What’s Been Happening in Australia in Relation to Sexual Harassment, Discrimination and Bullying from 4 January 2021 – 10 January 2021

BHP on Target for Gender Balance

BHP’s chief executive Mike Henry has said that the nation’s largest miner has ‘made significant advances in it’s push to break the industry’s acute workforce gender imbalance by lifting the number of women it has hired or promoted.’ This was a target the industry leading mining company set for itself four years ago: to improve diversity and achieve gender balance across its 30,000-employee workforce by 2025. Despite the target being set for 2025, recent statistics reveal that the company has achieved its goal. Since hitting it’s target, female representation has increased from 17 to 26.5 per cent, including a two per cent increase in the 2019-20 period alone. The company described the increase as ‘good progress.’ ‘An inclusive culture and diverse workforce is mission critical for BHP,’ Mr Henry told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. ‘That means a shift in culture to one that is more inclusive, where it is safe to speak up, where ideas get heard and where people feel like they can contribute at their full capacity and can develop themselves. Part of enabling that is through ensuring that we have a workforce that is balanced,’ he added.

Local Council Granted Discrimination Exemption to Train Women Only Truck Drivers

The Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) has granted the Ipswich City Council an exemption under the Anti-Discrimination Act, allowing the Council to advertise for a female-only training program for waste truck drivers. The Council argued before the QIRC that women face both socio-economic and financial barriers to obtaining the Heavy Rigid (HR) licence required to become a waste truck driver. The QIRC granted the Council’s request, stating that doing otherwise would continue to disadvantage women who wished to become truck drivers. The QIRC’s order applies for three years and will allow the Ipswich City Council to advertise a female-only training program. Long a male-dominated field, a 2019 report found that women only make up about 26 per cent of the transport industry workforce in Australia and 17 per cent of the road transport sector.