An aggregate of data suggests that up to 20% of women employees in any organisation (with some industries being higher than others) have lived experience of domestic and family violence.
For women survivors the impacts continue well beyond leaving the relationship. The impacts on their work life are only just beginning to be understood through research.
A lack of tangible supports designed through the lens of lived experience leaves women at work vulnerable to impacts on their employment, financial security and wellbeing. Recovery from domestic and family violence can take years. The on-going challenges women face both in leaving and in the recovery phase continually place women in positions of vulnerability. Workplace policies, compulsory leave and Employee Assistance Programs are essential elements of the required mix to best support women victim survivors – but they’re not enough and they’re not working for women at work. This project will allow us to change that in Australian workplaces.
We will build on our virtual Hub to offer employer Members a unique Community as a Service (CaaS) to support their women employees who have a lived experience of DFV through our suite of learning, connection and coaching opportunities to survivors so they not only remain at, but thrive at work. Hub activities were co-designed with women from around Australia with lived experience of domestic and family violence and are evidence based on the three pillars of trauma recovery.
The expected outcomes from this project are three-fold.
Directly, we aim to support 10,000 women survivors of DFV at work, in a unique trauma-informed context, over the next 3-5 years to:
- Increase their confidence and sense of self-worth
- Build key skills to increase the likelihood of career progression
- Increase their connection so they are more likely to stay at work and perform
- Increase their sense of safety at work and satisfaction with their workplace
For the organisations who are our customers we aim to:
- Equip them with best-in-field policy and practice to support their women and non-binary employees who have experienced DFV
- Support them to retain and progress their talent - victim survivors of DFV - through offering them tangible supports as the research tells us women want
- Socialise domestic and family violence in workplaces so it is no longer kept in the private domain where it flourishes
- Move closer to achieving gender equality, gender equity and diversity and inclusion goals
And the third set of outcomes are expected for women survivors who are not working. The project will:
- By providing a revenue stream (from fee-paying organisations) we will fund the Academy's activity that more intensively supports women survivors to return to work who face multiple barriers to employment
We are building an impact measurement framework with leading firm, Social Outcomes, to identify what and how we will measure in terms of impact.
The team works from a solid evidence base, having invested heavily in comprehensive literature reviews, working relationships with researchers, including Dr Anne Summers, and a commitment to data-informed and lived-experience informed practice. Due to the notable lack of data available around domestic and family violence and employment we are committed to playing our part in addressing this and will work closely with Dr Anne Summers on her next piece of work to this end, sharing data and continuing to identify gaps.
We are working closely with the NSW Government and the Paul Ramsay Foundation around data and outcome sharing also, and will make publicly available our impact reports, which will include data around employer participation, workplace outcomes and employee outcomes.
Established in 2022 to bridge the gaps in recovery support for victim survivors of domestic and family violence, Banksia Academy was created alongside our work-integrated social impact business, Scriibed. The bedrock of our Theory of Change is that if we support women survivors to become fit for the future of work in the digital economy, they will have greater employability and earning capacity, escaping the cycles of poverty that low-skilled and low-paid work result in.
We invest in listening to the voices of women with lived experience, and provide training, education and pathways into higher paid employment in the digital economy whilst wrapping the right supports around women survivors. We believe this aspirational approach can break cycles of abuse, and contribute to reaching critical Sustainable Development Goals for women and children. The flow-on positive impacts for women, their children and generations to come, is incomparable to the status quo.
Women with lived experience of domestic and family violence face multiple barriers to employment across four levels: intrapersonal; interpersonal; community; and structural/institutional. These challenges also impact women who are working. For the 200,000 single mothers who have experienced domestic and family violence the barriers to appropriate work are compounded. Our focus is on supporting survivors to return to work and for those in work to thrive again.