Everyday Respect

Everyday Respect

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

We have a responsibility to create a safe, respectful and inclusive workplace.

In March 2021, we commissioned an independent review of our workplace culture to better understand, prevent and respond to harmful behaviours across our global operations. Former Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick conducted the review, and we reported the findings and recommendations in February 2022.

We are now working to implement the 26 recommendations.

Everyday Respect report

Everyday Respect report
Everyday Respect Report
1.4 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 programme, ‘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
Melanie, Head of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity, and Lead for the Everyday Respect task force, talks about how we will make real, sustainable change

Our workstreams and commitments

To implement the 26 recommendations outlined in the Everyday Respect report, we are focusing on three 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.

Our primary focus for 2022 has been on recommendations around leadership training, ensuring our sites are safe and inclusive, and improving our response to reports of unacceptable behaviour.

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 2023.

  • Some ways we’re acting on this
    • In 2022, we trained 91% of more than 7,000 leaders in the foundations of building psychological safety and moving from bystander to upstander, exceeding our target of 80% by the end of 2022.
    • As of 30 June 2023, 59% of our employees have completed a learning module on building psychological safety and becoming an upstander. This exceeds our stretch target of 50%.
    • We’ve launched Early Career Support Networks across some sites including Richards Bay Minerals and Iron Ore Company of Canada to provide mentoring and guidance to employees from a diversity of backgrounds. More will launch in the coming months.
    • We’ve conducted a parental leave experience review to help identify and remove structural barriers to gender equity.
    • People who have experienced harm have shared their story in their own words with senior leaders, to facilitate healing and deep understanding of the impact of harmful behaviours.
    • Learning from our strong safety culture and processes we have shared important information about incidents to help prevent disrespectful behaviours from continuing.
    • We’ve implemented a global standard for HR practitioners to ensure we do not re-hire people who have previously left our business because of harmful behaviour without appropriate assessment.
    • We’ve increased our gender diversity – increasing the number of women in our workforce by 1.4% to 23% in 2022 – and received an overwhelming response to recruitment campaigns targeting women who have not previously worked in the mining industry, with more than 3,000 women across Australia and New Zealand applying.
    • We’re developing, empowering, and investing in our people through the Rio Tinto Safe Production System and the Voyager development programme for senior leaders.
    • We’re reviewing our incentives and performance management framework. From 2023, our performance management and incentives for around 24,000 people will be 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 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.
    • 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.
    • 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’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 underground at Oyu Tolgoi and at all our operational Iron Ore sites, as well as at number of other locations. The roll out will continue with some locations also providing sanitary working packs for remote workers.
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’re reviewing 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’ve made new appointments to BCO’s global investigations team, improved processes and later this year will introduce Care Hub, an independent care unit, designed and guided by best practice, trauma-informed care principles of safety, trust, choice, collaboration, empowerment, and respect for diversity.
Isabelle Deschamps

Workstream sponsor: Isabelle Deschamps

Chief Legal Officer and External 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.


“I joined Rio at such an interesting time, a time of great reflection about culture, about our history and past events. 

My impression of Rio is that it’s a complex organisation, an organisation full of people who want to do the right thing and who have great values of care, courage and curiosity – values that we absolutely need in order to address the findings of the Everyday Respect report.

Just like for many people, it was really challenging to feel the experiences of our people. I was really sad to hear that people who have had the courage to speak up have suffered further harm as a result of our response. 

I want people who have been impacted to know that we’ve heard you: You want to know that you can be confident that when you speak up, you’ll be supported by the Business Conduct Office and your leaders. You want to understand the process when you speak up. And you want to trust that our response, our resolution and our support and care for you will be prompt.

We’re setting up a team of experts, known as the discrete unit, who are there to support and care for our people who’ve been impacted by harmful and disrespectful behaviours. The team will also be available to support leaders, HR professionals, witnesses or other people who have been affected by those behaviours. We’re creating a number of channels through which people can seek support and report matters to the discrete unit. 

We’re actively working to improve the myVoice (our whistleblowing programme) experience for our people. We’re also redesigning our investigation process to make sure it is trauma informed, caring and people-centred. Finally we’re strengthening our reporting and transparency. 

While we’re doing this, we’re also making sure we engage with diverse voices to understand how we can further improve our care and response, and ensure our approach is culturally safe, inclusive and accessible.

We’ve made progress, but we know there is much more to do.”

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’ve established 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.

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, Alf Barrios, Arnaud Soirat, Bold Baatar, Isabelle Deschamps, Ivan Vella, James Martin, Kellie Parker, Mark Davies, Peter Cunningham, Simon Trott, Sinead Kaufman