LEADING THE WAY
IN THE WORKPLACE
DR SKYE SAUNDERS
FOUNDER OF STRIKE A CHORD, AUTHOR, SPEAKER
Dr Skye Saunders is an Associate Professor of Law, the founder of Strike A Chord, an author and speaker.
A sex discrimination law expert, Skye’s groundbreaking research on sexual harassment in rural Australian workplaces – as well as the complaints process – has established her as a leading light in the field.
Today, she researches, writes and advocates on all different aspects of sex discrimination.
LET’S TALK ABOUT IT
STRIKE A CHORD
When Skye Saunders’ pioneering thesis uncovered a ‘cultural epidemic’ of sexual harassment in Australia’s rural workplaces, it shone a light on an uncomfortable reality.
Not content to simply be a conversation starter, Skye set about offering a solution.
Strike A Chord is that solution. It’s a framework for achieving lasting and meaningful unity in workplaces by giving voice to and creating awareness among three key groups: men, women and employers.
‘Strike A Chord’ refers to the creation of of a harmonious ‘chord’ through the alignment of three congruent tones. This harmony occurs when each group plays to its truest strength in the workplace.
Underpinning ‘Strike A Chord’ is a philosophy of encouragement, empathy and tapping into the inherent strengths of each individual in the workplace to play their unique role in effecting cultural change. Each stakeholder group willbe equipped with fresh insights, perspectives and tools to disrupt unhealthy patterns of engagement.
THE WAY TO MEANINGFUL CHANGE
During the course of her PhD, Skye interviewed more than 100 women employees and male employers in rural Australia. While the research brought to light a pervasiveness of sexual harassment in male-dominated rural workplaces, something else emerged.
It became clear to Skye that the issue was fraught with complexity (for example, men in the bush might act in a certain way because they were brought up with ideals of the macho larrikin – think Croc Dundee).
From that insight, the name Strike A Chord was born. The term refers to the creation of a harmonious ‘chord’ when three tones come into balance.
In the context of a workplace, this harmony refers to the cultural shifts that can happen when men, women and employers play to their truest strengths. In other words, they approach their roles with empathy and a fresh perspective – one that is supportive, rather than divisive.
SKYE’S STRATEGY FOR HELPING COMMUNITIES & BUSINESSES DISRUPT SEX DISCRIMINATION & HARASSMENT IS WITH EMPATHY
Strike A Chord is designed to open up previously unspoken conversations about sexual harassment.
With a philosophy of encouragement and empowerment rather than blame, the framework uncovers the perspectives and needs of different stakeholder groups with sensitivity. It also equips men, women and employers with insights and tools to disrupt unhealthy behaviours, whether conscious or not.
Specifically, Strike A Chord is used to tackle three common perceptions about sexual harassment which, when combined, perpetuate a culture of indifference in the workplace. Sexual harassment occurs because it is:
The solution lies in empathy, clarity and leadership at every level. This is not about blame. This is about making every opportunity count in building a fresh and thriving workplace culture.
WHISPERS FROM THE BUSH
The Workplace Sexual Harassment of Australian Rural Women
Dr Skye Saunders
This groundbreaking book is the first to focus upon the nature, pervasiveness and reporting of sexual harassment in rural Australian workplaces. It shines a light upon a phenomenon largely hidden or minimised by silence, distance and an atmosphere of ‘saturated masculinity’.
“Skye Saunders has opened a lens on an aspect of our Australian community that has received too little attention up until now. Whispers from the Bush is carefully researched and wonderfully written. It is a clarion call to us all to listen with compassion and without judgment, to play our part in making Australia a better place for all.”
David Morrison AO
Former Chief of Australian Army
“What is to be done about sexual harassment in the Australian bush? Saunders’ answers to this question can inform policies in other countries, such as Canada and the United States.
..Her contribution is timely, much-needed, and policy relevant. It will also speak to readers on many levels, as it did to me.”
Dr. Walter S. De Keseredy
(Anna Deane Carlson Endowed Chair of Social Sciences, Director of the Research Center on Violence, and Professor of Sociology, West Virginia University)
HOW YOU CAN WORK WITH SKYE SAUNDERS
WRITING / THOUGHT LEADERSHIP
STRIKE A CHORD PROGRAM
MEDIA FOR SKYE SAUNDERS
Skye is on a mission to advance gender equality, including the protection and promotion of the human rights of women and girls in Australia and internationally.
She is one of Australia’s most prominent keynote speakers on sex discrimination, offering an intelligent and gracious voice on a contentious issue.
A trailblazer in her field, Skye drills down beyond the layers of law and policy into the heart of simple human truths. Her capacity to inspire change with articulate, powerful messages is second to none, making her an essential ally for communities and workplaces.