Time for Change: Addressing Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is unacceptable, in any context.
It can happen to anyone, but often reflects power imbalances and gender-based discrimination. Sexual harassment drives people away from participating in the workplace and society, and limits their opportunities in the process. Sexual harassment causes lasting harm to individuals and organisations, and it erodes the public’s trust in our profession when our members are the aggressors.
Eliminating sexual harassment in the legal profession has been part of a long-running commitment from the Law Council and its Constituent Bodies regarding inclusion and diversity in the legal profession. In 2020, it was clear we needed to re-think how to drive cultural change within the profession.
On 8 July 2020, the Law Council convened a National Roundtable experts to review and make recommendations about the legal profession’s policy responses to sexual harassment. Following the National Roundtable Addressing Sexual Harassment, the Law Council consulted with its Constituent Bodies, external experts and worked with its Equal Opportunity Committee to develop the Law Council’s National Action Plan to Reduce Sexual Harassment in the Legal Profession (NAP).
The NAP brings together the determination of the Law Council’s state and territory Constituent Bodies to address sexual harassment, and maps a path forward that addresses the regulatory and cultural change factors necessary to facilitate better experiences for legal professionals. One of the measures recommended in the NAP is this Time for Change: Addressing Sexual Harassment portal, as a centralised information suite for people seeking information and resources about sexual harassment. The Time for Change: Addressing Sexual Harassment portal will continue to be updated as the Law Council and its Constituent Bodies develop resources and measures to address sexual harassment within the profession, including those outlined in the NAP.