To raise awareness of bullying, the EQ team donned their pink gear in line with Pink Shirt Day this week.
Celebrated annually around the globe, Pink Shirt Day began in Canada in 2007 when two students took a stand against homophobic bullying after a peer was bullied for wearing a pink shirt. In Aotearoa, Pink Shirt Day aims to create schools, workplaces, communities, and whānau where all people feel safe, valued, and respected.
What does 'Kōrero Mai, Kōrero Atu, Mauri Tū, Mauri Ora – Speak Up, Stand Together, Stop Bullying' mean?
Kōrero Mai, Kōrero Atu – Speak Up
'Kōrero Mai, Kōrero Atu' means to speak up and speak out in reference to bullying. 'Speak Up' refers to having conversations with your colleagues, peers, friends, whānau, children, kaiako/teachers, tauira/students and wider communities to come up with ideas and strategies to address bullying. 'Speak Up' is also about asking for help when you need it. This can be scary, and sometimes the first person you ask can’t or won’t do anything to help you. Keep asking. Pink Shirt Day shows there are many people who care about supporting you.
Mauri Tū, Mauri Ora – Stand Together
'Mauri Tū, Mauri Ora' means to stand together in life and wellness. 'Stand Together' refers to how bullying behaviour is influenced by the actions and values of friends, whānau, schools, kura, workplaces and whole communities. Real change happens when we Stand Together, sending a strong message that there is no place for bullying in Aotearoa. Bullying often makes people feel alone, but Pink Shirt Day shows that many people care. Many people want to play their part in making Aotearoa a safe, welcoming, and respectful place for everyone, regardless of age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, or cultural background.
Every year, one in 10 workers in Aotearoa experience bullying in the workplace. There's a fine line between workplace banter and inappropriate behaviour, but what defines that line is often unknown by team members, causing issues to be left unresolved.
Viv Patterson, Principal Director of EQ Consultants said: "As a business owner or manager, being able to respond to bullying / harassment in the workplace effectively and efficiently is crucial to ensuring the emotional and mental wellbeing of your team.
"Develop a culture where people are not only aware of the company's values but feel comfortable to practise them too. Prevent bullying and harassment from the outset by ensuring that your firm's code of conduct and company values include a 'no tolerance' section of any form. Reaffirm this by ensuring that your team members feel comfortable to raise their issue with you or at management level.
"Whether or not your workplace is open to friendly banter, be aware of signs that may take a joke one step too far. All too often we see workplace relationship breakdowns because of accusations, misinterpretation and inappropriateness. Ensure that issues do not get overlooked by creating a culture where people feel confident and comfortable to stand up for themselves and the company's values without risk of jeopardising their position or respect within the company."
You can find out more about the Pink Shirt Day initiative here.