Earlier this year, Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) in NSW achieved White Ribbon Australia Workplace Accreditation, joining a cohort of 240-plus Australian companies taking steps to stamp out gendered violence and sexual harassment against women.
Accreditation, facilitated by community service organisation Communicare, requires a whole of organisation commitment, including policies and procedures that drive positive social change.
“It’s a great honour to be a White Ribbon Australia Workplace and to play our part in responding to and ending violence against women,” said NSW Managing Director Stephen Mee.
“At RLB, we are committed to an inclusive and safe working environment for all our people. The White Ribbon Australia accreditation process complements this strong internal culture.
“We know Australians want their employers to take a leadership role on the issue of domestic violence, with 94 per cent of employees agreeing that workplace education about respectful relationships between men and women is important.
“The White Ribbon accreditation process gave us extra tools, knowledge and resources to help our people better understand gendered violence, how to identify it and what they can do to prevent it.
“Gendered violence is an issue close to the hearts of RLB’s people. In 2020, we lost a valued and respected colleague, Kate Bell, to domestic violence. With the blessing of Kate’s family, RLB’s team raised nearly $44,000 in her memory which we donated to White Ribbon Australia.
“Whether in the workplace, or the broader community, we all have a responsibility to stand up and speak out against behaviours that contribute to gendered violence, support women affected by it, and hold perpetrators accountable.”
To achieve accreditation, organisations must meet 15 criteria under three standards to create a safe and respectful workplace which takes active steps to stop violence against women. The program is internationally recognised and to date has reached more than 600,000 employees nationally.
White Ribbon Australia Executive Director Brad Chilcott congratulated RLB for joining the 240-plus Australian accredited workplaces. “Violence against women impacts on the health and safety of employees, their wellbeing and their productivity,” Mr Chilcott said.
“It also has a negative impact on workplace culture, organisational reputation and bottom-line profit and loss. We urge all Australian workplaces to take the lead of RLB and demonstrate a culture of zero tolerance of violence against women,” he said.
“We are proud of this demonstration of our commitment to drive social change – which doesn’t stop here,” added Mr Mee.
“RLB will continue to play our part to build respectful working relationships and support gender equity.”