Uniting Country SA recently signed a Statement of Commitment to become a White Ribbon Accredited Workplace. We are working towards meeting a nationally recognised standard that demonstrates UCSA does not tolerate violence against women in the workplace. This accreditation supports and encourages us to think about what is acceptable behaviour and what is not. Many forms of violence and aggression are easily dismissed by people who are unaware of the long lasting implications of these actions. Insulting women or their appearance are easily dismissed as just a joke, but the long term ramifications can be extensive.
There are three standards with fifteen criteria that we have to meet to be accredited. The standards are:
• Leadership and Commitment
• Prevention of Violence against Women
• Responses to Violence against Women
The standards require us to make a commitment to change and to allocate resources to demonstrate our engagement in preventing violence against women. We will review policies and procedures and train our people to embrace the goal of being a workplace free from violence.
Starting with a baseline survey sent out to our people to find out how we can improve, we have made great strides in our workplace towards accreditation. From the survey, we have learnt that we need to help people understand what violence against women is, how gendered language can affect people, and how ignoring this behaviour is not an option. We also learnt many positives from the survey. 100% of our male respondents identified that it is wrong to use sexist and sexually explicit language to describe women, and that repeated, unwanted advances is wrong.
Our next step in our continuous improvement is training our people to become ‘active bystanders’ showing the way to prevent violence against women. UCSA aims to have a respectful workplace that is mindful of, and has a zero tolerance to all forms of violence.