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Fairfax confirms HR complaint about “boys’ club” culture at Domain

By Gordana Davila 0 Comments NEWS, News

According to an article by Dana Adele for The Australian, Fairfax Media has collaborated on rumours that Domain.com.au's former Chief Executive Antony Catalano resigned after being summoned by the property portal's Human Resources Department regarding a complaint alleging the company’s culture resembled a “boys’ club”.

Since Catalano's impromptu exit in January, Domain chairman Nick Falloon's explanation for Catalano's departure - "he had decided to put his family first" - left many to question the authenticity of the excuse, and rather prompted an undesirable spotlight on the Australian property portal giant.

However, as Domain is about to report half-year results this month, Fairfax has released a statement to The Australian that Falloon received “formal allegations” about Domain in December.

Fairfax Media Chairman Nick Falloon. Picture: Aaron Francis

According to the statement, which was sent in response to queries regarding Fairfax's Chief Executive Greg Hywood's knowledge, or lack thereof, allegations about Domain’s culture before December, when the property portal was a fully owned Fairfax subsidiary.

A spokesman for Fairfax stated that no accusations were filed prior to the formal allegations, received by Domain Chairman in December of 2017. It was in January that Catalano first learned of the claims.

Catalano denied the allegations but did relinquish his position as Chief Executive at Domain. Since accepting his resignation, a global search has undergone for his successor.

A report in Fairfax’s the Australian Financial Review claimed Catalano presided over a male-dominated culture which some female employees found to be an uncomfortable work environment.

Former staff members claimed to have witnessed female co-workers being referred to as “doll” and “babe”, according to a report on page three of the Australian ­Financial Review.

Thus far, Catalano has declined to ­comment on any allegations.

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