perceptions and implemented practices to support gender equality and cultural change. The review was initiated by Commissioner of Police Grant Stevens in April 2016 when he invited the Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC) to investigate the culture at SAPOL. Commissioner Stevens called for the review in response to claims of sexual harassment, discrimination and predatory behaviour within SAPOL. After a protracted period of stakeholder engagement, the final report has now been compiled and made public. The report’s recommendations covered six key aspects, namely: leadership, workforce management, training and development, flexible workplace cultures, dispute resolution and complaints, and finally, well-being and support services. The EOC final report found that SAPOL has made significant progress since the first report in 2016. In the final report, Dr Vincent praised Commissioner Stevens for his push towards a more progressive and inclusive police organisation. ‘I commend the Commissioner of Police Grant Stevens for his courageous and comprehensive commitment to tackling these issues, … by inviting my office to undertake the 2016 review,’ she wrote. ‘No one should have to experience sexual harassment or sex discrimination at work, and … SAPOL has demonstrated that they have a shared commitment to putting a stop to this unacceptable behaviour, as well as to the promotion of gender equality in the workplace,’ she added. The EOC’s first report in 2016 made 38 recommendations to SAPOL to address findings of harassment and discriminatory practices. A total of 33 recommendations have been successfully implemented by the organisation, with the remaining 5 underway. ‘I am more confident that the work environment at SAPOL today is a fairer, more respectful and safer place than it was in 2016,’ Dr Vincent said. She again commended Commissioner of Police Stevens for his commitment, courage and fortitude in making sweeping changes. ‘This fourth and final Equal Opportunity Commission report shows considerable progress has been made, but cultural change is not a quick fix. Our latest report includes advice to SAPOL about how to continue its momentum, addressing the key challenges and barriers to gender equality within its workforce,’ Dr Vincent concluded.

Konica Minolta Awarded Employer of Choice for Gender Equality

In recognition of its efforts in gender equality in the workplace, Konica Minolta has recently been awarded the 2019-20 Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA). WGEA is the agency responsible for recognising and promoting Australian businesses dedicated to achieving gender equality. Criteria for the citation include leadership, strategy and accountability, evolving a gender-balanced workforce, gender pay equity, mainstreaming flexible working, support for caring, gender-based harassment and discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying and targets for improving gender equality outcomes. Konica Minolta’s 2019 Gender Equality Strategy aims to:
• create an organisational culture and a working environment that is inclusive and fair to both women and men
• improve the representation of women in leadership and management positions
• improve gender balance across the organisation and the representation of women and men in job categories with greater than 40% representation
• remove gender pay gaps
• provide a flexible and supportive workplace for all employees at all levels, including those with caring responsibilities.
Additionally, the company provides for its employees a domestic and family violence support policy; a workplace flexibility policy, and a parental leave policy. Highlights of the policies include:
• The workplace flexibility policy seeks to balance work and other responsibilities to attain an effective work-life balance.
• 12 weeks parental leave for both parents and can be taken at any time in the first three years.