Sex discrimination commissioner Kate Jenkins has said there is still ‘work to do’ on workplace culture in Australia, but overall she is happy with the government’s response to the ‘Respect@Work’ report.
“Yes, there is still some work to do, but the report made 55 recommendations. Most of those have been embraced most of them can be actioned very quickly,” she told Today.
“I think with the current momentum across our community, there’s a real appetite for change.
“So, I’m really optimistic that this might be the turning point that we need for our workplaces.”
Despite it taking a year before any action into the report was taken, Ms Jenkins says she is “embracing the response that we’ve got”.
“Look, it has taken a long time. But at this point, I’m embracing the response that we’ve got,” she said.
“It has been a really positive response. I think it’s a credit both to the people who’ve spoken out, the marchers, the fact that the media reporting has continued to highlight that this is an issue, and all the people who contributed to the report.
“And also actually to there being enough women in parliament to really advocate from all sides for change…so I think all of those things have added up to the response we’ve got now. It’s taken some time, but now we’ve got it, we can embrace it and move forward for some change.”
Last month, Ms Jenkins was announced to lead an independent review into workplace culture within Parliament House.
Speaking on Today, Attorney-General Michaelia Cash said there will be extra funding allocated to support women in the upcoming budget announcement.
“The prime minister made very clear yesterday that funding is now being considered as part of the budget process,” she said.
Asked on whether she is optimistic that real progress could be achieved, Ms Cash said the “government is committed” to changes.
“Yesterday we provided our full response to the ‘Respect@Work’ report. The government has accepted in full or in part all of the recommendations provided by Kate Jenkins.
“This is a societal problem that requires a societal response. The recommendations that she provided, they were directed towards governments, Commonwealth, state, territory, to business, to industry, to employers, to employees.
“Certainly the government is committed to these changes.”