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Sexual Harassment Sensitisation


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Workshop Session Plan
Key Learning Outcomes

Workshop Focus:
Sexual Harassment Sensitisation Briefing:  Overview of Sexual Harassment from government policy, key legislation, WorkSafe guidance materials and the Australian Human Rights Commission

Sexual Harassment Sensitisation and Experiential Workshop.
Extended Session (half day extra) explores perceptions and beliefs, power issues and role plays appropriate behaviour.

Feedback and follow up:  Focus group to debrief what has been learned and suggestions

2 hour briefing (facts, legislation, articles)
4 hour half day (focus group, role plays for sensitisation)
Combined is a full day sexual harassment sensitisation workshop.
Additional follow up focus group (2 hours) will be conducted two weeks later to provide a debrief, reflect and discuss what is learned and suggestions for continuous improvement.

Target Audience:
Management, Staff

Expected Outcomes:

Briefing: Awareness of government policy, legislation, WorkSafe guidance materials and Australian Human Rights Commission.
Participants will come to understand their personal and professional obligations for Work Health and Safety in the workplace in respect of sexual harassment issues.

Experiential workshop:  Participants will gain experience in role playing inappropriate and integrating appropriate behaviours coupled with raised awareness of what others perceive, sensitisation to differences, fears, stereotypes and how to handle sexual harassment in the workplace sensitively and effectively.

Debriefing of participants will be scheduled two weeks later in a focus group format to discuss observations, questions and suggestions. This will integrate understanding of material, actual observations, sensitize awareness in the workplace and catalyse active involvement and responsibility to ensure respect, gender neutral understanding and commitment to a safe work environment.


‘What is Sexual Harassment’ in Australia. An interview with Elizabeth Broderick the former Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner

Another example – film industry:

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The Sexual Harassment Sensitisation workshop was developed in response to the devastating impact of sexual harassment in Australian workplaces and the real need to investigate and provide skills to staff on how to deal with sexual harassment and take responsibility for the workplace and to integrate a positive workplace that is gender neutral.

The purpose of the workshops are to provide participants with knowledge, skills and experiences to develop positive attitudes; an understanding of themselves and others; skills to resolve conflicts around sexualised issues and sexual harassment.  It is important to note that sexual harassment is not about sex it is about power and there is a disconnect from empathy.

Participants will learn how to become empowered by making a difference personally and as groups to ensure the workplace is positive, committed to equal opportunity and progressive.

The workshop can be booked (depending on client needs) for a 2 hours briefing discussing canvassing government policy, legislative obligations, the Australian Human Rights Commission sexual harassment perspective and WorkSafe guidance materials.

This information can be integrated practically in combination with an experiential workshop providing skills through sharing knowledge, brainstorming and interactive activities (role play) to stimulate experiential learning and sensitisation to what is appropriate and what is not.

The full day training brings to life the concepts into real world issues and explores in greater depth for integration and behaviour change.

The facilitator, Susan Carew will return to the workplace two weeks later to debrief participants on what they observed, learned and collate suggestions for real change as part of continuous improvement.

It is recommended that the workshop is repeated every 3-6 months to refresh and integrate positive attitudes and behavioural change (current, new staff) sensitised to effective and updated Work Health and Safety information.

From an organisational perspective all business units are required by law to provide information and training on bullying and sexual harassment to prevent abuses and ensure protections are implemented effectively.  It is suggested to combine conflict resolution, human resource inputs and risk management approaches to effectively mitigate negative attitudes and behaviours which can develop into toxic cultures. This protects the employees from abuses, potential suicides and expensive and damaging litigation.

To gain an appreciation of this topic a few references are provided as this issue is generating public conversations about misogyny, perceived & structural powerlessness and inequality.

Refer Good Morning America, Why women may fear speaking about workplace sexual harassment? (Harvey Weinstein scandal, workplaces)

‘Understanding Sexual Harassment’ Refer

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Workshop Session Plan

Briefing (2 hours):

  • Introduction and briefing on sexual harassment policy and legislation
  • Literature overview and key sexual harassment cases
  • WorkSafe guidance materials
  • The Australian Human Rights Commission information on sexual harassment

Experiential Workshop (4 hours, 1/2 day):

  • Extended workshop (additional 4 hours or full day combined with 2 hour briefing);
  • Focus group will explore:  gender, power, equality, perception, images, sexuality, sexism and unconscious bias;
  • A conversation about what is appropriate and inappropriate and how these attitudes are formulated;
  • Role plays to work out: identification of sexual harassment; how to handle sexual harassment, the ways it can be covertly or overtly expressed; and how beliefs, attitudes can be transformed to change behaviour;
  • To learn about psychological impacts on targets;
  • How to empower people to take proactive action rather than turn a blind eye;
  • To learn pathways: Staff will discuss and explore options adhering to Work Health and Safety guidelines and the steps individuals can follow;
  • To learn about gender neutrality and how to integrate this principle;
  • To learn how everybody wins when true equality of opportunity is experienced as a human right;
  • Participants to observe their workplace for two weeks evaluating what has been learned, observed and suggestions for real change and continuous improvement.
    The facilitator will return for a focus group debriefing (2 hours)

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Key Learning Outcomes

A. To understand legal and workplace obligations in relation to sexual harassment.

1. Participants will learn government policy and legislative obligations.
2. Participants will be briefed on current literature, WorkSafe guidance materials and the Australian Human Rights Commission key sexual harassment data.

B. To discuss in a focus group the issue of sexual harassment.

3. The focus group will enable people to open a discussion into the issues of sexual harassment, any questions they have, to learn how to join in a proactive conversation to canvas this topic. Note: Susan Carew is a professional market research analyst and conflict resolution mediator. She will facilitate dialogue and insights.

C. To discuss and role play appropriate and inappropriate behaviour.

4. Participants will work out scenarios in groups and then role play what they perceive is appropriate and inappropriate. They will then be guided and sensitised to appropriate behaviour.

D. To develop an understanding of psychological impacts of powerlessness.

5. Participants will understand more about how power over and power within works in respect of sexual harassment. They will learn about the deep psychological impacts and why it is caused.

E. Participants will learn how to take action when they encounter or experience sexual harassment.

6. Community building at work means all take responsibility for sexual harassment, participants learn why they must take action and the appropriate steps.
7. To develop pathways for both staff and targets on support and resolution processes.

F. Participants will learn about gender neutrality and how to implement it.

8. To discuss gender neutrality and why it is important, how it will look and the possibilities for equal opportunity.

G. Participants will discover how everyone wins when equality is the central value and human right.

9. To understand that it is not about competition, or projection but allowing all people to reach their goals. The participants will come to understand the real benefits of equality for all. This is a win/win.

H. To observe the workplace for two weeks and debrief.

10. Participants will be given a journal to observe the workplace for two weeks and evaluate what has been learned, ask questions and offer suggestions for continuous improvement.

This is an excellent sensitisation process which will engender a positive place to work.  Everyone deserves to have the equal opportunity to demonstrate their skills and abilities.  Within all organisations are brilliant people, talented, creative, team players, leaders, technical experts, innovators and even class clowns.  It is in embracing the diversity in work and society that the highest potential is reached.  It is not only about making money or bottom lines it is about fulfilment, satisfaction and happiness at work and in life in general.  From this basis there is nothing that cannot be achieved. 

This is the real wealth of organisations.

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