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BHP has demonstrated its commitment to achieving gender balance by becoming the first mining company to surpass over 40 per cent female representation in Chile.

The major miner extracts copper from some of the world’s biggest copper deposits in Chile. Sites include the Escondida mine and the Pampa Norte operation, which comprises the Spence and Cerro Colorado mines.

BHP now has a 40.4 per cent female presence in Chile across the Escondida, Spence and Cerro Colorado mines.

The company’s female representation across its Chilean operations is more than double the national industry average, with 40.81 per cent of leadership positions in Chile held by women.

“Today we take an important step by surpassing 40 per cent of women representation in Chile,” BHP vice president of human resources for the Americas Daniel Arrieta said.

“We are proud of this achievement, but we are also aware that we have major challenges that go beyond gender balance. I hope our milestone will motivate the industry to continue bringing more women into mining.”

The milestone builds off BHP’s public commitment from 2016 to achieve gender balance by 2025. At the time, BHP only had a 17.5 per cent female presence globally.

“Achieving more than 40 per cent female representation is no coincidence,” BHP said.

“To achieve this, BHP has implemented disruptive policies in the industry, such as making progress in addressing gender pay gaps, incorporating labour flexibility, strengthening training and talent retention programs, and building infrastructure in operations adapted to the needs of women, among others.”

BHP recently helped more than 170 young people and adults from northern Chile gain new job skills through the 2023 Local Skills Development Program.