Nadine’s Story: Freedom from discrimination, harassment and violence


When I first started working
at this information technology corporation I came with excitement about finally putting
my study into practice and making a difference in the world. I had spent five years at university,
first studying Engineering and then a Masters degree in Commerce. I came into the sector knowing
that it was male dominated. I realized this when I was one of six
women in my Engineering class. I hadn’t had any problems with this
at university, so I felt confident going into my new job. The first two years went really well. I worked on a range of interesting projects and I got great feedback from
clients and management. I found that although the industry
was male dominated, I was respected by men
for myself and my work. In the second year, I was put onto a team of twenty engineers
where I was the only female. During this time, I had uploaded a profile
onto an online dating website. A few times I would come to work and the rest of the team
would be laughing behind my back. Then one day I came to work and
found that my profile had been printed out and put on everyone’s desk
with an offensive note attached. A few members of my team made some
lewd comments as I went to my desk. I left and went home early
that day, very upset. And the next day I didn’t want
to come into work. The very thought of facing
members of my team terrified me. So I called my manager and told him
what happened and told him it was sexual harassment. I said I wasn’t going to put up with it
in my workplace. My manager was really supportive. He helped me escalate it to HR to
make sure it was appropriately dealt with. Members of my team who instigated
that harassment were disciplined and the whole division had to attend a
seminar on the impact of sexual harassment and the cost to business. My manager arranged for me
to be moved to another team. My experience on this new team
has been really positive and I’m so glad that my manager
took my complaint seriously and did something about it.