Female FIFO workers are told to dress less provocatively and avoid ‘tight jeans’ after men were fired for sexual harassment
- Female FIFO workers told to avoid wearing ‘tight jeans and short shorts’ on site
- Liz Jelley helped construct the Queensland Curtis LNG gas pipeline back in 2013
- She said women were made to feel responsible for events of sexual harassment
- Company representative asked female workers to dress more conservatively
Female FIFO worker were told to to avoid wearing ‘tight jeans and short shorts’ after some of their male colleagues were fired for sexual harassment.
Liz Jelley, 36, helped construct the Queensland Curtis gas pipeline back in 2013, and said during that time she dealt with demeaning comments almost every day.
The ex-FIFO worker and her female colleagues were called into a meeting after two male workers were dismissed for inappropriate behaviour.
Liz Jelley, 36, (pictured) helped construct the Queensland Curtis LNG gas pipeline back in 2013, and said during that time she dealt with demeaning comments almost every day
The ex-FIFO worker and her female colleagues were called into a meeting after two male workers were dismissed for inappropriate behaviour (pictured, a coal mine in Queensland)
In a recording obtained by the ABC, a female representative gives the women some advice on how to avoid future incidences of sexual harassment.
The female workers were told to avoid wearing ‘tight jeans and short shorts’ because, due to a lack of education, the men ‘think the girls are asking for it’.
‘So, how do we go about making it better? Management think the way to do it is for the girls to dress more conservatively,’ the company representative is heard saying.
The woman reminds the female workers that it was a big deal for two men to lose their jobs over the incidents of sexual harassment.
She said the male workers would now find it difficult to get reappointed.
The directive on female dress code is believed to have been communicated across multiple work sites, with Ms Jelley leaving the meeting lost for words.
‘We were really just staring at each other like, is this real? Is this actually happening?’ she recalled.
The 36-year-old said the female workers on the site were made to feel like it was their responsibility to keep themselves safe from sexual harassment.
Ms Jelley (pictured) was asked to avoid wearing ‘tight jeans and short shorts’ on the worksite because due to ‘a lack of education’ the men thought the women were ‘asking for it’
Ms Jelley (pictured) said she was called a ‘silly little bitch’ by a site manager and a ‘site screw’
She recalled incidents of colleagues uploading porn on her computer screen when she left the room and how she felt unsafe in her bedroom at night.
The feared ‘door knock appeals’ would occur late at night when men would approach women in the temporary demountable buildings on site.
‘You feel like that’s your place where you can lock yourself in and be safe,’ Ms Jelley said. ‘And then you realise that it’s actually not particularly safe at all.’
She said during her time with McConnell Dowell she was called a ‘silly little bitch’ by a manager and a ‘site screw’ by a member of the Queensland Gas Company.
Ms Jelley said the male-dominated workplace made the women feel as if their clothing provoked the men who were dismissed for harassment.
In a statement, McConnell Dowell said there had been an overhaul to management personnel since 2013, with the company bought out by Shell in 2016.
The 36-year-old (pictured) said female workers at the FIFO camp were made to feel like it was their responsibility to keep themselves safe from sexual harassment
The company said the directive on female dress code was neither reasonable nor in line with its workplace safety obligations.
‘These historical allegations are at odds with our values and the expectations of all our leaders and team members,’ she said.
Shell echoed McConnell Dowell’s sentiments and said it had a ‘zero tolerance approach to harassment of any kind’.
Kate Jenkins, the sex discrimination commissioner said the risk for sexual harassment can increase for women that are geographically isolated.
She recalled some of the more troubling accounts of workplace harassment had come from women in rural, regional and remote settings.