Understanding and addressing sexual harassment in the Australian retail sector
This project will investigate how employees and managers in the Australian retail sector understand, experience and manage sexual harassment at work. This research will inform targeted actions to address and prevent sexual harassment in retail workplaces through collaboration with key sector stakeholders.
This mixed-methods study combines quantitative analysis of national survey data with analysis of new qualitative data, collected through in-depth interviews with key retail stakeholders and targeted focus groups with retail store managers and retail workers.
The research project’s four phases are designed to deliver new analysis of large-scale survey data; produce qualitative findings; and develop evidence-based, co-designed materials to support stakeholders to prevent and address sexual harassment at work.
Elevating the voices of vulnerable workforce groups, retail managers and key stakeholders across the retail ecosystem, the project will generate new insight into the complex dynamics that shape sexual harassment in the sector. Taking a gendered approach, the project will allow us to investigate and understand the common and unique experiences of vulnerable men and women in the sector.
The new evidence base will inform practical, co-designed materials and workplace interventions which the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association, the National Retail Association and the Australian Human Rights Commission have signalled a keen interest to employ in their work addressing sexual harassment in retail.
Professor Rae Cooper AO, University of Sydney
Associate Professor Elizabeth Hill, University of Sydney
Dr Meraiah Foley, University of Sydney
Dr Briony Lipton, University of Sydney
The project will include an advisory committee comprising representatives from the Australian Human Rights Commission and Australian National University alongside representatives from the retail sector across Australia.
- Julia Fox, National Assistant Secretary, Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association (SDA)
- Dominique Lamb, Chief Executive Officer, National Retail Association
- Kate Jenkins, Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
- Professor Ariadne Vromen, Australian National University (ANU)
$170,000 (excluding GST)
This project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.