Curtin University’s commitment to providing a safe workplace for female staff members has seen it become the first university in Western Australia to achieve accreditation as a White Ribbon Workplace.
White Ribbon Australia commended Curtin’s efforts over the past 18 months in demonstrating effective leadership, resource allocation, communication, HR policy development and training to create a safer and more respectful workplace.
Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry said achieving the accreditation was significant with the actions taken to achieve this building on the University’s existing work in creating an environment free from harassment.
“Curtin is committed to providing a safe place for all staff members and students, free from harassment, discrimination and violence,” Professor Terry said.
“Violence against women in the workplace or in the community, impacts significantly on the employee’s sense of wellbeing and the organisational climate. Women are more likely to experience various forms of violence – physical, emotional, social, verbal – which is why Curtin supports the White Ribbon campaign.
“The University has worked hard to build on our existing initiatives to raise awareness of the impact of violence against women.”
The White Ribbon Australia Workplace Accreditation Program drives positive workplace culture, which includes policy, procedures and training to enable the workplace community to enhance skills and knowledge to address abuse and violence against women, and to strengthen gender equality.
As part of the accreditation program, Curtin staff participated in the White Ribbon survey, and the University undertook assessments of all areas of operations, with existing policies and codes, including the Curtin Code to Conduct and Contractors Handbook updated to include the concept of zero tolerance against violence and to provide for adequate responses to perpetrators.
Staff and management also participated in training on how to respond to family and domestic violence, and the role of the University’s Safer Community Team in support of those experiencing domestic violence was reinforced.
Curtin is already recognised as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equity by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, and the University’s commitment to preventing discrimination, harassment and violence is set out in its Gender Equity Plan and Diversity and Inclusion Policy and Procedures.
The University’s commitment to preventing violence against women also extends through its active participation in the Respect. Now. Always campaign.
White Ribbon Australia seeks an Australian society in which all women can live in safety, free from violence and abuse.
For further information about the Workplace Accreditation program, visit the White Ribbon Australia website.