Welcome to the Act@Work portal for organisations involved with our workplace-based program. Here you will find materials, resources, and case-study examples to help navigate your way through the stages of the program.
Act@Work has five stages to progress through so that you can promote gender equality and achieve a gender transformative workplace. Each stage is interactive and exploratory. Keep in mind this is a guide for Act@Work – workplaces can move at their own pace and complete activities with their own internal resources and capacity. The program is not intended to be prescriptive but allows organisations to be flexible and fluid. For example, workplaces can choose to add or remove activities from their Action Plan as they venture through program delivery.
The actions listed in the checklist of each stage represent core activities we strongly encourage workplaces to complete and have shown to be most effective in creating organisational culture change.
Stage 1: Commit
Workplaces should allow up to 2 months to complete this stage.
At the end of each stage workplace leadership will be committed to Act@Work and their role in preventing violence against women in the community. All employees in the workplace should be aware of the workplace’s commitment to Act@Work. Key staff and leadership will have been provided with additional information and briefings to ensure they are equipped to answer questions on the project and provide referral information for staff affected by violence.
Workplaces who wish to undertake evaluation for Act@Work will need to undertake a pre-implementation survey at this stage of the project.
- Workplace sign up to Act@Work agreement
Workplaces wishing to undertake Act@Work will need to complete and return the Act@Work user agreement form to Women’s Health Grampians.
The User agreement represents the workplaces formal commitment to Act@Work and ensures the workplace will have access to Act@Work resources and staff assistance and support.
Please TBC for the ‘User Agreement’.
- Leadership Commitment to Act@Work
For the Act@Work program to have an impact at an organisational level, composite data has identified workplace leadership and a strong action group as key factors for successful implementation.
Leadership support raises the profile of gender equity and preventing violence against women, and ensures Act@Work principles and key messages have maximum reach and impact.
Act@Work requires leadership to:
- Learn about the prevalence and causes of violence against women
- Learn how individuals and workplaces can prevent violence against women
- Learn how leadership contributes to the successful delivery of the program
- Commit to contributing to the solution
Learn about violence against women
Providing workplace leadership with information and education about the prevalence of violence against women in our community is essential. This needs to include information about the rates and nature of violence against women, including the costs at an individual, business and community level. Discussion about why men’s violence against women requires a specific response and how it differs from men’s violence against other men is also important.
Leadership need to be informed about the causes of violence:
- Gender inequity between women and men, boys and girls
- Rigid gender roles and stereotypes
Information about how these causes are evident in our community on a day to day basis including the ways they are unconsciously perpetuated in workplaces forms part of this discussion.
Learn how individuals and workplaces can prevent violence
Violence against women is a community problem that requires a community response. Workplaces are an important part of the community and have an impact on broader social culture as well as on the individual lives of their employees.
Active bystanders, at an organisational and individual level, have an essential role to play in challenging sexism, discrimination and violence against women and creating a culture where women and men are valued equally. Workplace leadership need to be aware of how they can be active bystanders as individuals and as an organisation and the important role this plays in preventing violence.
Learn how leadership contributes to successful delivery of the program
Workplace leaders are in a unique position to influence the attitudes, beliefs and behaviours of others. Act@Work evaluation findings reinforce the role of leadership in changing workplace culture. When leadership is actively engaged in the program, positive shifts in culture are evident.
Recognising the role of leadership is particularly important in terms of sustaining the program long- term. When staff witness leadership taking ownership and responsibility for addressing violence against women and gender inequality, they are more likely to model this commitment.
Please TBC for the ‘Leader Review Checklist’. This is a tool leaders can use to assess their readiness to undertake the program. Leaders may choose to complete this form following the leadership briefing provided by WHG in the early stages of the program.
Commit to the solution
A commitment to contributing to a solution needs occur both at a personal and organisational level. On a personal level, leaders need to believe a community free from violence that promotes gender equality and respectful relationships is one worth working towards. They also need to be committed to their role in this and prepared to examine their own attitudes and behaviours.
As a workplace a formal commitment to the issue of violence against women can be a useful way to ensure there is organisational accountability to the issue. Depending on the workplace this could be a public leadership statement on the prevention of violence against women or including the issue in internal policy documents or work plans.
Organisational commitment also requires a commitment of time from workplace leaders and staff to undertake Act@Work activities and training. Workplace leaders need to feel confident they can discuss the Act@Work program with staff and the broader community. It is important they are committed to the program and understand how they and the workplace can contribute to the prevention of violence against women.
There are a number of ways leadership can set the precedence for committing to the program, including:
- Being a representative on the Act@Work Action Group
- Completing and promoting the Baseline Discrimination Survey
- Integrating action plan activities into your own workplace activities (i.e. changing your email signature to reflect a gender equality statement)
- Modelling being an active bystander by responding to and positively challenging sexism and discrimination (i.e. intervene if you see a staff member viewing a sexist image)
- Supporting staff to attend preventing violence against women or gender equality events
- Endorsing a Leadership Statement
As part of undertaking Act@Work, Women’s Health Grampians will provide a management/leadership briefing to your workplace.
This will consist of a 60-90 minute session explaining the following key points:
- Natures and prevalence of violence against women
- How community culture and attitudes contribute to violence against women
- What is Act@Work?
- How your workplace can make a difference
Please TBC for useful material to share with leadership and other key people in the organisation.
- Workplace commits resources to Act@Work
There are two areas of resourcing required for Act@Work:
- Program implementation
- Staff support
To implement Act@Work as a whole of organisation approach requires resourcing. This can be done internally or with the support of Women’s Health Grampians. Women’s Health Grampians can provide information about the cost of implementing Act@Work with their full resourcing and support firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 5322 4100. If the workplace is undertaking Act@Work as a DIY workplace, time and resources will be required from current staffing.
With the prevalence rates of violence against women so high, there will always be people affected by violence directly or indirectly when the issue is discussed. The workplace will need to be able to provide information and support to staff that may be directly or indirectly be affected by violence. Workplaces will need to ensure all staff is aware of:
- Support services for people affected by violence including the National hotline and web resource org.au and 1800 Respect (1800 737 732).
- Internal policies and procedures for employee assistance
- Any family violence leave provisions or special leave provisions in the workplace
This information will need to remain current and up to date as people may not immediately be affected by a discussion about violence against women and the impact may be felt at a later date.
NOTE: referral information posters for the Grampians regions, as well as the ‘How workplaces can respond to family violence’ brochure can be accessed via this TBC.
- Promote workplace’s commitment internally and externally
Utilise existing staff communication networks to convey the workplaces commitment to the prevention of violence against women. This can also be communicated externally to key contacts and stakeholders of the organisation for example service users, contractors or the broader community.
As a duty of care it is necessary to consider the inclusion of referral support information in any communication provided to staff articulating the organisations involvement with Act@Work.
Please click here for information sheets and videos that may be used to inform relevant communication materials.
- Undertake baseline evaluation survey of all staff
If the workplace wants to evaluate the effectiveness of Act@Work within the organisation – a pre-implementation survey that is then compared to a post-implementation survey and measures changes in knowledge, attitudes and intentions in behaviour is an effective way to do so.
Women’s Health Grampians provide online and paper-based evaluation surveys for workplaces who wish to undertake the evaluation component of Act@Work.
To identify a long-term shift in organisational culture it is necessary to have as many staff as possible complete the pre and post surveys, aiming for a completion rate of 30% is advisable to validate data and to achieve these numbers widespread promotion of the survey through newsletters and emails may be good mediums for advertising. To collect data, situating the survey electronically online via Survey Monkey may be a convenient option as it also exports data to excel for analysis.
Please TBC for the ‘Discrimination Survey’ for instructions staff to complete before and after the program has ended.
NOTE: if you would like to learn how to set-up Survey Monkey to collect and analyse data, as well as instructions on how to compile a report on the findings from the survey, please TBC.
You may wish to use this checklist box as a tool to monitor which key activities to be completed as part of Stage 1.
There is a whole library of resources available for staff to access and use in an effort to educate, inform and further promote gender equality and prevent violence against women.
Included in this section is a compilation of videos, nationally and internationally that convey key messages on preventing violence against women and challenging sexism, discrimination, objectification, and rigid stereotyping. Many of these videos you will recognise from bystander training, and were identified as fantastic mediums to prompt community responses to violence against women.
You will also find infographics that you can print and use in your workplace to raise awareness of gender-based violence.
Learning tools and materials are available to help up skill staff on how to be active bystanders and contribute to safer, equitable and respectful communities.
- Case Studies
| Case Studies
15 workplaces have been involved with Act@Work, including 6 organisations which have fully completed the program – Ararat Rural City Council, The Courier, AME Systems, Ballarat Community Health, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), and the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR); and another 8 organisations currently in the process of completing Act@Work – VicRoads (Western Region Alliance), Hepburn Health Services, City of Ballarat, Rural Northwest Health Service, Golden Plains Shire Council, Yarriambiack Shire Council, Horsham Shire Council, Wimmera Uniting Care, and Sovereign Hill.
Often understanding what other workplaces have done and achieved with the Act@Work program contextualises for others examples of what is possible, ideas for what can be done, and importantly, provide inspiration and motivation to continue the commitment to preventing violence against women.
Here you will find various examples of the types of initiatives Act@Work workplaces have conceptualised and realised as part of the program.