The mining move that shook the world of energy

Written by:

Katie Mehnert

Think of it as a mic drop heard around the world. 

Rio Tinto, one of the largest mining corporations, came out with a stunning report announcing major problems in its workforce, including racism, sexism, harassment, bullying, and sexual assault. The result of an external review led by former Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick, it’s like nothing we’ve seen before. It’s a raw, detailed admission of profound problems.

More than 10,000 people shared their stories -- more than a fifth of the company’s workforce.

But this is just the start. Not only because Rio Tinto, led by CEO Jakob Stausholm, has vowed to take a long series of steps to right these wrongs, but also because companies everywhere are taking notice. At ALLY, we immediately heard from people across the energy sector looking to make changes in their own companies. Be sure to visit our resources page, which guides you through what you can do.

As I told Reuters in an interview, other companies should take this as a signal that the human element can't be ignored. 

Culture eats assets for lunch. You can be replete with assets and cash, but without the kind of workplace culture people are demanding, you simply will not attract and retain talent. There is no greater resource in energy than the people who power our companies. To win over great talent, businesses must become true allies for diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The race to build workplace culture is on. And this will be a big year for change. As Hillary Holmes, chair of the Capital Markets Practice Group at Gibson Dunn wrote recently, expect transformations for environmental, social, and governance initiatives (ESG). Businesses are primed to shift strategies, tap into new financing, and face increased litigation, all while grappling with a major job crunch.

All of this takes allyship. That's why we’re building a community across the entire energy sector, empowering everyone to be a part of the solution. Be sure to visit our resources page, which guides you through what you can do.

Share your thoughts  And if you haven’t yet, be sure to check out our new site.  Sign up or sign in, and join the thousands of people who make up the energy workforce -- the greatest professional field on Earth.

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