Women of Colour Australia, (WoCA), Australia's leading not-for-profit organisation dedicated to championing Australia's Women of Colour through programs of education, community support initiatives, and advocacy work operates the WoC Harm Prevention Fund.
WoCA undertakes activities that directly promote the prevention and control of behaviour that is harmful and abusive to Women of Colour.
In late 2020, in partnership with Murdoch University, we developed and scoped our first research project aimed at providing contemporary data to better understand how Women of Colour experience the workplace. 543 Women of Colour responded to the survey, of which 7% were Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.
The results painted a stark reality for Women of Colour in Australian workplaces, finding more than 60% have experienced racism, sexism and emotional abuse. Research has found that "racism is a significant source of emotional abusiveness and trauma for People of Colour".
Through the research, WoCA was able to understand the unique needs of Women of Colour and thus identify the most appropriate solutions. We hold the belief that the people closest to the needs are the ones best placed to create impactful, long-term solutions.
The findings of the survey have led WoCA to design, develop and deliver leadership, mentoring and coaching programs to help support Women of Colour navigate the distinctive challenges and barriers at the intersection of race and gender.
We worked with the Australian Human Rights Commission in their review of the National Anti-Racism Framework. We were also part of their "Racism, It Stops With Me" initiative.
We regularly host events (online and offline) to create a sense of belonging and build connectedness in our community.
As part of our advocacy work, we submit position papers to relevant bodies and agencies with the aim of moving the conversations from a point of understanding and empathy to action.
Our evidence-based and data-driven work powers our engagement with both the public and private sectors to bring about structural and systemic change in workplaces.
The WoC Harm Prevention Fund will build WoCA's capacity and capability to continue and scale up its work on creating a safer, fairer, more equitable and more just Australia for all Women of Colour.
Will you help us?
Brenda Gaddi (she/her)
Founder & Managing Director
Women of Colour Australia (WoCA)