“I am going to follow you home, rip your clothes off and rape you,” a colleague once told her.
Being a female in construction is a tough job.
Add being subjected to relentless sexual harassment – from touching, derogatory comments and pornographic material – and it is downright unbearable.
Kate Mathews knows this first-hand.
“I am going to follow you home, rip your clothes off and rape you,” a colleague once told her. It was this threat that caused the road construction worker to quit her job at a Melbourne civil engineering company.
Now, Ms Mathews has been awarded more than $1.3 million in damages by the Victorian Supreme Court for the barrage of harassment she endured at work between August 2008 and July 2010.
Melbourne sex harassment payout: Worker Kate Mathews wins $1.3m in personal injury damages https://t.co/5LGY6khXAU
— Ian Royall (@IanRoyall) December 17, 2015
Her Winslow Constructors colleagues would pretend to perform sex acts on her and call her “useless”, a “bimbo” and “spastic”, News Limited reports.
Co-workers slapped her bottom, showed her pornography and asked her whether she would “do this” and subjected to sexist and frightening comments, like: “Anything that bleeds once a month should be shot.”
Ms Mathews said working at the company was “a filthy experience every day”, the ABC reports.
She said she expected a macho culture, but not to be bullied, assaulted and harassed.