16 August 2022
My name is Andrew Copley. I believe visible signs of inclusion and diversity — especially in the workplace — are important to show that bringing your whole self to work is not only encouraged but celebrated. I am openly gay and am proud to share.
I’ve been at BHP for nearly 7.5 years and when I first started with the company, I hid my identity and didn’t feel comfortable to bring my whole self to work; whether in the lunchroom in Brisbane or crib room on site, being asked the question “do you have a girlfriend or wife?” — it always brought a knot to my stomach. As time passed and Jasper, BHP’s LGBT+ and ally network, became more prevalent, I felt safer to share the true me and this only made me more productive and a better member of the BHP community. I didn’t have to edit myself. I could just be me.
Now, I proudly wear my rainbow lanyard in the office and my rainbow laces on Site to spark curiosity and conversation on this topic.
My current role is Manager Diversity Development and Reporting, in the Maintenance and Engineering Centre of Excellence (MECoE). I was tasked with creating a program, now called the Diversity Development Program, to attract and retain diverse talent within the MECoE and provide opportunities to build capabilities across our teams. We are tackling this in a different way, by investing in these roles above the existing teams’ headcount to ensure their development and capability is a priority and we have seen these team members creating such a huge impact within their respective teams.
Diversity is so much more than single metrics and this program is showing that by bringing individuals with diverse backgrounds, diverse cultures, and diverse thought, we can have a positive impact on the overall culture and ultimately the inclusion of our people.
I hope to be able to help create an environment where everyone’s differences are celebrated and shared so that we can have not only diverse teams, but inclusive teams, where challenging the status quo to do better and be better is just part of our ways of working.
If you’re interested in joining the team, you can apply here for our Technical Entry Program for new-to-industry talent with relevant experience or experienced professionals returning to the workforce after a career break or extended absence. The program offers flexible work options and career return support including dedicated on the job coaching, mentoring and specialised development that will enable you to put your best foot forward.