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Why soft skills can mitigate gender-based violence in the workplace

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To address this pressing issue, Oakes encourages safety professionals to educate themselves and their organizations. She suggests starting with resources like ASSP’s 2019 women’s report, which provides valuable insights into gender-based violence, women’s safety, and access to appropriate PPE.

Oakes also stresses the importance of direct communication with the female workforce to truly understand their experiences and concerns.

“When addressing gender-based violence,” Oakes advises, “considering the whole person is paramount. We must be willing to see the truth, even if it challenges our assumptions. This is what safety professionals are here for – to assess risks and protect every worker.”

Oakes believes addressing gender-based violence requires a holistic approach. She highlights the connection between diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, emphasizing the role of safety leaders in shaping a workplace culture that values every individual. She urges safety professionals to recognize protecting employees extends beyond physical safety, encompassing emotional well-being as well.

“Our role is to see people as their total selves, to understand the unique risks they face, and to advocate for their safety in every aspect,” says Oakes. “By harnessing the power of emotional intelligence and soft skills, we can create workplaces where all individuals feel safe, respected, and valued.”

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