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The Business Council of Australia, McKinsey & Company and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency of Australia (WGEA) teamed up in a study around the growing concern about the under-representation of women in leadership.

Following three years of WGEA data and more than 40 interviews, the Women in Leadership: Lessons from Australian companies leading the way report, launched on 8 November. The report, which features four BHP case studies and quotes from Mike Henry, President Operations Minerals Australia, Athalie Williams, Chief People Officer and Jacqui McGill, Asset President, Olympic Dam, Minerals Australia, reveals a common recipe for success among those companies that have above-average representation of women in top roles.

In the report, Mike Henry explained why it was important to build a strong case for change and for leaders to articulate why gender balance is important for their business and link it directly to the company’s mission/purpose.

“We used the company’s own data to prove that diverse and inclusive assets are safer and higher performing,” Mike said.

Athalie Williams and Jacqui McGill explained how BHP have opened up roles to a diverse workforce by working with its suppliers.

“We’ve been getting involved in the base design work with equipment manufacturers to increase the range of people who can work at our sites,” Athalie said.

Jacqui McGill said she strongly believes that incremental changes down the supply chain don’t just have significant trickle through effects to the workplace but also to the wider site community.

“When you add three or four women to a crew you start to see changes,” Jacqui explained.

“The conversations in the crib (lunch) rooms get more inclusive. Amplify this effect for the whole site and you see the community change,” Jacqui said.

You can view the full Women in leadership: Lessons from companies leading the way report via the Business Council of Australia website.

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