Multiple recent allegations in federal parliament clearly display a toxic workplace culture.
Earlier this year, allegations were published that Brittany Higgins, a staffer at Parliament House, was raped inside the defence industry minister’s office.
Even more recently, the Attorney-General, Christian Porter, was implicated in a historical rape allegation. A previous Four Corners investigation into Mr Porter revealed a history of sexism and inappropriate behaviour.
Just this week, former senator David Leyonhjelm lost his appeal to overturn a ruling that he had defamed Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young, after telling her that she should “stop shagging men” during a debate in parliament in 2018.
A toxic workplace culture is one where harmful attitudes such as misogyny and racism are ingrained within the structures and systems of the workplace. It is one where the workplace is plagued by bullying to the point that productivity and the well-being of the people in the office is affected. It is one where employers and/or employees use unethical, mean-spirited and sometimes illegal means to manipulate those around them. It is one where these attitudes and behaviours are so commonplace that they are simply accepted as a part of the organisation and often go unchallenged.
So, how do we cure a toxic workplace culture?
Basically, the solution is to get more women and people of diverse cultures, ethnicities and communities into positions of power. Until we achieve a more equal representation of men and women, of different racial backgrounds, of a range sexualities and gender identities, in positions of power within all institutions in society including government, businesses, religious organisations, etc., the reality is that we are likely to continue to see examples of the sort of disgusting attitudes and behaviours that we have seen in recent times in Parliament House.
If you or anybody you know has been the victim of a toxic workplace culture by way of bullying, discrimination, harassment, misogyny, sexism, etc., then call Martin Bullock Lawyers on 02 9687 9322.
If you are in need of crisis assitance or mental health assistance, then those services are available to you. Have a look at the NSW Health website for a list of mental health services and support contacts.