Become an active Bystander and empower your Workplace
a bystander is a person who observes sexual harassment, bulling or discrimination firsthand or hears about it subsequently.
Following recommendations made by the Australian Human Rights Commission regarding the importance of active bystanders within its National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment, Bullying and Discrimination at Work (March 2020). Workplace bystander training is key to shifting workplace cultures upwards in line with behavioural expectations.
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Every one of us plays a part in halting sexual, domestic, and family violence, as well as sexual harassment within professional environments. Embrace the role of a responsible bystander by learning intervention strategies that constructively influence both the situation and its resolution.
Our workshop is designed to empower employees to surmount the barriers that may hinder moral intervention. Attendees will gain insights into secure and effective intervention techniques.
What is an ethical bystander?
A bystander is typically a co-worker who is informed or sees sexual harassment at work. Hearing about sexual harassment through the grapevine is a common way in which co-workers hear about sexual harassment.
Bystanders can be informal or formal. The difference between an informal and a formal bystander is that formal bystanders are authorized to receive reports of workplace sexual harassment and informal bystanders are not authorized but see or hear about it anyway.
This program focuses on how to be an active bystander in the workplace, providing employees with the knowledge, guidance and tools to respond appropriately. Now more than ever your employees need the right knowledge, because the right knowledge creates the right solutions.
Diversity Australia’s Bystander Training Program is an innovative solution designed to transform organizational culture from passive to proactive when it comes to diversity and inclusion.
Delivery through Technology
We deliver Face to Face, Virtual and Online technology ensuring our unique approach empowers individuals at all levels to not just witness, but actively engage in shaping a respectful and inclusive workplace.
With an understanding that no two organizations are the same, Diversity Australia crafts bespoke training scenarios that resonate with the specific challenges and dynamics of each client.
So, how do we encourage bystanders to act?
Bystanders are more willing to act if they:
- have support and encouragement from their peers or organisation;
- have an awareness of what constitutes sexual harassment;
- have empathy for the victim;
- have and sense of responsibility and power to intervene, and
- understand the appropriate response processes.
Barriers to becoming and active Bystander
There are also barriers to becoming and active bystander that are important to understand.
- failure to recognise that there is a problem.
- adherence to traditional roles;
- a perception that their actions would be ineffective;
- fears of consequences of taking action;
- worries about their image, and
- unequal power dynamics, for example if the perpetrator is a boss.
Keeping in mind these enablers and barriers for bystander action, there are actions employers and employees can take to encourage and support bystanders.
Below is the leading practice formal sexual harassment training table. This is an overview of what is considered good practice regarding the structure, delivery method and content of formal workplace sexual harassment training.
This is based on international best practice, as published by UN Women and adapted for Australian workplaces and incorporating findings from Respect@Work. In summary, it includes:
- Compulsory training for all workers, led by instructors with expertise in sexual harassment, inequality and discrimination and skills to engage with complexities;
- A focus on developing behavioural skills, and new ways of thinking and acting, and providing knowledge to support those skills;
- Immersive and active participation, with space for debate, discussion, exploration of resistance, and reflection; and
- Inextricable links with principles of safety, trust and respect.
- Conventional education through e-Learning modules, while often cost efficient and logistically easier to administer, may be of limited effect in achieving the cultural and behavioural changes necessary to prevent workplace sexual harassment
Diversity Australia’s Bystander Training Program is an innovative solution designed to transform organizational culture from passive to proactive when it comes to diversity and inclusion. Their unique approach empowers individuals at all levels to not just witness, but actively engage in shaping a respectful and inclusive workplace.
Empowerment through Active Participation: Diversity Australia’s program moves beyond traditional training models by providing participants with practical skills and confidence to intervene in situations that undermine diversity and respect. This isn’t just about awareness—it’s about action.
Custom-Tailored Scenarios: With an understanding that no two organizations are the same, Diversity Australia crafts bespoke training scenarios that resonate with the specific challenges and dynamics of each client. This customization ensures that every session is relevant, engaging, and directly applicable to the workplace.
Interactive and Engaging Delivery: Through dynamic workshops and role-playing exercises, Diversity Australia creates an immersive learning environment. Participants are not passive recipients of information but active learners, practicing real-world interventions in a supportive setting.
Psychological Safety and Inclusivity: Their training is anchored in creating a safe space for all participants, encouraging open dialogue, and sharing experiences. This approach fosters an environment where learning and personal growth are paramount.
Leadership Involvement: Recognizing the importance of top-down support in any cultural shift, Diversity Australia’s program includes components for leadership engagement, ensuring that the drive for change is championed at every level.
Measurable Outcomes: With a focus on tangible results, Diversity Australia offers tools to measure the effectiveness of their training, demonstrating real changes in behavior and enhanced inclusivity within client organizations.
Ongoing Support: Change doesn’t happen overnight, which is why Diversity Australia provides continuous support and resources to maintain and build on the momentum generated by their training.
Diversity Australia’s Bystander Training Program is not just a training session—it’s a comprehensive cultural shift package. It is an essential investment for organizations committed to leading the charge in creating a truly diverse and inclusive environment, fostering a sense of belonging for all employees and setting a new standard for the industry.