Mauro Neves is Asset President at our Escondida operations in Chile. This is his story.
“Inclusion and diversity is good for business. It drives the right behaviours, the right culture and high performance.”
While I haven’t experienced any of the career progression obstacles some of my colleagues have had to face, I have experienced what it feels like to not be part of the norm, and excluded from a cultural and language perspective – from 10 years of living and working in different countries. However, as challenging as my experiences were some days, I really enjoyed them too.
I have two young daughters and I feel the obligation to leave a legacy where they, and other boys and girls, feel safe and are a success in any job they choose regardless of their gender. When my children begin their careers, I will probably be close to retirement but I’ll be truly happy if they tell me they want to pursue a career in the resources industry.
Inclusion and diversity is good for business. It drives the right behaviours, the right culture and high performance.
The key to a gender-balanced workplace is the quality of the females we attract. For example, we recently grew the presence of females in the Escondida management team at BHP from 4 per cent to 23 per cent in two and a half years.
I believe the chronic unease and field leadership safety practices we have in place at BHP have strong connections to inclusion and diversity. We need to be out there in the field, talking to colleagues and looking for and taking action on any early signs of inappropriate culture. After all, the standard a leader walks past is the standard we accept.
Leaders also play a vital role in coaching their teams to develop meaningful plans and track performance, as well as being personally accountable for the change in culture. Only then will inclusion and diversity come more naturally.
To take inclusion and diversity to next level in the workplace we all need to live the culture we aspire to every day, be passionate yet humble and admit our mistakes. Above all, we need to keep pushing, hard!