The online world was all a buzz after hearing that construction company Geocon celebrated building Canberra's tallest residential tower by hiring topless waitresses to hand out drinks to employees on Friday afternoon.
"The decision by one of Canberra's largest construction companies to invite topless women onto a work site to celebrate the completion of part of an apartment block is alarming."
"That such a celebration took place in the middle of a Friday afternoon in full view of the public and a short distance from a church and school is even more disturbing."
"ACT Minister for Women Yvette Berry is right to refer to it as a "David Morrison moment" – the former Chief of Army told his force that "the behaviour you walk past is the behaviour you accept"."
"More and more people are calling out actions they think are unacceptable and this is the only way to affect change in society."
"The incident is an example of an attitude that still exists within society – not just in the construction industry – that treats women as objects and second class citizens."
"At a time when the ACT government, police and community is putting so much focus on ending violence against women, this incident is a disturbing reminder of how hard it is to change attitudes."
What message does this send to female employees within Geocon? How are young boys meant to grow up learning to respect women when they see routine sexual objectification of women as the wallpaper of society? Geocon have since apologised but is it enough? We'd like to see Geocon make a substantial donation to a women's organisation to go along with their apology.
The decision to hire topless waitresses was suggested, approved and implemented by someone within Geocon. The fact that at no point throughout that process did someone intervene and put a stop to it suggests there is a harmful culture of sexism within Geocon.
The explicit entertainment on Geocon's Wayfarer apartments site in Belconnen came just four days after the company announced a three-year sponsorship deal with the ACT Meteors women's cricket team.
Our supporters took to social media to speak out.
"Unbelievably unprofessional and degrading for a construction company to celebrate in this way....Or any company."
"Shame on you, women are not meat, shame on you."
"All women pay the price of sexism when men are taught that it is ok to do this at work because learned sexist attitudes translate into disrespect, contempt and sometimes violence against our gender."
Join in the conversation on our Facebook page here.
Read the full article on Canberra Times here.
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