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Step 1: Getting started

3 minute read

This is the first step of the Workplace Equality and Respect process.

This step is about setting yourself up to succeed and achieve lasting change. It is designed to ensure that you have leadership commitment, time allocated and resourcing to do this work and that the process of organisational change is safe and supportive for your employees.

Once you are familiar with the Workplace Equality and Respect Standards, it is important that you understand what is needed for your workplace to engage in this work in a safe and effective way. It is important that leaders throughout your workplace also understand the need to act and their role in promoting gender equality.

Clear internal communication and rolling out the Workplace Equality and Respect training sessions can help you to do this.

Step 1 involves four key tasks:

  1. Identifying staff to lead the work internally.
  2. Making sure that key staff understand violence against women and how workplaces can prevent it.
  3. Securing genuine commitment from leaders.
  4. Ensuring workplaces can respond to staff who experience violence.

Step 1 could take up to a year depending on the size of your workplace, your organisational change processes, and whether or not your workplace is already doing work to promote equality and respect and support employees who experience violence.

This planning template can help you to set up a plan for how Workplace Equality and Respect will be rolled out in your workplace.

1. Identifying staff to lead the work internally

The first task is to identify who is best placed to lead the change process. It is important that staff involved are in positions where they have access to resources and can make decisions regarding changes to strategies, policies and procedures.

This team might include the CEO and/or other managers or human resource staff, as well as others in the organisation who have responsibility for developing workplace policy and procedures about diversity, inclusion and staff welfare.

2. Making sure that key staff understand violence against women and how workplaces can prevent it

It’s important to make sure the key people in your workplace understand what is necessary to prevent and respond to violence against women. One way to do this is to provide training to build a strong shared understanding of what issues to address and key steps to take. You may also want to provide resources to staff so everyone is equipped to respond to questions, concerns and feedback.

Find out more about the two types of training you need to provide when you take action to promote equality and respect in your workplace.

3. Securing genuine commitment from leaders

It’s worth investing time and energy to help leaders understand that your workplace has the power and responsibility to prevent violence against women and to understand their role as leaders in achieving this.

Providing current and accurate information on the business case for workplace gender equality and connecting gender equality to the vision and goals of the organisation are useful strategies. These resources can support you to engage leaders and secure commitment across your organisation.

4. Ensuring workplaces can respond to staff who experience violence

While many of your conversations and actions will be focussed on gender equality, your work will also involve discussions about workplace violence or harassment, family violence or other types of violence against women. It is common for disclosures to occur during or after any discussion about violence against women and it is important that staff have training on how to respond to disclosures.

In addition to training, it is important that you consider what policies and practices need to be in place to support staff experiencing violence, such as paid family violence leave and appropriate referral processes to victims’ services. It’s also necessary to consider how the workplace will respond to disclosure from other people your staff work with, such as clients or customers.

The Implementation Guide provides a comprehensive guide to completing these steps.

What's next?

Move on to training.

How might it look in my workplace?

Hear from leaders
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