What a great turnout for our public consultation in Canberra! Thank you to the ACT Human Rights Commission for co-hosting the event.
Many women related to Margaret’s story and we heard about some innovative seminars with young women to build financial literacy skills.
Once again we heard about the policy and practice mismatch where flexible work policies exist but the workplace culture is a barrier to their uptake. This tells me that we need to seriously think about how we get that critical mass to make flexible work mainstream.
Carers ACT has devised an “Employee Carers Program” to assist both employees and employers to extend their thinking around flexibility. They act as an intermediary in the discussion about how a job might be redesigned for a flexible work arrangement. They bring with them a knowledge of other workplaces which assists employees and employers to think creatively. The program has been very successful and with only two caseworkers there is much unmet demand.
In the consultation, there was a strong view that gender equality needs to be given greater prominence in the public arena. Participants agreed that discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault and domestic violence were part of a continuum of gender related violence in our society. For example, we were asked why there has been a strong zero tolerance approach to racism on the sporting field, and yet a much less clear position when it came to overt sexism and sexual harassment in sport?
Do you think that sex-based discrimination and harassment are part of a continuum of violence against women?