Meetings industry urged to stamp out sexual harassment

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Karen Bolinger Karen Bolinger

Australian meetings industry leaders have been urged to take ‘critical action’ to stamp out sexual harassment in the workplace ahead of a landmark summit on the issue.

Melbourne Convention Bureau chief Karen Bolinger is one of the driving forces behind the first Not In My Workplace Summit, being held at the MCEC next Thursday (February 21).

The NIMW Summit will convene policy makers, senior executives and dynamic thinkers to address the issues of workplace harassment and abuse across all industries.

Said Bolinger:  “The Summit will provide a valuable opportunity to address how we answer the question ‘what can I do’ and critically, the actions we can take to stamp out sexual harassment in the workplace. As leaders, we have a duty of care to ensure our employees are safe, and the culture we foster will not tolerate this behaviour.”

Sexual harassment cases continue to increase in Australia, with the 4th National Inquiry on Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces highlighting one in three Australian workers have been sexually harassed at work over the last five years.

PCMA, the US-based convention managers association, has also released findings revealing that 80 per cent of respondents had experienced some form of on-the-job sexual harassment, while 75 per cent didn’t report the problem.

Bolinger said: “The meetings and events industry represent the perfect storm when it comes sexual harassment. In our industry, we are in a vulnerable position with unusual hours, alcohol and an environment that is not so structured.”

Through the establishment of NIMW, it is hoped the conversation shifts from ‘awareness to action’ in addressing the issues of sexual harassment here in Australia.

The NIMW Summit will equip like-minded leaders with practical tools to ensure safer workplaces for everyone and drive real outcomes. It will feature a stellar program of keynote addresses, panel discussions and professional development workshops.

James Lancaster
Written By
James Lancaster

AMI editor James Lancaster is a familiar face in the meetings industry and international association community. Since joining AMI in 2010, he has gained a reputation for asking difficult questions and getting lost in convention centres. Proofer, podcaster, and panellist - in his spare time, James likes to walk, read, listen to music, and drink beer.

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