Today is International Women’s Day. Let’s Talk.
Whilst not a new issue, over the past few weeks we have heard a multitude of women’s voices speaking out about their personal safety at work. Recent events have aimed the media spotlight squarely on women’s issues in the workplace. The statistics are readily accessible on the Queensland Human Rights Commission (QHRC) website and others, illustrating the prevalence of these issues. This should not be a political football – this relates to the well-being of women… women that we work alongside, our mothers, our daughters, our sisters, our friends, our partners.
Thankfully, many leaders are questioning what they can do… those issues spoken in whispers in boardrooms, in lunchrooms, on workshop floors, or not spoken of at all. I know that as a CEO of a small business, this is a very real question. How do we make our workplaces safer?
Current Safety Legislation regards psychosocial safety of equal importance as that of physical safety. As business leaders, we need to regard the safety culture of our workplace as part of the overall culture of our workplace.
We need to know the answer to this question: Do ALL of your workers feel safe?
Sexual harassment, inclusivity, diversity, and gender bias needs to be a part of this safety culture conversation.
As business leaders, we need to deal in sound policy, meaningful conversation, education, and truth.
What does this mean in real terms – what can individual businesses do?
- Start by asking the right questions, talk to your workers
- Identify any imbalances, and look at how you can work towards bringing fairness for all
- Lead the way with inclusivity and diversity built into our policies and processes
- Ensure that all workers know and understand the standards we set
- Display these standards in our own behaviours – lead by example
- Train your managers in how to have meaningful conversations
Below, we have included some links to toolkits that are available from our national and state regulators/bodies which have useful information to kick-start the conversation.
Free psychosocial risk assessment tool: People at Work
Sexual harassment and other discrimination laws and advocacy info: https://www.qhrc.qld.gov.au/your-rights/sexual-harassment