Everyday Respect

Everyday Respect

Creating a safe, respectful and inclusive workplace. Every day. For everyone.

This year marks two years since we released the Everyday Respect Report. We are continuing our work to implement the 26 recommendations, and this year we will undertake a Progress Review to understand what has changed for the better in our culture and what needs more work. The Progress Review will again be conducted by EB & Co, the company who independently ran the original review. Rio Tinto has committed to publishing the Progress Review report both internally and externally.  

Disruptive cultural change is hard. It requires our organisation to listen and regularly check in with each other as we continue to evolve on this multi-year journey to Everyday Respect. The findings from the Progress Review will help inform and shape the next phase of our culture journey; help us understand the types of issues our people are facing and provide an opportunity to make our business more safe, inclusive and respectful.

Current employees will have access through internal systems to provide input for the review. For those who have left Rio Tinto, you are welcome to write to EB & Co directly with your suggestions for change or feedback. If you wish to make a formal report, please contact our confidential reporting program myVoice

Everyday Respect report

Everyday Respect report
Everyday Respect Report
1.4 MB
Everyday Respect Report [ES]
3.82 MB
Everyday Respect Report [FR]
1.44 MB
Everyday Respect Report [MN]
1.73 MB

Making meaningful change

We are making real, meaningful change in our business, and building a Rio Tinto we can all be proud of.

The Everyday Respect report highlighted that bullying, sexual harassment and racism are occurring at an alarming rate in our organisation. The review identified that from 2017–22:

  • bullying and sexism were systemic across Rio Tinto worksites, with almost half of the people experiencing bullying
  • 28.2% of women and 6.7% of men experienced sexual harassment at work
  • 21 women reported actual or attempted rape or sexual assault
  • racism was prevalent across a number of locations. The survey showed people working in a country different to their birth, experienced high rates of racism, and 39.8% of men and 31.8% of women who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander in Australia experienced racism.

Since releasing the report, we have reflected on the findings and are focusing on what people have told us needs to change.

We are finding better ways to support and empower our people, which means creating an environment where everyone feels comfortable being themselves, has the courage to speak up if something is not right and listens to each other with care and curiosity.

We know people want us to make these changes as quickly as possible – we want this too.

We are working closely with independent experts and people across our business to design and implement the right solutions, taking into account local experiences and context.

We are also working closely with industry bodies and other resources companies across the globe to implement changes and collectively evolve our industry and improve workplace behaviour. This included launching a pilot program, ‘Building Safe and Respectful Workplaces’, with BHP and Fortescue, aimed at helping to eliminate disrespectful behaviour in the resources industry including sexual harassment, bullying and racism. The three companies have worked together with leading experts to design and develop the industry-first program aimed at educating new entrants to the sector.

People from every level of our business are working together to implement the recommendations across three focus areas:

  • Leadership and behavioural change
  • Facilities, safety mindset and risk management
  • Caring response

Our workstreams and commitments

To implement the 26 recommendations outlined in the Everyday Respect report, we are focusing on 3 workstreams, each with underlying commitments:

Workstream 1: Leadership and behavioural change

Ensuring all leaders – from our Executive Committee to the frontline – live our values and create a safe, respectful and inclusive work environment for everyone. All our people are empowered and encouraged to speak up freely when they see behaviours that are not aligned to our values.

Recommendation A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, B3, B4, B5, B6, B7, D4 of the report.

In 2023, our focus has been on:

  • promoting respect
  • investing in leadership development
  • creating an inclusive workplace
  • increasing support for our people
  • ensuring equality through pay equity.

While we are making progress, we have more to do to eliminate harmful behaviours from our workplace and are deeply committed to doing so. This work remains a priority in 2024.

  • Some ways we’re acting on this
    • In 2023, 83.5% (34,230) of our employees completed a learning module on building psychological safety and speaking out when they see harmful behaviours. 
    • We continued to evolve our graduate program in 2023 and recruited our biggest cohort yet with 298 graduate roles. Of these, 51.7% in new graduate roles were women and 37.6% were from communities where we are building new businesses. We also continued to expand our Early Career Support Network for employees in graduate, interns, trainees and apprentices globally.
    • In 2023, we have spent time developing and testing new leadership programs that will launch in 2024 and help our leaders create a safe environment, empower their teams and perform together. 
    • We’ve increased our gender diversity – increasing the number of women in our workforce by 1.4% to 24.3% in 2023. 
    • We surveyed more than 6,300 new starters and internal appointments (from August 2022–2023) to help identify and remove any structural barriers in our recruitment experience. 
    • We established 3 global Employee Resource Groups for LGBTQ+, Gender Equality and Neuroinclusion and the Elevating Voices Network in Australia for our Indigenous and First Nations employees. Led by employees they seek to elevate the voices of underrepresented groups so that the unique challenges they face are recognised, heard and addressed. Sponsored by ExCo members and aligned to our business strategy, they seek to both address systemic challenges and enhance business decisions. They have been set up using a scaleable framework. Our intention is to expand on this in 2024. 
    • Our Aluminium Pacific Operation’s ‘Women in Leadership’ program held another targeted recruitment round, successfully hiring 15 women into operational leadership roles starting in November 2023. 
    • We’re developing, empowering, and investing in our people through the Rio Tinto Safe Production System and the Voyager development program for senior leaders. We continued to offer the Voyager leadership program to all senior leaders to help them lead authentically with care, courage and curiosity. This program has now been completed by 72% of our senior leaders.
    • We’ve reviewed our incentives and performance management framework. From 2023, our performance management and incentives for around 24,000 people was aligned to our strategy and efforts to improve culture: focusing on both how and what we deliver. 
James Martin

Workstream sponsor: James Martin

Chief People Officer

Our leaders are integral to this significant and sustainable cultural change. This year we are training leaders who have people reporting to them on how to create a psychological safe workplace and to move from bystander to upstander.”

Workstream 2: Facilities, safety mindset and risk management

Making all camp, village and office facilities safe, respectful and inclusive. This includes making sure we’re applying the same safety and risk processes that we use to prevent harm in operations to create a safe environment for all employees and contractors.

Recommendations B2, B8, B9, D1, D2, D3 and D5 of the report.

  • Some ways we’re acting on this
    • We’ve set global standards to improve existing and implement new village councils across managed villages and camps to provide a safe and constructive way for employees and contractors to raise concerns and give feedback. These principles are also being adopted in some of our office locations. 
    • Councils are now operating in the majority of villages globally providing a safe and constructive way for employees and contractors to raise concerns and give feedback on their experiences at villages and camps. 
    • All sites have completed a self-assessment of their facilities, and unsafe areas such as locks, lighting, and access to amenities have been updated. This work is ongoing and done in collaboration with our employees to make our facilities safe and more inclusive. 
    • We’ve urgently addressed safety and hygiene risks in our facilities such as security, lighting, timely access to clean and well-maintained restrooms and changerooms. 
    • We’re making changes to our facilities to make them more inclusive. Examples include upgrading and adding new toilet facilities (including more women and gender-neutral options), as well as improving accessibility and functionality such as wheelchair access at visitor centres, prayer rooms, return-to-work rooms and locker rooms. Free sanitary products are now available across the majority of our facilities globally.  
    • Our contracting partners and their employees make up a substantial part of our workforce. Their safety while working and living in our sites, offices and villages is a priority to us. We’ve learnt through the Everyday Respect journey the importance of listening to learn about your culture and how to make it safer for everyone. In 2023 we kicked off a significant investment in contractor listening sessions. Modelled off the same approach used in the original Everyday respect listening exercise, we are learning about how our contractors experience our culture. These will continue into 2024 and drive learnings to improve contractor experience and safety. 
Kellie Parker

Workstream sponsor: Kellie Parker

Chief Executive, Australia

Feeling safe and included in the workplace helps people to be their best, share ideas and concerns. This should start as soon as you begin work for Rio. There is a lot we can learn from our safety journey and this workstream will leverage all of that knowledge.”

Workstream 3: Caring response

This is about ensuring people feel it is easy and safe to call out harmful behaviours, highlight issues when they happen, and are supported. This includes introducing early intervention options and improving how we respond to formal complaints in the workplace.

Recommendations B1, C1 and C2 of the report. 

  • Some ways we’re acting on this
    • We have reviewed the way we respond to disrespectful and harmful behaviours, to strengthen and create a more trusted, culturally safe, caring and human centred response that focuses on care and healing at every step of the journey. To achieve this, we have expanded the scope of work for our Business Conduct Office (BCO). 
    • We made new appointments across the BCO, in the Global Investigations, Triage, and Reporting and Governance teams. 
    • The BCO also launched Care Hub in July 2023 in Australia, New Zealand, and Mongolia and then globally in December 2023. Care Hub is an independent team of support partners to help people who have been impacted by harmful behaviours such as bullying, harassment, sexual harm and racism. Support partners are based in hubs across Australia, Mongolia, Montreal and EMEA.  
    • Care Hub is designed and guided by best practice, trauma-informed care principles of safety, trust, choice, collaboration, empowerment, and respect for diversity. 
    • The end-to-end case management process was modified, with new Triage & Assessment and Investigations manuals published in 2023. The manuals incorporate the trauma-informed and people-centric approach, working with Care Hub and other tools, such as the Spectrum of Conduct and co-allocation model, to synergise the way BCO operates.  
Isabelle Deschamps

Workstream sponsor: Isabelle Deschamps

Chief Legal Officer, Governance & Corporate Affairs

No one should experience disrespect in our workplace or anywhere else. If harmful behaviours do occur, it’s important that we have a more caring and trauma-informed response to guide and support our people.”

Sarah, our Chief Business Conduct Officer

Sarah joined Rio Tinto in March 2022 as our Chief Business Conduct Officer and is leading work to improve the way we support those impacted by harmful and disrespectful behaviours.


“Everyone deserves the right to come to work and do their job without experiencing any harm, but we know from the Everyday Respect report that this isn’t always the case.  

We need to provide a safe space for those who have been impacted to be able to speak up, be genuinely heard and supported.  

In 2023, we set up our Care Hub, a team of specialists with expertise in providing end to end support for our people who have been impacted by harmful and disrespectful behaviours at work, directly or otherwise. Since launching we have helped around 400 people, including leaders with early intervention strategies and guidance on managing these behaviours in their teams. The main concerns raised centre around bullying behaviours, sexual harassment and discriminatory conduct.  

We know that there is not a one size fits all approach to responding to harmful and disrespectful behaviours, and that to create a safe environment to speak up, eliminate poor behaviours and shift culture, we need to offer different options to resolve requests for help. That is why we have introduced a repertoire of responses to these behaviours. This includes empowering and upskilling leaders and others to intervene early when they see issues emerging, coaching, mediation, team education and training, team health checks and more.  

While a workplace investigation remains an option, we have sought to minimise any further harm to our people by introducing an investigation methodology that is informed by trauma care principles of safety, trust, choice, collaboration, empowerment and respect for diversity.  

By helping our leaders identify, intervene, respond and learn when they see harmful and disrespectful behaviours we will be able to have a positive impact on our company culture.  

We are already starting to see the positive impact of providing better ways for our people to seek support for the issues they have faced, but we know there are still a lot of people who don’t feel confident or empowered to speak up. I hope that I can offer those people some reassurance that they will be heard, and they matter.  

We are continually improving our programs and processes to ensure our program is inclusive of all and diverse team members know where they can go for the support and the support will be tailored to their needs.  

In 2024, I am looking forward to expanding our program, increasing accessibility and working closer with our leaders. It’s important we support our leaders to identify and resolve behavioural concerns at the earliest opportunity. When concerns are reported into the program we need to continue to find better ways of resolving concerns using alternative and constructive resolution options that will result in positive cultural change and learning.”  

All streams

We are implementing the Everyday Respect report recommendations and tracking progress.

Recommendations E1, E2, E3 and E4 of the report. 

  • Some ways we’re acting on this
    • We have an Executive Steering Committee to oversee and track progress against our commitments.
    • We provide regular updates to our employees and external stakeholders.
    • Key indicators and progress against recommendations are tracked and reported to the Executive Committee and the Board.
    • In line with recommendations E3 and E4, in 2024 we will conduct an independent progress review.  It’s purpose will be to hear again from our people.  To actively seek their reflections and lived experiences with our Everyday Respect journey.  To understand where we have made positive progress and where further progress is needed to create a safer, more respectful and inclusive work environment.

Our commitment to Everyday Respect

Our Chief Executive and Executive Committee have signed this statement to demonstrate their full commitment to the implementation of the recommendations within the Report. This work is key to achieving our shared ambition of creating a safe, respectful and inclusive organisation for our colleagues across all locations, every day.

The Everyday Respect report highlighted deeply disturbing stories of bullying, sexual harassment, racism, and other forms of discrimination within our company. Stories that took courage for people to step forward, tell and relive.

We feel shame and enormous regret to have learned that these behaviours are systemic across our workplace. These behaviours are unacceptable and are not the Rio Tinto we want to be.

We offer our heartfelt apology to every team member, past and present, who has suffered because of these behaviours. We have been reflecting on how these behaviours were normalised in our business and we know we need to lead in a different way to ensure people are safe, respected and included.

Since the report was published we have been humbled and encouraged by how our organisation has discussed and responded to the challenge we have ahead. It is clear that no one individual or action can deliver the progress we need to make, but there is commitment within our teams to driving positive change. Together, we want to develop a strong, sustainable and inclusive culture – one that supports and celebrates differences, and empowers people to be their best selves. To do so we are taking meaningful and practical steps to:

  • Live our values of care, courage and curiosity every day – guiding how we work and how we treat each other.
  • Implement all 26 recommendations from the Everyday Respect report that focus on making changes:
    • Inclusive leadership at all levels to ensure the right behaviours everywhere, and that all our people are empowered and encouraged to speak up freely when they see behaviours that are not aligned to our values.
    • At our facilities by engaging with the people who use them to ensure they are safe and inclusive for everyone.
    • To provide a caring response so that people feel it is easy and safe to call out harmful behaviours, highlight issues when they happen, and are supported.

We will do so by working closely with people across our business to design and implement the right solutions with real impact, taking into account local experiences and context. And we will be transparent and show where we are making progress.

We will also share our learnings with our partners, stakeholders and the wider mining industry to help support, influence and drive change to create a safer, more inclusive, and equal industry and society.

We know that we are on a multi-year journey and that while some changes can be made today, others will take time. Through it all, we are deeply committed to continuing to listen, engage and work with colleagues and partners of Rio Tinto, to build a better organisation that can have a greater positive impact for everyone.

Jakob Stausholm, Bold Baatar, Isabelle Deschamps, James Martin, Kellie Parker, Mark Davies, Peter Cunningham, Simon Trott, Sinead Kaufman