Thursday, 16 May 2019 17:29

New LGBTIQ report guides Victoria Police to more inclusive workplaces for employees

Victoria Police and the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission have released Proud, visible, safe, a report examining the experiences of LGBTIQ employees at Victoria Police. The report finds that Victoria Police is committed to building an organisational culture that is safe for LGBTIQ employees – but that there still a way to go.

“For an employer like Victoria Police to open itself to scrutiny through a review like this takes courage, and I commend Victoria Police employees and leadership for their open and honest participation throughout the process,” says Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner Kristen Hilton.

In the report, LGBTIQ employees from across Victoria Police describe a hypermasculine and heteronormative culture that normalises homophobic attitudes and feeds constrictive stereotypes about LGBTIQ employees.

“The unfortunate reality is that homophobia and transphobia persist in some parts of Victoria Police, as they do they in some parts of our society more broadly. And, whether through aggressive comments, offensive language, sexual harassment or discrimination, these attitudes continue to cause harm to LGBTIQ employees,” says Commissioner Hilton.

Launched at a special community event at Footscray Police Station to celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) on 17 May, the report highlights the importance of a holistic approach to effect real organisational change – combining clear and consistent pathways for reporting workplace harm, with training for staff and managers on the impact of workplace harm experienced by LGBTIQ employees, and a shared vision for workplace culture.

“We cannot underestimate the importance of leadership from the top – Victoria Police’s leadership team plays a critical role in showing that their organisation does not tolerate homophobia, biphobia and transphobia or any form harm against LGBTIQ employees,” says Commissioner Hilton.

Proud, visible, safe continues the Commission’s work with Victoria Police to address sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and predatory behaviour within the organisation.

“Since we commenced our review of Victoria Police in 2015, we have seen some very real evidence of what this organisation can achieve,” says Commissioner Hilton. “We’re looking forward to seeing the results of their ongoing work to create workplaces that are more safe and inclusive for LGBTIQ employees.”

Download the report

For interview requests or further information
Peter Davies, Strategic Communications Adviser
Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission
Mobile 0447 526 642  |  Phone 9032 3482  |  Email [email protected]

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