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Mike Henry

 

With my performance-focused CEO hat on, I am absolutely convinced that having an inclusive culture and diverse workforce is mission critical for BHP. Inclusive, diverse teams perform better – because they promote safety, productivity and wellbeing. Getting this right will be a serious competitive advantage for BHP. It will help us secure and motivate the best people, we’ll be more creative, and we’ll make better decisions.

But this is also quite personal for me. Growing up in a biracial family and with a working mother, I witnessed and experienced both ends of the inclusion spectrum. I then spent the first half of my career in an environment where I was not from the mainstream, but where I had people who went the extra mile to ensure I felt wholly included. Without exception, it’s been in high-inclusion environments that I’ve thrived. Where I’ve felt most fulfilled as a person. When I’ve been most committed and motivated, and where I’ve made my most significant contribution. On the rare occasion when I’ve been in an environment I experienced as less inclusive, I haven’t been at my best – a lost opportunity for both me and those around me. I have two adult daughters and my aspiration for them is that they are able to realise their dreams and potential, unconstrained by gender, or race. I need to demonstrate the values and leadership that reflect where I’ve come from and the world that I hope for and believe is possible.

Having lead teams globally, across cultures and disciplines, my experience has been that the teams that have unlocked exceptional outcomes have been those that are highly inclusive. There’s been an excitement and enthusiasm in those teams that sees people challenge themselves, reach higher, and be more creative. Those teams are the ones that everyone wants to be part of, and the ones that truly innovate and push the organisation to new frontiers. Being part of those teams and leading them has been one of the most fulfilling aspects of my career. I am passionate about seeing people stretch themselves, learn that they’re capable of more than they perhaps thought and experience the joy of realising great outcomes.

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