Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson, students will explore how sexism and sexual harassment shows up in the workplace, how it affects women and men and what is being done about it. Students will watch a case study from The Leadership that explores how women working in male-dominated workplaces and remote locations struggle with sexual harassment and how this impacts their careers and lives more broadly. They will explore how positive action can support women to overcome these challenges. 

It is highly recommended that this lesson is conducted after students have completed The Leadership: Viewing And Responding To The Film – English – Year 10. Please be mindful that this lesson handles difficult topics and may impact different students in different ways. Please ensure students have access to confidential support if they need it.

The Leadership is rated M for mature audiences and contains coarse language and themes of sexual harassment and abuse. Consider whether viewing this film or clips is appropriate for your students.

Learning intentions:

  • Students understand the laws governing sex discrimination and sexual harassment in Australian workplaces
  • Students understand the impacts of sex discrimination and sexual harassment on women in the workplace and the responsibilities of employers to protect their employees
  • Students understand the importance of listening to and allying with women
  • Students can communicate the importance of creating safe workplaces for women and how to do so.

21st century skills: 

CommunicatingCritical ThinkingEmpathyEthical UnderstandingProblem FindingProblem SolvingSocial SkillsTeam Work

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Years 9 & 10 Health and Physical Education:

  • Evaluate factors that shape identities and critically analyse how individuals impact the identities of others (ACPPS089)
  • Evaluate situations and propose appropriate emotional responses and then reflect on possible outcomes of different responses (ACPPS094)
  • Critique behaviours and contextual factors that influence health and wellbeing of diverse communities (ACPPS098)

Year 10 Work Studies:

  • Explain the range of skills and attributes necessary to work effectively in the 21st century (ACWSCL025)
  • Select and use appropriate protocols for communication in workplace contexts (ACWSCL026)
  • Examine the creative and problem-solving techniques used within workplaces to resolve the tensions arising in business and community projects (ACWSCL030)

Year 10 Economics and Business:

  • The ways businesses respond to changing economic conditions and improve productivity through organisational management and workforce management (ACHEK054)
  • Develop questions and hypotheses about an economic or business issue or event, and plan and conduct an investigation (ACHES055)
  • Gather relevant and reliable data and information from a range of digital, online and print sources (ACHES056)
  • Reflect on the intended and unintended consequences of economic and business decisions (ACHES061)

Syllabus outcomes: PDHPE5.1, PDHPE5.3, PDHPE5.11, PDHPE5.13, PDHPE5.16, C5.2, C5.3, C5.4, C5.5, C5.7, C5.9

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability, Ethical Understanding

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability

Relevant parts of Years 9 & 10 Health and Physical Education achievement standards:
Students critically analyse contextual factors that influence identities, relationships, decisions and behaviours. They analyse the impact attitudes and beliefs about diversity have on community connection and wellbeing. They evaluate the outcomes of emotional responses to different situations. Students access, synthesise and apply health information from credible sources to propose and justify responses to health situations.

Relevant parts of Year 10 Work Studies achievement standards:
Students explain the relationship between changing circumstances, learning and 21st century work opportunities and identify the skills needed to manage changes. Students explain the benefits of different cultural perspectives in managing work and problem-solving. They identify possible tensions arising in work-related contexts and understand the approaches to resolve conflicts and tensions.

Relevant parts of Year 10 Economics and Business achievement standards:
Students evaluate the effect of organisational and workforce management on business performance. When researching, students develop questions and formulate hypotheses to frame an investigation of an economic or business issue or event. They gather and analyse reliable data and information from different sources to identify trends, explain relationships and make predictions. Students generate alternative responses to an issue, taking into account multiple perspectives. Students develop and present evidence-based conclusions and reasoned arguments incorporating different points of view. They use appropriate texts, subject-specific language, conventions and concepts. They analyse the intended and unintended effects of economic and business decisions and the potential consequences of alternative actions.

Topic: Learning Through Film, Social Issues

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work The Leadership – HPE & Work Studies – Year 10.

Time required: 90+ mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – this lesson contains sensitive topics and teachers will need to be alert to the needs of students and the content of discussions to ensure that sexist or inappropriate sexual language/behaviours are not perpetrated during the lesson.

Resources required:

Keywords: discrimination, harassment, gender, law, policy, research, sexism

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

Lauren SandonTeacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students understand…

  • … the laws governing sex discrimination and sexual harassment in Australian workplaces
  • … the impacts of sex discrimination and sexual harassment on women in the workplace and the responsibilities of employers to protect their employees
  • ... the importance of listening to and allying with women.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … listen sensitively to diverse viewpoints
  • … conduct research and communicate their findings
  • ... communicate the importance of creating safe workplaces for women and how to do so
  • … determine whether a workplace provides sufficient protection for its employees when it comes to sex discrimination and sexual harassment.

Teacher content information:

About The Leadership
The Leadership is a feature-length documentary film directed by Ili Baré and produced by Greer Simpkin for Bunya Productions.

The world is crying out for a new model of leadership, but what is it? One

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Student Worksheet

The Leadership - Sexism And Harassment At Work

Protecting Workers

1. Watch this video:

What is the legal definition of sexual harassment? (

2. Watch this video:

Sexism In The Workplace Isn’t Dead—We Checked | Fast Company (

Why do you think it is important to listen and what could this look like?

Who’s Responsible?

3. Respond to this question:

What are some of the flow-on effects of workplace discrimination and harassment for women? How do incidents like this impact a woman’s work-life/career and personal life?


4. Use a search engine to find and compare information using the following search terms:

How to stay safe women

How to stay safe men


  • The amount of relevant information found for each gender
  • The titles of the information
  • Which gender (if any) was more often targeted by content
  • What kind of information or advice they found for each gender.
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