With the spotlight firmly on behaviour in the WA mining and resources sector, Rio Tinto took the step of publishing an eight-month independent study of its global workforce overseen by former Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick – asking more than 10,000 people to share their experiences, and incorporating more than 100 group listening sessions, 85 confidential individual listening sessions and nearly 140 individual written submissions.
The resultant report, Everyday Respect makes for stark reading: nearly half of respondents experienced bullying, 28.2 per cent of women and 6.7 per cent of men had experienced sexual harassment at work, rates of racism were high and LGBTQI+ employees experienced elevated rates of bullying, sexual harassment and racism. But the study also started a significant conversation on the pathway to change.
In 2021, Rio Tinto held its first STOP For Respect, pausing its WA operations to discuss the subject, and it has now also delivered Building Everyday Respect training to 86 per cent of its leaders and MATE bystander training to more than 82 per cent of its employees and category 1 contractors. Rio Tinto made the Everyday Respect report and its recommendations public in the hope it would spark a cultural shift in its own workplace as well as generate conversations about disrespectful behaviours more broadly.