A FORMER POSTER GIRL AND FLIGHT ATTENDANT FOR QANTAS HAS MADE SHOCKING ALLEGATIONS AGAINST THE AIRLINE, CLAIMING SEXUAL HARASSMENT IS ‘RAMPANT’ IN THE INDUSTRY.
Appearing on the Project, Hannah Rowlands, who worked for the airline for six years, said she was repeatedly harassed by her on-board manager and was forced to quit after claiming the airline mishandled the situation.
Rowlands, who has appeared in many Qantas ads including their safety video, said the harassment began with the manager blowing on her neck and escalated with inappropriate comments and slaps to the backside.
In one instance, the two bumped into each other mid-flight and the manager commented “oh, for a little girl you’ve got a tight arse,” according to Rowlands.
“And I always thought if something ever like that happened to me it would be an instant reaction… and I couldn’t move, I was like frozen or something, I don’t know what had happened,” Rowlands said on the Project.
“AND THEN HE WALKED OFF AND I JUST BURST INTO TEARS.”
Rowlands made a formal complaint to Qantas management but said despite promising she wouldn’t be rostered on with the manager, she was put on at least seven more flight with him.
According to the Project, the airline said it would be impossible to guarantee she wouldn’t be rostered on with her harasser, but that she wasn’t compelled to work with him.
She told the airline that if she couldn’t swop the shifts, she would just call in sick but as a casual, this meant she wouldn’t get paid.
Rowlands said she felt she had no other option but to quit and leave the aviation industry altogether.
A spokeswoman for Qantas told travel weekly the airline takes harassment in the workplace very seriously.
“All employees are required to do mandatory training on our values and policies, including Standards of Conduct, and we will always address any behaviour that’s not consistent with our expectations,” the spokeswoman said.
“Once we became aware of the incident, it was thoroughly investigated.”
“The employee immediately apologised and showed remorse.”
“It was clearly inappropriate and a number of steps were taken to directly address the conduct with the individual.
“WE OFFERED HANNAH LOTS OF SUPPORT, INCLUDING ROSTERING FLEXIBILITY.”
“We assured her that she would never be compelled to work with the person with whom she made the claims.”
Rowlands told the Project she is using the incident to encourage other victims to come forward.
She said many have already.
“MAYBE THEY CAN COME FORWARD AND THEY WON’T FEEL SCARED.”
“And then by the time my kids go to work, my little girl or boy will be safe from this behaviour.”
“And if not, they’ll have the tools to report it properly and get justice.”
Source: The Project