Kupala’s workshop rationale
The past few years have seen an ever-building outcry from women and their allies to take action about the sexual harassment and abuse that is rife in many workplaces. Women at work often feel isolated, unsupported and afraid to come forward to report this behaviour. Beyond sexual harassment, we also hear in the media of toxic and sexist workplace culture affecting women’s health, wellbeing and career advancement. The onset of menopause can also affect a woman's ability to work as well as she normally can, with around 10% of women worldwide leaving their jobs due to lack of support around menopause.
Underlying these situation are the statistics that show the biggest cause of struggle in Australian workplaces is “dealing with people” (2021 Wellbeing Lab’s workplace report). Women can find it hard to stand up for themselves, or for each other, in a competitive work environment that focuses on personal gain and advancement at the expense of other employees. For many women, finding connection and support at work is a major challenge.
To add to the struggle, many women are becoming burnt out from juggling work with household and family needs, and suffering poor mental health in record numbers. Our current workplace culture and practices can be a major contributor to this. The ongoing effects of the COVID pandemic also have an impact, and are known to disproportionally affect women’s careers – particularly in the science and engineering fields.
Kupala’s workshops take a ground-up approach to these issues. They teach new ways for women to connect and communicate – ways that grow relationships, trust and support.
Building these relationships enables women to create a safe space to share. As recently acknowledged by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins, author of the Set the Standards report, this was vital for collecting report data: “People shared their stories for the first time and many felt they could never had shared them before,” she stated on ABC News. And Brittany Higgins, speaking about why she shared her story of sexual assault, said “I believe it will be easier for women to share their story if they see it makes a difference in the workplace.”
Importantly, our workshops also address the need of belonging at work. Research identified by The Australian HR Institute showed people with a strong sense of belonging had a 50% reduction in turnover risk, a 56% increase in performance and a 75% decrease in sick days taken.
Kupala’s workshops will provide your female staff with the knowledge and practical skills required to grow a supportive community of women who can work together more productively.
This not only boosts wellbeing, but also empowers them to create the meaningful, lasting changes that are needed to help create true women-friendly workplaces.