Our Watch and the Goodman Foundation launch new Institute to prevent violence against women

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Posted: 30 Aug, 2023
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    With an average of one woman murdered every week by a current or former partner, urgent action is needed to change attitudes and behaviour. In response, violence prevention organisation Our Watch, has partnered with leading property group Goodman, to launch a new national Institute dedicated to ending violence against women.

    Developed by not-for-profit organisation, Our Watch, the Our Watch Institute will provide tailored guidance and support to workplaces seeking to promote gender equality and prevent violence against women.

    Evidence consistently shows that violence against women is driven by disrespect and inequality towards women that exists in all aspects of our society, including our workplaces. Workplaces have a vital role to play in creating an Australia free of violence against women; where they are not only safe, but respected, valued and treated as equals in private and public life.

    The profit-for-purpose Our Watch Institute will use Australian workplaces as a setting to provide expert advice, education, training, tools and support to affect real and lasting change in the wider community.

    Our Watch Institute Director Cara Gleeson said forward-focused businesses were seeking to prevent violence against women by getting serious about addressing gender inequality in the workplace.

    “Australian businesses are uniquely positioned to be part of the solution given the number of people they employ across Australia and the transformative role they can play in addressing social challenges and driving meaningful change,” she said.

    “The bold ambition of the Our Watch Institute is to partner with organisations of all types across Australia, starting with the business sector, who can have a significant impact on ending gender inequality and preventing violence against women.”

    Delivering on gender equality in workplaces not only prevents violence against women, including sexual harassment, but research shows it boosts productivity, employee engagement and performance.

    In the workplace, gender inequality presents in several ways including as pay inequity, women not being represented in senior roles or part of decision-making, and negative gender stereotypes.

    While it’s common for many workplaces to have engaged in gender equality and workplace harassment training, the difference the Institute brings is a comprehensive and bespoke package to establish internal structures, processes, and policies to help businesses remove gender inequality in the workplace. It includes helping businesses understand the connection between gender inequality and violence against women, and demonstrating the significant role they can have in preventing it in the community.

    Ms Gleeson said the Institute has been established following growing demand from businesses wanting to lead the change, with Our Watch having already worked with Goodman Group, Commonwealth Bank, Melbourne Storm and others.

    While a new Our Watch survey shows almost nine in 10 surveyed workplace leaders believe gender equality and preventing violence against women is good for business, it also demonstrated that there is still work to be done in explaining to them the role they can play, and impact they can have, in ending violence against women.

    The program support and commitment of $1.7 million to date by the Goodman Foundation as Founding Partner, has allowed Our Watch to meet the growing demand and take the next step to establish a dedicated national Institute. The Institute aims to be financially self-sufficient through its fee-for-service model.

    Seeking to find a solution to this serious issue in Australia, the Goodman Foundation saw an opportunity to work with experts at Our Watch to scale the knowledge that violence against women can be prevented.

    Greg Goodman, Group Chief Executive Officer, Goodman and Foundation Board Director, said that “Goodman is passionate about taking action to end violence against women. We have partnered with Our Watch to establish the Institute to drive awareness and education to create gender equality in all areas of our community. 

    “We believe that workplaces have a key role to play in affecting much needed change, and we encourage other organisations to join us in this important challenge”, he said.

    Ms Gleeson said there were concrete steps workplaces could take to embed gender equality in their business.

    “Organisations can champion flexible work and parental leave for both men and women, to allow everyone to balance career and family. They can also be proactive in addressing the systemic aspects of gender inequality in the workplace, like the gender pay gap and the superannuation gap”.

    For more information and to work with Australia’s leading violence prevention and gender equality experts, visit Our Watch Institute.

    *200 workplace leaders took part in the survey in 2023.

    Media contact

    Please contact media@ourwatch.org.au or call 0448 844 930.

    If you cover this story, or any story regarding violence against women and children, please include the following tagline:

    1800RESPECT is the national domestic, family, and sexual violence counselling, information and support service. If you or someone you know is experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, domestic, family or sexual violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732, chat online via www.1800RESPECT.org.au, or text 0458 737 732.

    To access guides for reporting about violence against women and their children, visit www.ourwatch.org.au/media-and-reporting

    Our Watch

    Our Watch is a national leader in Australia’s work to stop violence against women and their children before it starts. The organisation was created to drive nation-wide change in the practices, norms, and structures that lead to violence against women and children.

    About the Goodman Foundation and Goodman Group

    The Goodman Foundation addresses issues by investing in organisations to enable transformation and scale so that we get to the heart of an issue make long-term sustainable change. We understand that for primary prevention of violence against women to be successful, it requires a large-scale effort, engaging the largest possible number of people and organisations.

    Goodman Group is a global industrial property specialist with operations in key consumer markets across Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe, the United Kingdom, and the Americas. Goodman Group, comprised of the stapled entities Goodman Limited, Goodman Industrial Trust and Goodman Logistics (HK) Limited, is the largest property group on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX: GMG), a top 20 entity by market capitalisation, and one of the largest listed specialist investment managers of industrial property globally.

    Goodman provides essential infrastructure for the digital economy by owning, developing, and managing high-quality sustainable properties that are close to consumers in key cities around the world. Our property portfolio includes logistics and distribution centres, warehouses, light industrial, multi-storey industrial, business parks and data centres. We take a long-term view, investing significantly alongside our capital partners in our investment management platform and concentrating our portfolio where we can create the most value for customers and investors.

    For more information visit: www.goodman.com