Former AMP Capital CEO Boe Pahari

The story went that a female junior partner, who had threatened to sue the law firm for sexual harassment by a senior male partner, settled for a payment of around $100,000 and laminated blown-up copies of the settlement cheque for placemats. That was the 1990s.

Sexual harassment -- an unwelcome sexual advance, unwelcome request for sexual favours or other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature -- has been explicitly “unlawful” (in the civil, not criminal, sense) in Australia since 1992, although it’s always been in theory at least actionable as a form of sex discrimination as well, ever since that concept was first recognised.

In the '90s, there was much awkwardness in the office as it began to dawn on some men that the role of women in the workplace was inexorably shifting from a combination of functional and ornamental, to participatory. Maybe even equal.