October 20: Stories and Numbers Highlighting Harassment in Mining Workplace and Solutions towards Safe, Inclusive and Respectful Workplaces

Thursday, October 20 2022
12:00 - 1:00pm (MST)
Online Only

Register at: CSPG GeoWomen Page 
This is a FREE event - All genders welcome - No membership required.


In February 2022, Rio Tinto released their report on the Workplace Culture throughout their company operations, Report into Workplace Culture at Rio Tinto.  Key findings from this report include 30% of women and 7% of men reported being sexually harassed in the workplace.  This appears to be a large difference, but 45,000 workers that are 80% male means that 2700 women and 2500 men were sexually harassed at work.  These numbers are too high, and we need to address this inappropriate behaviour but the focus has traditionally been on the experiences of women and men are essentially being silenced and not being included in the conversation or potential solutions.

The report also stated that 50% of the workers reported being bullied at work.  Racism was reported at an overall rate of 11% but the study found that the rates of racism were variable across the company and dependent on the country location.  Rates of racism are significantly higher in South Africa, with 30% of all workers experiencing racism, and in Australia, where 40% of aboriginal men reported experiencing racism.
In July 2021 the Parliament of Western Australia began an inquiry into sexual harassment against women in the fly-in/fly-out (FIFO) mining industry. 

The inquiry is focused on four key areas of concern:
⦁ Determine if there is a clear understanding of the prevalence, nature, outcomes, and reporting of sexual harassment in FIFO workplaces.
⦁ Determine if existing workplace characteristics and practices, including workplace cultures, rosters, drugs and alcohol policies and recruitment practices, adequately protect against sexual harassment.
⦁ Determine if current legislation, regulations, policies, and practices are adequate for FIFO workplaces in Western Australia.
⦁ Review actions being taken by industry and government to improve the situation. Are there any examples of good practice?

The results of this inquiry are due to be tabled in June 2022 so this talk will include discussions around the submissions and testimony to the inquiry and the recommendations towards better workplace safety. 
Mine Shift has developed the allyship and bystander intervention-based DIGGER training program that is a strong tool to help shift a workplace culture to address all forms of harassment. 

One of the key recommendations from the Rio Tinto report (B3) includes all the goals that the DIGGER Program has been addressing for years already including:
⦁ Definitions of core forms of inappropriate behaviours in the workplace and their impacts on targets, coworkers, and the company.  Specifically, discussions around sexual harassment, bullying, and racism.
⦁ Education around active bystander intervention strategies for the workplace to provide enterprise-wide common language and common goals
⦁ Provides guidance on essential information to record after an incident and encouragement to find an appropriate and safe avenue for reporting.

Susan Lomas | Lions Gate Geological Consulting Inc. and Mine Shift | Top 100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining 2018

Susan Lomas is a geologist who has worked in Timmins and Yellowknife in Canada, as well as in Mexico, Ghana, and Venezuela. She founded Lions Gate Geological Consulting Inc. in 2006 and has worked on projects around the globe. When the #metoo movement exploded in 2017, Susan reflected on her own experiences from 30 years in mining – experiences that include sexual harassment, threats, intimidation, and discrimination. She had always persisted, finding pathways through obstacles, and pushing forward with her career, but as the conversation about men and women, power and violence gained traction, Susan felt that a related conversation needed to start in the mining industry. Moved to action by the story of Pinky Mosiane, a South African miner who was assaulted and murdered on the job, Susan founded the MeToo Mining Association in February 2018. “MeToo Mining wants to let all women and men in mining who have been impacted by sexual violence and harassment know, they are not alone and that we stand in solidarity with them,” she says.

In 2018, Susan Lomas was named as one of the Top 100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining

Asyah Saif