Rio Tinto receives national recognition for anti-domestic violence stance

13 September 2018

Rio Tinto has been recognised at the 2018 Women in Resources National Awards (WIRNA) for its commitment to gender diversity and breaking the cycle of violence against women.

At an awards breakfast at Parliament House in Canberra this morning, Rio Tinto was named winner of the Excellence in Diversity Programs and Performance Award while Brisbane-based employee Rachel Durdin was named winner of the Gender Diversity Champion in Australian Resources category.  

Rio Tinto became the first global mining company in Australia to receive White Ribbon workplace accreditation earlier this year led by Rio Tinto Growth & Innovation group executive Stephen McIntosh. 

"I’m proud of the progress we’re seeing in diversity and inclusion across our company. Our White Ribbon workplace accreditation reflects a commitment to creating a safe, gender equal and respectful place to work. 

"We all have a role to play in encouraging inclusion across the resources sector, enabling people to feel supported to perform at their best," Stephen said.

Rio Tinto general manager of Growth & Innovation Project Shaping Rachel Durdin was recognised for her  significant role in advocating for women in the mining industry. She was instrumental in driving Rio Tinto’s family and domestic violence response and achievement of its White Ribbon workplace accreditation. 

"It has been a long journey but I’m so pleased with how far we have come in achieving real change for women in our sector. While there’s a long way to go, we are headed in the right direction by providing safe and supportive workplaces and continued opportunities for women in all types of roles across our business," Rachel said. 

The Inclusion Network at Rio Tinto’s Weipa Operations in far north Queensland, was highly commended in the Excellence in Diversity Programmes and Performance category for championing a workforce inclusive of female and Indigenous employees. 

Rio Tinto Growth & Innovation strategic mine planning manager Jo-Anne Dudley was also highly commended in the Exceptional Woman in Australian Resources category for developing strategies to promote the entry of women into engineering. Rio Tinto Gove Operations general manager Linda Murry was recognised as a finalist in the Gender Diversity Champion in Australian Resources category.

Energy Resources Australia (ERA) emergency services officer Katrina Bangay was awarded the Special Judges Award (Industry Contribution) in the Outstanding Australian Trade, Operator or Technician category. She was also a finalist in the Exceptional Woman in Australian Resources category and ERA was a finalist in the Excellence in Diversity Programs and Performance category. 

WIRNA is organised in partnership between the Minerals Council of Australia, Chamber of Minerals and Energy Western Australia, NSW Minerals Council, South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy, Tasmanian Minerals and Energy Council and Queensland Resources Council.


White Ribbon Australia Workplace Accreditation

The White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation Program recognises workplaces that are taking active steps to stop violence against women, accrediting them as a White Ribbon Workplace.

White Ribbon Workplaces engender a whole of organisation commitment to stop violence against women, meeting 15 criteria under three standards to create a safer and more respectful workplace.

The program builds on existing gender equality and diversity initiatives, providing the tools to strengthen a culture of respect and gender equality at all levels of the organisation. The program supports organisations to respond to and prevent violence against women, whether it occurs inside or outside the organisation, through supporting women experiencing violence, holding perpetrators to account, supporting all employees to challenge inappropriate behaviour and strengthening gender equality within the broader community.

 The Workplace Accreditation Program is internationally recognised and has reached over 600,000 employees nationally. The program has been independently evaluated and referenced by a group of HR, human rights, domestic violence and education professionals, ensuring a best practice product.

For further information: 

About Rachel Durdin

Rachel has worked across a number of industries in both the private and public sector. She has held accountability for delivering varied business outcomes including project delivery, business improvements and mergers and acquisitions. She is currently Rio Tinto’s Growth and Innovation Project Shaping general manager working with product groups to identify acceptable project boundaries and scope aligned with the company’s strategy, priorities, and values. Rachel actively supports Rio Tinto's membership on the Australian Male Champions of Change group which is set up to materially shift the balance for gender equality in Australia. Her role is to leverage the membership and the work of other organisations to ensure Rio Tinto is an equal and safe workplace for all employees. She was also instrumental in Rio Tinto’s recent achievement of becoming a White Ribbon Accredited Workplace.