Monash Professors Marie Segrave & Asher Flynn awarded funding in new national Sexual Harassment Research Program

On Tuesday 8 March, Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety (ANROWS) released details of the 2021-2024 Sexual Harassment Research Program.

The program is the result of the Australian Government’s response to Recommendation 4, made in 2020 by the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces, Respect@Work. The inquiry found one in three people had experienced sexual harassment in their workplace within the last five years. The program is an opportunity to expand knowledge and understanding of women’s safety from harassment and violence in the workplace and is supported by funding from the Australian Government’s Department of Social Services.

Led by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins, this program will work to address the evidence gaps identified through the Respect@Work Inquiry.

Of the five projects funded under the program, two were successfully secured by Monash Arts academics.

Associate Professor Marie Segrave will lead the project ‘Migrant and refugee women's attitudes, experiences and responses to sexual harassment in the workplace’, and Associate Professor Asher Flynn will lead the project ‘Technology-facilitated sexual harassment: Perpetration, responses and prevention’.

“This is such a coup for the Faculty… and really reflects the leading research across these areas," says Associate Professor Segrave.

Associate Professor Segrave, lead author of the Migrant and Refugee Women in Australia: The Safety and Security Study report, released 30 June 2021, has led exceptional research pertaining to the safety and security of refugee and migrant women living in Australia.

Migrant and refugee women’s attitudes, experience and responses to sexual harassment in the workplace aims to build a detailed national picture of the experiences of a diverse group of women. As indicated by the Roadmap for Respect, a whole-of-society response is necessary for preventing and responding to workplace sexual harassment to which this project seeks to develop informed and responsive systems that are attuned to the social and systemic factors that influence how migrant and refugee women in Australia negotiate and respond to experiences of sexual harassment as bystanders and/or targets.

“It is the first national study of its kind that will offer a more detailed examination of migrant and refugee women's experiences of workplace sexual harassment and that is built on other ground breaking studies," says Associate Professor Segrave.

“It is a team-based project that brings together leading experts and early career researchers, and is built on a model of collaborative partnership with leading alliances and stakeholders, including Harmony Alliance: Migrant and Refugee Women for Change, one of six national women's alliances.”

Monash University criminologist Associate Professor Flynn has extensive knowledge of technology-facilitated abuse, AI-facilitated abuse, image-based abuse, gendered violence and digital crime. Announced as Australia’s only Global Women’s Safety Expert Advisor (2021) by social media giant Facebook, Associate Professor Flynn will lead the project Technology-facilitated sexual harassment: Perpetration, responses and prevention.

“[It’s] a really fantastic outcome for the Faculty to be able to secure these two Monash-led projects in such vital areas," says Associate Professor Flynn.

The project will explore the behaviours, characteristics and specific drivers of workplace technology-facilitated sexual harassment (WTFSH), focusing on young people and women, who are disproportionately impacted by WTFSH. The project aims to produce evidence-based, policy-relevant recommendations that could assist not only governments, but technology providers and organisations to develop protocols to prevent, detect and respond to WTFSH.

Congratulations to Associate Professors Segrave and Flynn on their funding achievements.

The projects are currently underway as of March 2022. More information on the projects can be found on the ANROWS website.