Not In My Workplace summit tackles sexual harassment

The inaugural Not In My Workplace (NIMW) Summit was held this week, bringing together government and senior executives to address the issues of workplace harassment and abuse across all industries.

“The Summit will provide a valuable opportunity to address how we answer the question ‘what can I do’ and critically, the actions we can take to stamp out sexual harassment in the workplace,” said Melbourne Convention Bureau CEO Karen Bolinger, who was among those attending.

“As leaders, we have a duty of care to ensure our employees are safe, and the culture we foster will not tolerate this behaviour.”

One in three Australian workers have been sexually harassed at work over the last five years, according to the 4th National Inquiry on Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces.

“The meetings and events industry represent the perfect storm when it comes sexual harassment,” said Bolinger. “In our industry, we are in a vulnerable position with unusual hours, alcohol and an environment that is not so structured.”

The PCMA has also released new findings revealing 80 percent of respondents had experienced some form of on-the-job sexual harassment. It also found nearly 75 percent of those event professionals didn’t report the problem.

The Summit comes as an investigation into allegations former Melbourne lord mayor Robert Doyle groped a woman at a black tie dinner could be released after Doyle pulled legal action clearing the way for its publication.

A report in March last year also found Doyle’s behaviour towards two councillors could constitute sexual harassment. Doyle resigned from council in February 2018 but has repeatedly denied the accusations against him.