[AusNOG] Sexual Harassment at AUSNOG Industry Events

Bevan Slattery bevan at slattery.net.au
Sun Sep 30 11:22:51 EST 2018


Hi everyone,

I am writing this email to everyone here because there is a problem within our industry and it needs to end.

Last week at a strategy off-site for one of my businesses we were speaking to a new (young female) starter about possibly coming to PTC this year.  We spoke about how insanely busy it is and that it’s a great experience unlike almost anything else.  Then near the end of the conversation we ended up in a dark place speaking about past issues around sexual harassment and that I have zero tolerance with such activity.  We were speaking about empowering our women team members to say “no”, to make sure “people know it’s just not acceptable regardless of the position of power the person doing it is – customer or other”.  Confident women that say “no” who don’t tolerate that behaviour seems like the solution.  Then the conversation went darker.

I was given examples of sexual harassment at this years AUSNOG.  At Ausnog my staff were directly targeted with inappropriate messages, inappropriate approaches and to my shock sexual assault.  People thinking it is somewhat acceptable to walk up to my staff and grope them.  I’m not going to go into emotions or what I felt or where my head went.  I am going to short cut this and help the industry get a ****ing compass.

  *   When my staff give you their phone number – it is their work phone number, not an offer for you to flirt with them and try to get them or send inappropriate pictures
  *   When my staff give you their work email address – it is their work email address, not an offer for you to flirt or harass them
  *   If you harass my staff they will tell you, they will escalate to me and I will talk to your CEO and raise a direct complaint for action
  *   If you sexually assault my staff they will tell you, they will immediately raise it to the event coordinator to seek your expulsion from the event, they will raise it to me, I will raise it to your CEO and seek to have you rubbed out of our industry for good

>From the discussion this behaviour does NOT just happen at AUSNOG.  It is still happening at other industry events (PTC/ITW etc.) and usually when alcohol and a sense of power is involved.  It’s really simple.  If you can’t control yourself when drinking, don’t drink.  But I’ve had enough of arming my female staff with tactics on how to manage the inappropriate behaviour of others only to find out this stuff still continues.  If this has happened to you by my staff, the same applies.

I am going to write letters to the CEO’s of every company whose team members sexually harassed/assaulted my staff and notify them they have either bad actors or a bad culture.  I’m not naming names this time around, just arming them with the knowledge their organisation has had a problem in the past and needs to re-educate some of their staff around appropriate behaviour.  Moving forward I will be naming names to the CEO’s.

If you want to stay in this industry then pull your head in and treat everyone appropriately and if this industry doesn’t want to become the next #metoo meme then the industry leaders need to commit to wiping these grubs out, regardless of position/organisation.  I’m sure other leaders feel the same way.  The rot stops.


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