Mining and Heavy Industries, Staffing, Recruitment & Training

BHP execs signal real push for 50% women

Iron ore stockpiles at Port Hedland. Photo: BHP Billiton

Mining giant BHP Billiton will remove industry experience requirements from some of its new roles in an effort to push the share of women to half of its workforce.

In an interview with the AFR this week, BHP’s president of operations, minerals Australia, Mike Henry, said the hiring policy changes were part of the miner’s efforts to increase women in its 28,000-strong workforce from 17.5% to 50% by 2025.

“We know we are up against it, but if we don’t make a bold declaration we will consign ourselves to incremental gains that are not much better than the status quo,” Henry was quoted as saying.

“Technology is changing the nature of mining, and it gives us opportunities to rethink how we do the work,” head of people capital Athalie Williams added, according to the report.

Roles being targeted for change include removing a requirement for some roles of 15 years’ experience in mining.

“We stepped back and said, ‘Is that really what we need to be recruiting for? Or can we think about it as skills we want the individual to have?’” Henry said.

“We advertised these roles in a different way, which got more people interested because they didn’t self-select out of the process based upon a lack of specific experience.

“For the people who were recruiting, it got them thinking in a very different way about the pool that they were recruiting from. They started chasing after people on LinkedIn. They looked at the various technical forums outside of the mining space to bring people in. Not only is that giving us the benefit of the gender balance and the diverse thinking that comes with that, we got the added benefit of bringing people from a lot wider range of disciplines who are going to make us an even stronger team.”

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