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A recent scandal in the Australian Army has prompted a clear and unambiguous response from the Chief of Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison.

The scandal has arisen in connection with the alleged exchange between certain soldiers and officers of messages and videos which are degrading to women serving within the Army. What is particularly interesting in this case is that General Morrison has clearly and forcefully articulated the standards and expectations of the Army respecting the types of conduct which are alleged to have occurred prior to any findings that the conduct did, in fact, occur.

It is often the case that leaders of organizations are hesitant to make meaningful statements while investigations are ongoing. That said, General Morrison’s statement serves as an example of how important issues such as harassment and discrimination can be dealt with by employers in a fashion which clearly sends a message about an organization’s values and the consequences for a failure to meet expectations.

While care must be taken not to pronounce upon allegations which are unproven, it seems to me that there is still room for employers to talk clearly and directly about the conduct they expect from all those who are associated with their organization. General Morrison shows it can be done and his message is well worth watching.

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