16 May 2020
Elisabeth, Siobhan, Kim, Jocelyn, Pat and Nicole are some of our women of Jasper – our LGBT+ ally (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender plus allies) employee inclusion network.
May 17th marks Jasper’s third birthday and the 30th anniversary of IDAHOBIT – the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. IDAHOBIT is the day the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from the classification of diseases and related health problems.
We know we will be successful when our teams are inclusive and diverse. Inclusion and diversity isn’t just about gender equality – and that’s why it’s important we recognise days like IDAHOBIT.
Jasper has grown to over 1100 members in just three short years. Here are a few stories from our women of Jasper.
Elisabeth Knowles, Principal Projects for BHP’s Strategic Communications team and Jasper Melbourne Chapter Co-Lead, based in Melbourne, Australia said Jasper is a great resource in a normal world but in a COVID world, it has been extra special.
“We hold informal chats with people all over the world who may be isolated because they are working from home or live alone, or even have had to go back to family situations where they have people around them who are not particularly accepting.”
“It’s been wonderful to connect with those people. BHP does great work in policy and engagement year round, but especially in these times – thank you to all those who have made Jasper possible.”
Jocelyn DeLaTorre, Specialist Credit Risk, based in Houston, United States, said she is deeply grateful BHP has taken active steps in validating and supporting the LGBT+ community.
“For me, choosing to not be ashamed of being a lesbian is so often a challenging thing, much more so when there is a concern of it impacting my professional career,” said Jocelyn.
“I have been blown away by the support from so many allies at all levels of the organisations that remind me I am safe to bring my whole self to work.”
Pat Remulla, Head of Global Asset Services in Manila, Philippines, said she grew up with very traditional parents and as such, it took them some time to accept her non-traditional family set up, where she is the breadwinner and her husband is the homemaker.
“It shouldn’t matter what role or position we play, or what group we belong to in society — we should all be free to be who we want to be and respect others for their choices as well,” said Pat.
“This will help create a better and more equal world for the future generation where differences are valued and respected.”
Kim Taylor, Specialist Scheduler and Jasper Lead for Coal, based in Brisbane, Australia, said when she first joined mining over three years ago, she definitely would not have imagined there would be such an amazing LGBT+ network at BHP.
“Each year the people I meet and my experiences as the Jasper Lead for Coal are always a highlight,” said Kim.
Nicole Stockenberger, Specialist Category Management, based in Houston, United States, said she was very proud to be a part of shaping BHP’s culture through co-leading Jasper’s efforts in the Houston office and promoting LGBT+ inclusivity.
“It is encouraging to see that our work is empowering employees to feel like they are able to bring their whole selves to work and not hide a fundamental aspect of their identity,” said Nicole.
“As an actively supportive ally, I feel I have a duty to advocate for those who may be too fearful to speak for themselves.”
Siobhan Neller, a Hydrometallurgist at Olympic Dam, South Australia, said being part of Jasper, especially on the co-lead role, brings great joy to her work life every day as she works to better the speak up, speak out culture at Olympic Dam.
“I love to make others feel more comfortable to bring their whole selves at work, especially those who have been hiding parts of their lives for so long,” said Siobhan.