Cultural change: gender diversity and inclusion in the Australian Federal Police

Bullying Discrimination Police Sexual harassment Australia


On 22 August 2016, AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin released this report, following an independent review of the organisation by former Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick.

The report followed extensive consultation with more than 1,000 AFP members over the past six months.

A number of key themes emerged during the review process:

  • the importance of strong leadership to cultural reform;
  • the differential impacts of AFP culture on men’s and women’s experiences;
  • high rates of sexual harassment and bullying in the AFP;
  • barriers to and opportunities for increased women’s representation in the AFP workforce; and,
  • the challenge of combining a police career with family.

The review highlights strong and courageous leadership as an essential ingredient of cultural change.

While many in the AFP described the organisation as a supportive and respectful workplace, the rates of sexual harassment and bullying reported in the survey were alarming. Overall, 29% of survey respondents reported being subjected to at least one work-related incident of sexual harassment in the last five years, with 64% of survey respondents reporting being subjected to workplace bullying over the same period.

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