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 individuals 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:
UNDERRATED BY RURAL MEN
‘..she knows we don’t mean anything by it.’ (male employee)
The solution: Clearly situate the issue and facilitate a conversation about perceptiveness, opportunity and courageous leadership.
UNDERREPORTED BY RURAL WOMEN
‘I know it sounds bad, but you get used to it.’ (female employee)
The solution: Empower women to feel confident about responding to sexual harassment by developing the personal ‘toolkit’ for courageous conversation.
UNOPPOSED BY RURAL EMPLOYERS
‘Look, it’s just part of what you get when you are working out here. I just need everyone to get on with it.’ (employer)
The solution: Employers and managers to become aware of their duty of care through the lens of the law, with developed strategies for protecting businesses from liability issues.
HOW YOU CAN WORK WITH SKYE SAUNDERS
Skye is a sharp and engaging writer, and is available for research assignment. Her work is often used by businesses, community groups and organisations develop strategies to disrupt patterns of sex discrimination in the workplace.
- Skye is a published author and has written for major Australian newspapers, blogs and academic journals.
- She enjoys writing across themes of gender, law, sex discrimination and the Australian identity.
- Her new book project, ‘Defying Gravity – Rising Above Sex Discrimination in the Workplace’, focuses on the themes of courage and wisdom in making a sex discrimination complaint.
- Skye has been featured in Australian media, including ABC National, The Australian, The Age, Cleo magazine, Daily Life, The Canberra Times, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Land.
Strike A Chord is offered through tailored workshops to help employees, managers and employers more confidently embrace the principles of sex discrimination law, and practices that support gender equality.
- Strike A Chord is offered through tailored workshops to help employees, managers and employers more confidently embrace the principles of sex discrimination law, and practices that support gender equality.
- While the Strike A Chord framework was inspired by Skye’s research on sex discrimination and harassment in the rural context, it is designed to be applied to all workplace environments.
- Skye has created a ‘Heads and Hearts’ workshop specifically for male employees. By going beyond the head to reach the heart, this workshop has the power to illuminate issues of sexual harassment in a life-changing way. Men are also given the tools to ‘step up’ and make a difference if they witness sexual harassment taking place.
As a dedicated mentor, Skye empowers people with the skills and confidence they they need for harmonious workplace engagement.
- Skye instils in women the confidence to speak out about sex discrimination and to have those ‘difficult’ conversations effectively and without fear. She is passionate about developing their capacities and affirming them as leaders in their own right.
- Skye also works directly with employers and senior managers to help clearly understand Australian discrimination laws. By doing so, they can create safe workplaces and protect their organisations from the risk of ‘vicarious liability’.
- Her mentoring services are available as 1:1 sessions customised to their needs.
A regular speaker at national and international conferences and events, Skye has the ability to powerfully engage hearts and minds. Her approach is empowering, inclusive and compassionate.
- She delivers keynotes to audiences in Australia and overseas.
- A visionary speaker with high level expertise, Skye explains important issues around sex discrimination with warmth, clarity and deep understanding.
- Audience members leave her sessions determined to be agents of change, whether through challenging incidents of sex discrimination, intervening where someone is harassed, or taking steps to change the workplace culture.
A FEW KIND WORDS
The research and speaking work that Skye does for Women in Agriculture and those living and working in remote, rural and regional (RRR) communities is essential. Women need support to be able to follow their hopes and dreams, including career pathways. Skye creates practical strategies and support for women to engage and discuss the issue of discrimination and bullying as it arises in the work place. Without Skye’s research and work, women in RRR regions are once again less supported than their urban counterparts.
President of Australian Women in Agriculture, Company Secretary of National Rural Women Coalition
Dr Saunders has taken the time and effort to inform the legal and general community about her powerful work on sexual harassment in Australian rural and regional communities. She has assisted in changing attitudes and culture by exposing both the scale of the problem and its harmful impacts, which are not just unpleasant – sexual harassment has a direct impact on worker’s health and wellbeing, and their affects ability to perform job safely. Dr Saunders’ work is serious, responsible, and thoughtful, thus making a significant contribution to the advancement of human rights for people experiencing vulnerability, specifically rural women subjected to sexual harassment.’
ACT President and Human Rights Commissioner
Male peer support theorists and members of the feminist men’s movement will find Saunders’ “Changing Minds and Hearts” initiatives to be especially useful.
(Anna Deane Carlson Endowed Chair of Social Sciences, Director of the Research Center on Violence, and Professor of Sociology, West Virginia University)
The warmth and passion that Skye emanates, makes her particularly suitable for a diverse range of public appearances and media interactions.
CEO, Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association
Skye is an incredible speaker, who presents with warmth, intellect and compassion. She navigates difficult issues with tremendous tact and passion – I can’t recommend her highly enough.
CEO, Country to Canberra