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Diversity, equity and inclusion

Diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace remain enduring challenges for our sector and society at large, as evidenced by troubling findings on workplace culture and practices in the mining and metals sector.

Diversity, equity and inclusion remains an enduring challenge for our sector and society at large, as evidenced by troubling findings on workplace culture and practices in the mining and metals sector. Our work will focus on identifying systemic barriers to the creation of truly inclusive cultures within the industry, and to developing a leadership position on DEI with members and external stakeholders.

Issue at a glance

  • Diversity, equity and inclusion matter. Significantly better outcomes are enjoyed by groups when they are representative, which is as true of the mining and metals industry as it is for anywhere else. Despite this, mining remains male dominated, with women only accounting for 14% of the global workforce.
  • Gender is just one aspect of ‘diversity and inclusion’. Typically, the term also refers to people of different race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, and religion, and with different political opinions, industry affiliations and family situations, among other under-represented characteristics.
  • Valuing diversity and promoting inclusion are ethical imperatives for sustainable businesses. Prioritising these helps to break down the barriers to achieving a leadership position on sustainability issues, attracting talent, improving business decision making and meeting growing stakeholder expectations.

Our priorities

Strengthen ICMM’s Mining Principles on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

In June 2022, we announced updates to the Mining Principles aimed at improving company performance on DEI. These critical updates help reinforce the integral role of DEI to sustainable development, include additional actions to eliminate all forms of harassment and unfair discrimination from our workplaces, and set out proactive steps to achieve gender equity. This includes the unincumbered participation of all peoples, and cementing the importance of psychological safety alongside physical health and safety in our efforts to achieve zero harm. This is an important first step, and we encourage all mining companies to implement these standards to improve performance on this critical issue for the industry. The updated Mining Principles can be found here.


Develop a collective leadership position on DEI

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) as a concept aims to ensure fair treatment for all by eradicating prejudice and discrimination. Despite having a clear basis in human rights, efforts at championing DEI are mixed across industries and geographies. There is no quick and easy remedy for this. ICMM is working with members and external stakeholders to develop an industry leadership position on DEI that contributes towards not just equal opportunities but also equal outcomes for people.


Work to solve problems common to the industry

Despite increasing awareness of the importance of DEI to business success, a number of areas of concern persist within the mining and metals industry. Tapping into the expertise of others, we will work with members to develop a workplan that aims to solve problems common to the industry.