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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Position Statement

27 June 2023

This Position Statement sets out ICMM Members’ collective commitment to improving diversity, equity and inclusion in the industry and positively influencing the communities that we are a part of. Our collective commitment is made in addition to the individual company requirements set out in ICMM’s Mining Principles.

Inclusive workplaces and communities foster the creativity, innovation and collaboration needed to solve today’s complex challenges and tackle tomorrow’s. They afford fair treatment to all and ensure people from all backgrounds are valued and have opportunities to thrive. Diverse and inclusive workforces are more productive and profitable due to the varied perspectives they bring to innovation and problem solving[1], and the respect of human rights.

Challenges relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion impact a wide cross-section of workers and community members. Despite the mining and metals industry’s efforts in recent years, the persistent presence of gender inequality deserves increased attention. Globally, women’s participation in mining is less than 14% of the total workforce. This places mining at the bottom of industry rankings.[2] Women in large-scale mining are less likely to hold technical positions which are generally higher paying.[3] Women, in particular, but also other underrepresented groups[4] are significantly more likely to experience physical, sexual, and psychological violence, bullying, harassment, discrimination, and assault within the mining workplace.[5] The compounded impact of these behaviours and inequalities on women and underrepresented groups are barriers to entry and progression for these individuals[6]. They diminish the attractiveness of the industry as a place to build a meaningful career and impact on stakeholders’ trust in and acceptance of the industry. Failure to manage these issues will create operational, reputational and systems-level risks for the industry commensurate with other business risks.

As an industry, we have a duty to protect the health and safety of workers. We aim to attract the best talent and to offer work experiences characterised by safety, equity, wellbeing, respect, and belonging. Inclusive workplaces enable all workers to meet their full potential and protect them against stigma and intolerance. Within our sphere of influence – with our contractors, suppliers, and customers — and among our host communities and other stakeholders, we have the ability to foster broader social change.

Through our ambition, we will prioritise and accelerate diversity, equity and inclusion action across the membership and the wider industry, partnering with our association members to expand our reach, and engaging with host communities, governments, and other stakeholders to support our actions to help create change in society.

Many member companies already have individual diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. This Position Statement represents a joint ambition from companies that make up one-third of the global mining and metals industry and speaks to our collective ambition. These commitments were approved by ICMM’s Council on
2 June 2023[7].

Relationship Between the ICMM Mining Principles and Position Statements

All ICMM member companies implement ICMM’s Mining Principles as a condition of membership. This includes commitments to implement 10 principles throughout their businesses, to report in line with the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Framework and to obtain independent external assurance that the ICMM commitments are being met. This framework is described in detail at https://www.icmm.com/en-gb/our-principles.

In 2022, we strengthened the Mining Principles to support improved diversity, equity, and inclusion across our membership. We added a new performance expectation (PE3.9) and updated eight others across the following Principles: 02 Decision Making, 03 Human Rights, 04 Risk Management, 05 Health and Safety and 09 Social Performance. These additions demonstrate how integral diversity, equity and inclusion is to any responsible mining company. The updates included:

  • Adding actions to eliminate all forms of harassment and unfair discrimination from workplaces.
  • Including proactive steps to achieve gender equality and the participation of all peoples.
  • Cementing the importance of psychological safety alongside physical health and safety.

Table 1 sets out the specific updates made to the Mining Principles to support improved diversity, equity, and inclusion across our membership.

Table 1: Updates to the ICMM Mining Principles

  • 2.2 — Support Responsible Business Partners

    Support the adoption of responsible physical and psychological health and safety, environmental, human rights and labour policies and practices by joint venture partners, suppliers, and contractors, based on risk.

  • 3.4 — Respect the Rights of Workers

    Respect the rights of workers by not employing child or forced labour; avoiding human trafficking; not assigning hazardous/dangerous work to those under 18; eliminating all forms of harassment and discrimination; respecting freedom of association and collective bargaining; and providing an appropriate mechanism to address workers grievances.

  • 3.5 — Provide Fair Pay and Working Hours

    Equitably remunerate employees with wages that equal or exceed legal requirements or represent a competitive wage within that job market (whichever is higher) and assign regular and overtime working hours within legally required limits.

  • 3.8 — Promote Workplace Diversity

    Implement policies and practices to respect the rights and interests of women that reflect gender-informed approaches to work practices and job design, and that protect against all forms of discrimination and harassment, and behaviours that adversely impact on women’s successful participation in the workplace.

  • 3.9 [New] — Promote an Inclusive Workplace

    Implement policies and practices to respect the rights and interests of all workers and improve workforce representation in the workplace so it is more inclusive.

  • 4.3 — Systematically Manage Health, Safety and Environmental Risks

    Implement risk-based controls to avoid/ prevent, minimise, mitigate and/or remedy physical and psychological health, safety and environmental impacts to workers, local communities, cultural heritage, and the natural environment, based upon a recognised international standard or management system.

  • 5.1 — Continually Improve Health and Safety

    Implement practices aimed at continually improving workplace physical and psychological health and safety, and monitor performance for the elimination of workplace fatalities, serious injuries, psychosocial hazards, and prevention of occupational diseases, based upon a recognised international standard or management system.

  • 5.2 — Provide Health and Safety Training

    Provide workers with training in accordance with their responsibilities for physical and psychological health and safety and implement health surveillance and risk-based monitoring programmes based on occupational exposures.

  • 9.3 — Conduct Local Stakeholder Engagement

    Conduct stakeholder engagement based upon an analysis of the local context and provide local stakeholders with access to appropriate and effective mechanisms for seeking resolution of grievances related to the company and its activities.

In accordance with the Mining Principles, ICMM has also developed a number of Position Statements that further elaborate member commitments to particular issues, including through this commitment, on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Company members comply with these requirements by incorporating them into their policies, systems, or operational practices.

Further information on these commitments can be found at https://www.icmm.com/en-gb/our-principles.

Recognition Statements

ICMM members recognise that diverse and inclusive workforces and communities are essential to realising the industry’s full potential. We are united in the belief that discrimination, harassment, or assault of any kind have no place in the industry or anywhere else in society.

We recognise:

  • Our duty, and the increased effort that is required, to remove the inequalities within the industry, and to help eliminate harmful behaviours that exist in society appearing differently across countries, industries, and companies.
  • The critical importance of psychological health and safety, which is as essential as physical health and safety, to our goal of eliminating fatalities and improving wellbeing. It is the outcome we seek from the safe environment we aim to create in all our workplaces, be they in an office or at a mine site or anywhere in between.
  • Our efforts must extend beyond our own employees to also influence fairer, safer, more positive workplaces for our contractors and suppliers.
  • The value of diverse and inclusive workplaces. We acknowledge that the industry has been under representative of women and minority groups[8], and that without diverse and inclusive workplaces, our companies cannot realise their full potential.
  • The unfair impact of bias, both conscious and unconscious, in decision making and the design of workplace systems, policies and processes[9], and the need to recognise and correct those biases.
  • The importance of working collectively as a membership and with others to address the primary causes of harmful behaviours, given their potential to significantly affect people’s human rights, health and wellbeing, so we can eliminate them from our workplaces, contribute to change in communities, and influence a positive cultural shift in society.
  • That demonstrating our commitment and taking action on these critical issues is aligned with our vision of healthy, safe, and sustainable workplaces enabled by responsibly produced minerals and metals. We know it is key to earning the trust of our employees and stakeholders.


In addition to the existing commitments under ICMM’s Mining Principles, we collectively commit to:

Work together to improve the experiences of all workers, and eradicate discrimination, harassment, and assault of any kind in our workplaces, such that our efforts also positively influence the communities in which we work, and contribute to a beneficial cultural shift across society.

To help us fulfil this commitment, we will undertake the following actions by the end of 2024:

  1. Accelerate Action – In addition to our existing individual and collective actions, we will develop a roadmap for diversity, equity and inclusion that accelerates efforts to eliminate harmful behaviours from our workplaces and communities. The roadmap will outline the proximity and direction of our ambition, setting out key milestones to achieving our goals (see below). It will support the development and execution of actions that will contribute to positive social change. The roadmap will include the development of tools and resources and expand the scope of our already strong physical health and safety practices to address psychological wellbeing.
  2. Set Goals – We will set company goals, relevant to our operating contexts, to eliminate all forms of harassment and discriminatory behaviours, and improve diversity, equity and inclusion. Further, we will agree on a collective goal or goals aimed at creating workplaces and communities that better reflect the aspirations of society for diversity and inclusion. Recognising the many contextual and operating differences of our membership, these goals will focus on the systematic barriers to diversity, equity and inclusion that exist across the mining and metals industry. They will help drive and demonstrate progress. Further, we commit to revising the goals as they are met in order to not only to sustain, but to drive ongoing progress.
  3. Increase Transparency – We will disclose our aggregated performance against our goals, such that it contributes to an appropriate depiction of mining’s impact, in accordance with the ICMM Social and Economic Reporting Framework, disaggregating data by gender and ethnicity[10] where possible.[11] In doing so, we will identify and report on areas in which we are not sufficiently progressing and ensure there is continued focus on them until we fulfil our commitment. This includes embedding objectives for diversity, equity, and inclusion into employee engagement, stakeholder consultation, reporting frameworks, and monitoring and evaluating our progress.
  4. Collaborate for Greater Effect – We will seek the participation of people from underrepresented groups in the design of the actions set out above, as well as engaging majority groups as advocates. By working together as members and with industry associations, governments, communities, investors and others we will help find solutions to these pervasive challenges and contribute to broader industry and social cultural change.


1. Fischhoff, M. and Turner, L. (2021) 'How diversity increases productivity', Network for Business Sustainability (NBS). Available at: https://nbs.net/how-diversity-increases-productivity

2. Rick, K., Martén, I., & Von Lonski, U. (2017) Untapped Reserves: Promoting Gender Balance in Oil and Gas. Available at: https://www.bcg.com/publications/2017/energy-environment-people-organization-untapped-reserves

3. Perks, R., & Schulz, K. (2020) 'Gender in Oil, Gas and Mining: An Overview of the Global State-of-Play'. The Extractive Industries and Society, 7(2), 380-388.

4. Rio Tinto (2022), Everyday Respect Taskforce Report. Available at: https://www.riotinto.com/sustainability/people/everyday-respect

5. Such as, but not limited to, Indigenous Peoples, racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities and members of LGBTQIA+ communities, neurominorities and others.

6. ILO (2021) Women in Mining - Towards Gender Equality. Available at: https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_dialogue/---sector/documents/publication/wcms_821061.pdf

7. From 1 September 2021, ICMM decisions are adopted on a ‘conform-or- explain’ basis where at least 75 per cent of its members commit to conform. There may be reasonable grounds for why certain ICMM members cannot commit to decisions adopted by ICMM at the time of decision. These members commit to disclose publicly their non-conformance with supporting explanations within 12 months. In this instance, all 26 members have committed to conform.

8. Such as, but not limited to, Indigenous Peoples, racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities and members of LGBTQIA+ communities, neurominorities and others.

9. Such as recruitment, work allocation, development and promotions, amongst others.

10. There may be constraints on reporting some diversity information (eg ethnicity, gender, and disabilities) because of regulatory and data privacy limitations. ICMM members are expected to operate within the legal and regulatory requirements of the jurisdictions in which they operate.

11. In some operating contexts it may not be appropriate to ask workers or communities to identify their ethnicity or other identity characteristics as it might not support the desired outcome of addressing inequalities but have unintended consequences, eg fuelling conflict. ICMM members should consider carefully what is appropriate in each operating context. More information can be found under “Reporting on Diversity” in the ICMM Social and Economic Reporting Framework.