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BHP is in the early stages of reviewing its policies, processes and behaviours in an effort to prevent racism in the workplace.

Policies being reviewed include how BHP responds to racism matters, listening to the company’s employees in order to gain a deeper understanding of racism, and building capability within leadership to ensure it is prepared to recognise racism and to take action against it.

The company also will have a racial equity working group led by chief commercial officer and executive sponsor for racial equity Vandita Pant, who said one of BHP’s greatest strengths is its diversity and that there is no place for racism.

“A workforce made up of a wide range of people from different backgrounds brings a range of different perspectives, capabilities, and overall benefits that diverse teams bring,” Pant said.

“We want every person to feel empowered and safe to bring their whole selves to work. This starts with the right attitude, words, and actions of every individual.”

Pant said BHP wants to be a company where its staff are “seen, heard, valued, and treated with dignity and respect”.

And according to BHP vice president for health and hygiene Dr Rod Gutierrez, racism is “damaging to one’s mental health” and has a “deep effect on [one’s] psychology”. He believes reviewing the company’s racism policies will facilitate a “psychologically healthy workforce”.

“For this reason, at BHP it is imperative that we work collectively to identify and eliminate racism and enable everyone to thrive and have a sense of belonging,” Gutierrez said.

“We are engaging the whole business and inviting everyone to the dialogue. Together we are imagining a future free of racial discrimination.”

BHP announced the reviews on March 21, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination where communities globally aim to foster a culture of anti-discrimination.