Women execs say culture flows from the top

Sexual harassment and sexual violence is a health and safety issue for corporate Australia and must also be taken seriously in parliament, influential lobbyists say.

"All of corporate Australia would say that the tone of any organisation is set at the top and the tone of our nation is set therefore in this building," KPMG national chairwoman Alison Kitchen told reporters on Wednesday.

"We would like to see this building address and take this issue seriously."

At Parliament House to spruik the Business Council of Australia's budget demands, executives sidestepped questions about whether they would stand down a colleague facing allegations of rape or sexual harassment.

But they acknowledged parliament could learn from best practice in parts of corporate Australia.

Coca-Cola Amatil Group managing director Alison Watkins said she was very confident in the processes at her company.

"We are very very focused on creating an environment where our employees are safe and protecting their interests."

Ms Kitchen said KPMG had a very victim-led approach to investigations of these issues and respected the rights of both parties equally.

"Certainly in my organisation, and I'm sure in many, we see sexual harassment and sexual violence as a health and safety issue first and foremost and therefore it's an issue we take very seriously," she said, flanked by BCA president Tim Reed and chief executive Jennifer Westacott.

"We're all very pleased to see the sex discrimination commissioner investigate these issues and we look forward to her report."

Austrlaian Associated PressBack to Breaking News

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