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Rio Tinto report reveals harassment and racism | Blue Mountains Gazette

A report released by Rio Tinto describes 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.

Nearly half of all employees who responded to an external review of the minor’s workplace culture commissioned by Rio Tinto said they had experienced bullying, while racism was found to be common in a number of domains.

Rio Tinto chief executive Jakob Stausholm said the results were “disturbing” and that the company would implement all 26 recommendations in the report by former Australian sex discrimination commissioner Elizabeth Broderick.

“The revelation for me was twofold,” Stausholm told Reuters.

“I hadn’t realized how much bullying exists in the business and secondly that it’s quite systemic – the three issues of bullying, sexual harassment and racism…it’s extremely disturbing.”

Rio Tinto launched the review in March last year, shortly after Stausholm took charge of the company following a widespread backlash against the company after it blew up the rock shelters of Juukan Gorge, 46,000 years old, to expand an iron ore mine.

More than 10,000 employees, nearly a quarter of its 45,000 employees, shared their experiences and insights for the study.

The report, released on Tuesday, found that almost 30% of women and about 7% of men have experienced sexual harassment at work, with 21 women reporting actual or attempted rape or sexual assault.

Racism was a “significant challenge” for employees at many sites. People working in a country different from their country of birth have experienced high rates of racism, while nearly 40% of men who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander in Australia have experienced racism.

“I have fought racism in every corner of this company,” an employee said anonymously.

Rio Tinto said the reforms will focus on a commitment from company management to create a safe and inclusive work environment, including increasing diversity within the company.

It would also ensure the security of the company’s remote mine site facilities and make it easier for staff to report unacceptable behavior.

UnionsWA Secretary Owen Whittle said much more needed to be done to keep resource workers safe.

“With nearly half of the workforce reporting bullying, it’s clear they’ve let workers down for a long time and need to do a lot more to prevent harassment and bullying on the premises. work,” he said.

Rio Tinto’s report comes before the release of another report by the Western Australian state government later this year on sexual harassment in the state’s mining camps.

WA Minister Rita Saffioti said she was troubled by the number of allegations.

“You want everyone to be able to feel safe in their workplace. Also especially in areas where you are a bit more isolated from friends and family and you want to have the most protection against this type of behavior,” she said. ABC News.

Nearly 80% of Rio Tinto’s workforce is male.

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

Australian Associated Press