Concerning new figures show sexual harassment continues to be a major problem in Australian workplaces.

Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins released the statistics within Everyone’s business: Fourth national survey on sexual harassment in Australian workplaces at the National Press Club in Canberra.

“One in three workers in Australia said that they had been sexually harassed at work over the last five years, compared with one in five from our 2012 survey and one in ten in 2003,” she said.

“What is clear is that this conduct begins the moment people enter the workplace, and that harassers prey on those less powerful than them.

“Young people between the ages of 18 and 29 were the most likely to be sexually harassed at work.”

The Commission’s survey of 10,000 people was undertaken by Roy Morgan Research.

It showed that sexual harassment continues to affect both men and women.

“We found that 39% of Australian women and 26% of Australian men told us they have been sexually harassed at work in the past five years, both a significant increase on 2012,” Commissioner Jenkins said.

At the same time, four-out-of-five harassers in the workplace were men.

For the first time, the survey results provide industry specific data.

For example, four-out-of-five people working in information, media and telecommunications reported being sexually harassed.

The survey results will inform the Australian Human Rights Commission’s National Inquiry into sexual harassment in Australian workplaces, which will begin public consultations later this month.

It comes after what was reported to be a “world first” with the Australian Human Rights Commission announcing in June a national inquiry into sexual harassment in Australian workplaces.

AMMA is aware of many positive and practical initiatives by employers in the resources and energy industry to address this issue and welcomes any recommendations from the Inquiry in relation to best practice strategies to further promote safe and respectful workplaces.

Please provide insights, initiatives and examples to AMMA to build a resources and energy industry evidence base of activities to address sexual harassment in the workplace. Alternatively, to provide further information or to learn more on how the inquiry could affect your organisation, contact AMMA via [email protected].