Raise it! Conversations about sexual harassment and workplace equality
Raise it! Conversations about sexual harassment and workplace equality was a pilot project we developed and delivered to support and equip Victorian workers to have safe conversations about sexual harassment and discrimination at work, and access to flexible working arrangements.
The pilot was funded in 2018 by the Victorian Office for Women, a branch of the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet.
The Raise it! pilot aimed to:
- raise awareness of sexual harassmentand discrimination pertaining to pregnancy, parental leave and access to flexible working arrangements
- build confidence and competence among participants to have conversations about these issues.
The program was designed specifically in recognition that many workers and managers find it difficult to have conversations about topics like sexual harassment, and requests for pregnancy leave and flexible work. The Commission’s focus on changing behaviour and building confidence to have conversations was based on the well-established evidence that the primary drivers of sexual harassment and violence against women include attitudes and structures that entrench gender inequality, low rates of reporting of discrimination and sexual harassment, and poor responses by organisations.
At the outset of the project, the Commission engaged Social Ventures Australia (SVA) to assist with the development of a theory of change and program logics for the program, and to conduct an external evaluation.
This paper provides an overview of the evidence-base and design of the program. It also summarises the key findings and recommendations of SVA’s external evaluation and sets out the Commission’s additional insights, and program enhancements going forward.
These insights inform the design of the Commission’s current gender equality and sexual harassment prevention and response programs. The Raise It! toolkits have been incorporated into our manager programs to build skills and confidence in addressing workplace sexual harassment and creating safe and respectful workplace cultures.