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Rio Tinto releases external review of workplace culture – with shocking result

today2022.02.05. 32

Background

Rio Tinto report reveals a culture of sexual harassment, bullying, and racism

A report released by Rio Tinto (RIO.AX)(RIO.L) on Tuesday outlined a culture of bullying, harassment, and racism at the global mining giant, including 21 complaints of actual or attempted rape or sexual assault over the past five years. While the company is committed to change its culture, there are still significant challenges across Rio Tinto’s workplace culture, including that:

  • Bullying is systemic, experienced by almost half of the survey respondents.
  • Sexual harassment and everyday sexism occur at unacceptable rates.
  • Racism is common across a number of areas.
  • Employees do not believe that the organisation is psychologically safe which impacts on their trust in the reporting systems.
  • Harmful behaviour occurs by and between employees, managers, and leaders, including senior leaders.
  • Unique workplace features, such as the hierarchical, male dominated culture, create risk factors.
  • A capability gap in leading and managing people exists across many levels of the organisation particularly on the frontline.
  • People, policies and systems are not properly embedded or “lived” across the organisation.
  • Harmful behaviour is often tolerated or normalised.
  • Harmful behaviour by serial perpetrators is often an open secret.
  • Employees believe that there is little accountability, particularly for senior leaders and so called “high performers”, who are perceived to avoid significant consequences for harmful behaviour.

Kellie Parker, Rio Tinto Australia’s chief executive, said the company is already addressing issues outlined in the report. Special attention will be given to the company’s internal reporting system after respondents said they had no confidence in complaining to their superiors and felt that doing so could put them or their career prospects in danger.

“Creating a safe, respectful work culture will encourage people of all backgrounds and diversity to thrive in our organisations,” Rio Tinto’s Australian chief executive Kellie Parker told Reuters.

Rio Tinto said reforms will focus on a commitment from the company’s leadership to create a safe and inclusive working environment, including by increasing diversity within the company.

Read the full report here.

Written by: Mihaly Nagy

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