100 CEOs sign public pledge to stamp out sexual harassment

100 CEOs sign public pledge to stamp out sexual harassment

Lisa Annese

Many of Australia’s leading businesses have publicly signed a pledge to stamp out sexual harassment in the workplace.  

Coordinated by the Diversity Council of Australia, the zero-tolerance for sexual harassment pledge has been signed by more than 100 CEOs of major companies and organisations, including leading banks, professional and services firms, resource companies, multinational organisations, not for profits and universities.  

The #IStandForRespect pledge asks the businesses who sign on to do two things:

  1. Stand against gendered harassment and violence in all its forms
  2. Commit to taking steps in their organisation to address sexual and sex-based harassment, to make the workplace safer for everyone

CEOs from more than 100 organisations including Salesforce, Crown Resorts, Hall & Wilcox, IKEA, Origin Energy, Network 10, Westpac, PepsiCo, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, and the University of New South Wales have signed on to the pledge.

The movement from the private sector comes after the federal government finally accepted either “in full, in part or in principle” the recommendations made in Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins’ landmark Respect@Work report. The report, which was the result of a world-first national inquiry into the nature and prevalence of harassment in Australian workplaces, previously sat ignored by the government for well over a year.

CEO of the Diversity Council of Australia Lisa Annese, who founded the pledge initiative, said it was an opportunity for business show collective action on the issue of sexual harassment.

“Sexual harassment has been unlawful in Australian workplaces since 1984, yet it’s still a problem. Now is the time to move from words to committed, collective action,” Annese said.

“I believe addressing sexual harassment and gendered violence is the business of every business. Twenty-three per cent of women and sixteen per cent of men experience sexual harassment, so it’s not just a ‘woman problem’.”

Annese said sexual harassment has the potential to cause serious damage to a business, and that perpetrators need to be held to account.

“Sometimes, the personality that will predate and sexually harass will likely bully and intimidate and cause serious cultural damage to a business. Ironically, they are often allowed to do so because they are seen as ‘untouchable’ or ‘rain-makers’ in an organisation,” she said.

“No one makes it rain worth almost four billion dollars – which is what sexual harassment costs in terms of productivity loss and having to replace and rehire the people who are on the wrong side of a harasser.

“The bottom line is this: businesses can’t afford not to tackle sexual harassment. The #IStandForRespect pledge is a starting point, a way for them to be part of the change that will come.”

You can see more on the pledge here with the full list of CEOs below:

Katrina Lines, Act for Kids

Timothy Rabbitt, Acumentis

Tony Hale, Advertising Council Australia

James Montgomery, AFL SportsReady

Jason Harfield, Airservices Australia

Jane Bianchini, Alcami Interactive Pty Ltd

Michael Gollschewski, Alcoa of Australia Limited

Shayne Elliott, ANZ Banking Group Limited

Rob Wheals, APA Group

Kerryn Coker, Arup Australia Services Pty Limited

Bruce Armstrong, Aspen Medical

Stuart Ellis, Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC)

Anna-Maria Arabia, Australian Academy of Science

Kylie Walker, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering

Adrian Cosenza, Australian Orthopaedic Association

Graham Gillies, Baker Hughes Australia

Lindsay Partridge, Brickworks

John Nicolades, Bridge Housing Limited

Hisham El-Ansary, Bupa

Brendan Crabb, Burnet Institute

Wendy Sturgess, Cafs/Child and Family Services Ballarat Inc

Mark O’Neil, Cambridge University Press Australia

Heidi Limareff, Can:Do Group

Susan Reisbord, Cardno

Belinda Parish, Carter Newell Lawyers

Manisha Amin, Centre for Inclusive Design

Richard Howes, Challenger Limited

Peter Hutchins, Charter Keck Cramer

Alan Kirkland, CHOICE

Ben Dawson, Cisco Systems Australia Pty Ltd

Ken Boal, Cisco Systems Australia Pty Ltd

Adnan Catakovic, City Fertility

Kane Thornton, Clean Energy Council

Matt Comyn, Commonwealth Bank

Lisa Claes, CoreLogic

Rainer Dittrich, Corning Optical Communications Pty Ltd

Peter Crinis, Crown Resorts

Xavier Walsh, Crown Resorts

Lonnie Bossi, Crown Resorts

John Cordery, Curtin University

Steve Rae, Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal Pty Ltd

Glenn Morgan, Deutsche Bank AG

Angus McPherson, Diageo Australia

Lisa Annese, Diversity Council Australia

Mark Dean, En Masse Pty Ltd

Cath Tanna, Energy Australia

Bronwyn Evans, Engineers Australia

Tony Johnson, EY Australia

Dipendra Goenka, Forever New

Andrew Polson, Frontier

Mark Pistilli, Gadens

Travis Heeney, GOTAFE

Mark Sheldon, GroupGSA

Tony Macvean, Hall & Wilcox

Kelly Quirk, Harrier Group

Richard Wynn, Harrier Group

Simon Meyer, Harrier Group

Angus Harris, Harris Farm Markets

Luke Harris, Harris Farm Markets

Tristan Harris, Harris Farm Markets

Andrew Pike, Herbert Smith Freehills

Justin D’Agostino, Herbert Smith Freehills

Linda Nguyen, Herbert Smith Freehills

Kimberely Hubble, Hudson RPO

Katrina Troughton, IBM Australia Limited

Andrew Barkla, IDP Education

Jan Gardberg, IKEA Pty Ltd

Melanie Evans, ING Australia

Richard Eskell, Inlogik Pty Ltd

Mike Morgan, Insight Enterprises

Corinne Proske, JobsBank

Dianne Jackson, Key Assets

Tim Tamlin, Kingston City Council

Gary Wingrove, KPMG

Paul Chase, Leidos

Stuart Irvine, Lion-Beer, Spirits & Wine Pty Ltd

David Newman, Maddocks

Steve Rayner, Mapien Workplace Strategists

David Bryant, Marsh McLennan

Jacob Varghese, Maurice Blackburn

Deborah Homewood, MAX Solutions

Liz Carnabuci, Medtronic Australasia Pty Ltd

Richard Nunn, MetLife Insurance Limited

Sharmini Wright, Michael Page International (Australia) Pty Ltd

David George, Michael Page International (Australia) Pty Ltd

Virginia Briggs, MinterEllison

Rene Sugo, MNF Group

Beverley McGarvey, Network 10

Jarrod Villani, Network 10

Stuart Fowler, Norman Disney & Young

Christine Zeitz, Northrop Grumman Australia

Alison Deitz, Norton Rose Fulbright Australia

Kate Spurway, NurseWatch

Frank Calabria, Origin Energy Limited

Andrew Hadley, P&N Bank

Andrew Hadjikakou, PACCAR Australia

Richard Brandweiner, Pendal Group

Danny Celoni, PepsiCo Australia and New Zealand

David Lamming, Plenary Group

Gregory Preston, Preston Rowe Paterson Sydney Pty Limited

Gregory Rowe, Preston Rowe Paterson Sydney Pty Limited

Nic Parkhill, Pride in Diversity

Frank Costigan, QBE Insurance

Alison Hernandez, Randstad RiseSmart

Frank Ribuot, Randstad RiseSmart

David Andrews, RANZCO

David Rankine, Reckitt Benckiser (Australia) Pty Ltd

Karen Mundine, Reconciliation Australia

Des Odell, Resolution Digital

Amber Williams, Resolution Institute

Kellie Parker, Rio Tinto Ltd

James Nicholson, Robert Walters Pty Ltd

Steve Wesselingh, SAHMRI

Pip Marlow, Salesforce.com, Inc

Sam Hallinan, Schroder Investment Management Australia Limited

OLIVIA CARR, Shhh Silk Australia PTY LTD

John Somerville, Slater and Gordon Ltd

Phillip Salem, Sparke Helmore Lawyers

Jack de Groot, St Vincent de Paul Society (NSW)

Roch Cheroux, Sydney Water

Brett Howard, TechnipFMC

Jeff Soo, Terumo

Alphia Possamai-Inesedy, The Australian Sociological Association

Ian Wishart, The Fred Hollows Foundation

Richard Enthoven, The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd

Peter McIntyre, The Royal Australasian College of Physicians

Judy Barraclough (Acting CEO), The Smith Family

Evan Tsirogiannis, Toyota Financial Services

Tim Ford, Treasury Wine Estates

Rob Seljak, TUH

George Ash, Universal Music Australia

Ian Jacobs, University of New South Wales

Peter King, Westpac Banking Corporation

Brad Chilcott (Executive Director ), White Ribbon

Meg O’Neill, Woodside Energy Limited

Dermot O’Gorman, World Wide Fund for Nature Australia (WWF-Australia)

Amanda Webb, Xplore

Stay Smart! Get Savvy!

Get Women's Agenda in your inbox