BHP seeks suppliers to jump-start gender diversity push

Australian mining giant BHP is doubling down on efforts to break the mining sector’s acute gender imbalance and lack of diversity, broadening its push to the thousands of suppliers, contractors and consultants it works with worldwide.

New data reveals women hold just 17 per cent of the 200,000 mining jobs nationally, according to the federal government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency, making it the most male-dominated industry in Australia.

BHP is pushing for supplier partnerships to lift workforce inclusion and diversity across the business.Credit:Rob Homer

BHP has set a target for women to make up half of its 26,000 direct employees by 2025. Although having lifted female representation from 17.6 per cent to 24.5 per cent since 2016, the miner is tracking behind the pace of change it says is needed. BHP’s female representation last year grew 2.1 percentage points, below its 3 per cent per year goal.

In a new publication circulated among companies BHP works with in its network of global supply partners this week, the miner is seeking to advance its push to drive for meaningful inclusion and diversity improvements across its indirect workforce and value chain. BHP’s gender-balance goal applies to its direct employees, but it is encouraging contractors – which account for 60 per cent of its 72,000-strong workforce – to mirror the same balance.


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