At Rio Tinto, the safety and wellbeing of employees is a top priority, both at work and at home. The company’s commitment to gender diversity and breaking the cycle of violence against women is part and parcel of a wholistic approach to safety, and is realized in both its leading company policies and community engagement.
Domestic abuse affects many people throughout society. Rio Tinto’s policy recognizes there is a role for employers, including mining companies, to play in addressing it. For families affected by domestic or family abuse, having a supportive workplace can be a lifeline at a very difficult time. Recognizing this, in 2018 Rio Tinto launched its Domestic and Family Violence Policy, a package of measures to protect and support employees in Canada who are experiencing domestic and family abuse, or who have an immediate relative who is experiencing abuse.
This innovative training program gives leaders and human resources team members the knowledge and skills to address what can sometimes be a sensitive issue to discuss. It also includes advice and services for implementing safety plans that protect at-risk employees, including security, new telephone numbers and email protection, as well as access to 24 hours support services and a range of specialised assistance that can also be utilized by employees while at work or at home.
Rio Tinto is proud of the progress being made within Canada’s mining industry regarding the importance of diversity and inclusion while also ensuring there are supports in place for anyone working at the company who is experiencing violence at home. The rollout of the Domestic and Family Violence Policy across Rio Tinto’s sites in Canada has provided the company the opportunity to forge partnerships with local community-based organizations, including women’s shelters and local law enforcement, that have been integral to the policy’s success. By providing access to the right tools and supports, Rio Tinto is creating a safer work environment, whether it’s on site, in the office, or at home. Increasing awareness of domestic and family violence goes beyond its initial impact: it not only helps fight the stigma, it also encourages others to raise their voice and become advocates themselves. This initiative was recognized as a finalist by the Mining Association of Canada's Community of Interest Advisory Panel for the 2021 TSM Awards of Excellence.