How to build safe and respectful workplaces

The guidelines were launched by Waihanga Ara Rau and Hanga-Aro-Rau Workforce Development Councils with the goal of supporting women working in the trades to fulfill their potential.

“We’re committed to supporting everyone in the trades so that they feel safe and respected at work. Trade Employers asked us for support to identify practical actions they could take to improve workplace culture with regards to bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment and these guidelines are the first of many steps we are taking with them toward addressing this change. I encourage all leaders to determine how they are supporting women in the workplace. Let’s move from talking about diversity to making a difference on the ground. These guidelines are a practical tool to enable leaders in big companies with HR departments down to the ‘Man with a Van’ and his small team, to build safer and more respectful workplaces for all employees.”

- Philip Aldridge, CE Waihanga Ara Rau

“With only 15 per cent of New Zealand’s trades workforce made up of women – and just 2.6 per cent “on the tools”, coupled with a growing national skills shortage, enticing wâhine into trade careers has never been more important. For these women to thrive and grow long-term we must learn to support them better. These guidelines set out a baseline of what is expected from everyone in our industries to make sure we create workplace cultures where everyone is welcome. Industry wide, we are making this commitment to promote inclusion and diversity, observe fair employment practices, and not tolerate discrimination of any kind.”

- Samantha McNaughton, Deputy CE Hanga-Aro-Rau

They were developed in collaboration with our trade industry and community partners as well as women in trade stakeholder groups, and were supported by the Tertiary Education Commission.

The guidelines are a key deliverable of the Industry Equity Project 2022.

You can read the full Keep it Decent: Guidelines for Safe and Respectful Workplaces and the Step Up, Step In: Active Bystander Intervention Guidelines.

These are designed to empower each and every one of us to create a safe and inclusive work environment. As an industry committed to fostering respect and support, we believe that active bystander intervention plays a vital role in preventing harm and discrimination.

This is how we do things in the Trades.