Women from across the political spectrum will help draft a model code of conduct seeking to ensure Federal Parliament is a safe workplace for women.
ACT Liberal leader Elizabeth Lee will join women elected to Parliament, including former ministers Kate Ellis and Sharman Stone and current members Anne Aly, Larissa Waters and Helen Haines, in contributing their experiences working in a "gendered parliament" at a two-day summit run by the ANU's Global Institute for Women's Leadership.
The code will be submitted to Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins' independent inquiry into the culture of parliamentary workplaces.
The institute's Blair Williams said she hoped the expertise being brought together would help put more pressure on the government to respond to the Jenkins' inquiry, "rather than table it like they did with the Respect@Work" report.
"Because we do need that systemic change, and also a cultural change," she said.
"Parliament is a workplace and people deserve to be safe in their workplace - not just MPs, but every single person in that building and not just based on gender either.
"Women have been experiencing sexual harassment, but it's in everyone's interest to have a safe workplace."
The push for a code of conduct comes as parliamentary staff prepare to be offered respectful workplace training through the rest of this year. However, the training is optional for MPs, of whom half of all workplace behaviour complaints in the building are about.
The Community and Public Sector Union, which represents many of the public servants and MPs' staff who work in Parliament House, has raised 10 major risk factors and systemic weaknesses in the Parliament's workplace culture and mechanisms.
Reported behaviour has ranged from leering and being left out of decisions, through to grooming, stalking and physical assault.
"An evident risk in parliamentary workplaces is an absence of an agreed understanding of what constitutes bullying, harassment, and sexual harassment," the CPSU has written to Jenkins' inquiry.
"The 'triangular relationship' between the employee, their employing parliamentarian, and [the Finance Department], has been described by staff as confusing and challenging to navigate."
There is a perceived bias towards parliamentarians and an inability to take substantive action against them, the union warned.
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