5,000 signatures reached
To: Honey Birdette Directors, Julie Hastings and Christopher Riley
End Sexual Harassment at Honey Birdette
I worked at Honey Birdette for 4 years. There was a time when being a “honey” was my whole life. I was proud and passionate about working somewhere I thought promoted feminism and female empowerment. I even stopped a paramedicine degree to manage my own Honey Birdette store.
But instead of being empowered, I was disrespected, bullied and sexually harassed at work.
Myself and other workers were subject to sexist standards, with managers checking that our high heels were high enough, that we were wearing red lipstick and had enough lingerie on display.
Honey Birdette’s training includes telling us to ‘practise one-liners to get customers excited’ and to ‘build a custom fantasy’ in which we provide detailed information to customers about using the toys and equipment they sell - but they offer insufficient training in dealing with customers who frequently harass or intimidate us.
When we spoke up we were ignored, or told to give aggressive customers a customer service contact number.
Honey Birdette knows that what they’re doing is wrong and puts their workers at risk - as we’ve already told them. But as long as their unsafe work practices make them a profit, they’re choosing to ignore us.
The organisation has failed in its duty under the Equal Opportunity Act to prevent and respond to sexual harassment in the workplace.
That’s why Honey Birdette’s new Directors, Julie Hastings and Christopher Riley, must take sexual harassment as a health and safety issue seriously. We call on the directors to step up and ensure that Honey Birdette meets its obligations under the Equal Opportunity Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act. They must not turn a blind eye. Health and safety culture changes when those at the top take it seriously.
Why is this important?
Workers at Honey Birdette deserve a workplace that’s free from bullying, harassment and sexist standards.
In 2015, Honey Birdette workers launched the Not Your Honey campaign and won a WorkSafe investigation into the sexual harassment and bullying at Honey Birdette. Seven years later, harassment and bullying at Honey Birdette boutiques is as bad as it has ever been.
Employers have a duty to provide a workplace free from sexual harassment and gendered violence but clearly Honey Birdette’s Directors are providing an environment that enables sexual harassment.