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Due Date

Table of Contents

Abstract 2

Introduction 3

Workplace Gender Discrimination 4

The main human resource laws affecting gender are; 4

Analysis of BHP’s Commitment to Gender Equality 5

BHP benefits of gender equality 6

BHP’s Commitment to Equality based on sexual orientation (LGBTQ+) 6

Gender wage gap 7

Impact on HRM 8

Ethnic discrimination 8

BHP’s Shortcomings 9

Impact on the HRM 9

Discrimination based on National Origin 9

BHP’s Shortcoming 10

Impact 10

Disability discrimination 10

BHP’s shortcomings 11

Impact 11

Recommendations 11

Conclusion 12

References 13


The last decade has brought about an avalanche of changes in the contemporary world and most specifically the Human Resource Management sector. With recent developments, gender and ethnic inclusivity has become a casing point as numerous legislations are passed to force companies to embrace gender and ethnic inclusivity. The UK employment equality law legislates and protects employees from prejudice and discrimination. An integral part of the UK Labour law is to prohibit discrimination of individuals with “protected characteristics”. In line to these regulations, BHP has adopted a series of measures to ensure inclusivity of all the minority groups. Having operated in a male dominated sector, BHP’s human resource manager outlines the commitment of the company to attain gender equality by 2025. Having adopted the strategy in 2017, the company has recorded immense success increasing the number of female workers significantly. In this report, we are going to focus on the various strategies adopted by BHP and assess the progress and commitment towards achieving workplace gender equality. The report will also give recommendations based on areas we feel need to be addressed further.

Keywords: Human Resource Management, gender and ethnic inclusivity, UK employment equality law, discrimination, gender equality, “protected characteristics”

Managing Equality and Diversity: BHP Billiton PLC HRM Report:


According to Storey et al., (2019, p 2) Human resource Management entails the entire process of employing employees, compensating them, and developing strategies and policies to maintain them in the workplace. Based on recent developments, there has been an increase in need for inclusivity and equality in the workforce. Most of nations around the globe have strict policies governing inclusivity in workplaces. In the UK, companies are expected to include a certain portion of each gender. The minority groups are also considered and discrimination against these groupings highly discouraged. The Human Resource department is responsible for hiring employees and monitoring them, they thereby have a responsibility to ensure that each grouping is adequately represented (Ma 2010).

Based on empirical studies, women have a higher literacy level as compared to the male counterparts. Women have been found to have more certifications in higher learning as compared to men (Potrich et al., 2018). Despite this favourable literacy levels, they still form the least percentage in most companies. BHP is a resource company that extracts and processes minerals. The company’s mission is to bring people and resources together for a better world. In 2016, the company set an aspiration goal with an intention to achieve gender balance globally by 2025 (Werth, & Brownlow, 2018). During that time, women had been less represented in the mining industry only forming about 16% of the total employees. BHP had a better rate maintaining a female ratio of 17.6%. the company aspired to achieve at least 30% female representation by the end of 2025 (White 2020).

Workplace Gender Discrimination

In 2010, the Department of Labor (DOL) came up with a program to ensure that companies complied with legal issues affecting human resource professionals (Okolie 2020). The project was launched in 2010, aimed at targeting the US employers. It proposes to compel firms to develop compliance action plans to address the compliance of human resources regulations which are within the jurisdiction of the OSHA, MSHA, Federal Contract Compliance Programs Office (OFCCP), Wage and Hour Division and the OFCCP (WHD) (Hafiz 2020). The main agenda of this program was to enable companies deal with non-compliance and thereby mitigate the risks.

The main human resource laws affecting gender are;

Equal Pay Act (1963)- This law was signed by Joe F Kenedy and aims at eliminating pay differentials based on gender (Ress 1963).

Civil Rights Act (1964) – The law prohibits employment discrimination based on origin, gender, colour, and race (Act 1964).

Americans with Disabilities Act (1990)- this law prohibits employment discrimination based on disability either mental and physical (Simon et al., 1997).

Analysis of BHP’s Commitment to Gender Equality

BHP operates in the mining sector; the sector has been male dominated for such a long time. In 2016, the company made a commitment to increase the number of female employees having previously recorded a female to male ratio of 17.6: 82.4. The number of female employees as per 2016 stood at 1 for every 6 employees. As a measure to be more gender inclusive, the company adopted a strategic plan where they would see an increment of at least 30% by 2025(Werth, & Brownlow, 2018).

A report published on the company’s website as per 2019 showed tremendous efforts as the company reported having enrolled 2070 employees since 2017. Of the females enrolled in the company, 1156, were employed during 2019. Today, the company has a female ratio of 24.6%(Werth, & Brownlow, 2018. The company still has a long way to go to ensure there is complete gender equality in the workplace. Based on a self-evaluation, the CEO, Andrew Mackenzie believed that in the last three years not only had they reinforced their commitment with solid data but also intensified their resolutions to attain gender equality (Evenett and Fritz 2017).

BHP benefits of gender equality

Since the program was initiated, the company has recorded numerous benefits and believes a shift to gender inclusivity will further increase the company’s market share and bring about efficiency (Hart 2020). Some of the most notable benefits highlighted by the company are;

  • Diverse and inclusive teams deliver safety benefits

  • Diverse teams generally create a good culture

  • Inclusive teams are more productive as compared to other teams

  • Create a harmonious working environment regardless of gender,

  • Higher chances of participation in inclusive teams thus easier problems resolutions.

Despite the resounding success, the company has also seen a higher voluntary turnover from women at 6.2% as compared to the male counterparts at 4.9% (Werth and Brownlow 2018). The HR department has put in efforts to reduce the higher rates of women turnovers and this has seen a significant reduction in the previous financial year.

BHP’s Commitment to Equality based on sexual orientation (LGBTQ+)

Jasper is a BHP employee support group which has been formulated to ensure inclusivity for all. Jaspers aim is to create and promote a conducive environment for all individuals without fear of discrimination (Werth and Brownlow 2018). To achieve inclusivity, Jasper provides advice and ensures LGBTQ+ individuals are protected and respected despite of their sexual and gender identity. The groups name Jasper, was inspired by a specific valuable mineral found in Australia and which possess special characteristics (Werth, & Brownlow, 2018). The major characteristics of this mineral is the mineral’s ability of endurance, tenacity and perseverance to shield it from negativity. In the same proportion, the group ensures that there is a positive perception of the minority groups especially on sexual orientation dimensions.

Despite the numerous achievements the company has made towards achieving inclusivity, the company still faces some key issues compromising its overall aim to achieve equality. Some of the key forms of discrimination the company has failed to address is;

  • Wage gap,

  • Ethnic discrimination

  • National origin

  • Disability discrimination

Gender wage gap

The gender salary gap is a measure of the gender pay discrepancy. The facts demonstrate repeatedly that women are still paid less compared to males, even when it can be quantified in multiple ways (Cortes and Pan 2019 p 353). There are a variety of different methods used to compute the gender wage gap, for example comparing full-time workers’ yearly pay or all employees’ hourly wages. The measures may encompass multiple parts of fixed or variable compensation, such basic salaries and short-term incentives and can vary from examination of average to median incentives. All pay inequalities are important, regardless of how calculations are utilized, as they lead to income inequality and negative immediate and long-term economic results for women.

BHP company reports gender pay gap in accordance to a number of statutory and voluntary initiatives. These initiatives include WGEA (Workplace Gender Equality Agency) in Australia; GRI(Global Reporting Initiative) which is used globally and GRP (Gender Reporting Pay) in US (Lindblom 2017). The company also publishes the gender wage gap on the BHP’s sustainability report annually. The company still records a higher wage gap as men receive a higher average salary as compared to females (Werth, & Brownlow, 2018).

Impact on HRM

A larger wage gap in the company is quite devastating for the company. This is because it raises public concerns on company’s commitment towards the SDGs. His in turn could taint the brand name and make the public perceive it as a patriarchal company.

In an attempt to address this challenge, the company has ended up incurring huge costs offering women generous pays. The generous offering of women favourable salaries has increased the company’s rating as per the GRI initiative. However, such a move could increase the production cost and thus lowering the productivity and profitability of the company.

Ethnic discrimination

Ethnic discrimination is any form of adverse treatment against an individual based on the ethnic origin, race or skin colour (Benner et al., 2018 p 855). In a workplace setting, any activity resulting to either exclusion, preferential treatment or restriction based on an individuals colour, ethnic group or race is termed as racial discrimination. Racial discrimination in a workplace setting hinders individuals’ ability to attain their goals and denies them the right to equal standings.

BHP has shown quite a strong effort to address both gender equality and discrimination based on gender orientations. However, the company has failed to address discrimination that occurs on the basis of gender. An in-depth analysis on the company only shows one testimonial evidence of an African American. However, this does not adequately address the issue of inclusivity. The company has not in any instance come out to show support and commitment for inclusion of all individuals despite their race or origin. This s a great loophole especially as companies in recent times come forward to show support for the “Black Lives Matter Movement” (Ince et al., 2017, p 1814).

BHP’s Shortcomings

Failure of the company to come up with strategic measures to show racial inclusivity

Limited commitment towards addressing ethnic and racial querries as compared to those applied in addressing gender inequality.

Impact on the HRM

The company’s failure to show commitment to racial equality could immensely taint the company’s image. The company requires to show commitment towards racial inclusion in the same proportion it has done on gender equality.

In an attempt to increase its commitment to racial inclusivity, the company could end up indiscriminately hiring employees who come from diverse races. These employees ma be underqualified and thereby compromising the quality standards.

Discrimination based on National Origin

In recent times, ethnicity has pushed people towards grouping on the basis of states and even countries (Figueira et al., 2020). Companies are now showing commitment to societies they are located and thereby discriminating against individuals who come from different provinces or states. BHP, has shown a stern commitment to employing individuals around the community. As a measure to maintain this, the company has adopted measures such as proportions to determine the percentage of individuals who should come from outside the region. Despite this being a good gesture to the community, this is one of the forms of discrimination and which has an adverse effect on the company’s commitment to inclusivity.

BHP’s Shortcoming

The company has no strategic clear policies to deal with discrimination based on National origin discrimination

The company has a large number of local employees as a move to give back to the community. This however gives rise to discrimination based on location and origin


Discriminating based on national origin could be detrimental to the company especially if this is made available to the public. In the contemporary world, people have now become more and more aware of the need for inclusivity and thereby dislike companies which engage in discriminatory practices (Fugueira et al., 2020).

Employing individuals from the proximity could also be detrimental to the company. This is especially if they lack the skills and competencies to work in the specific field. Lack of adequate skills ma in turn result to inefficient workers with lower productivity.

Disability discrimination

A disability is a condition through which an individual is not able to conduct activities in the same rate a normal person does. The ADA (American Disability Act) protects individuals from discrimination based on disability (Daley et al., 2018, p 56). The law protects disabled individuals from all employment acts including; hiring, firing, pay and promotions.

BHP company has failed to show its commitment towards protecting the disabled. It has no record showing any disabled employees or even measures by which they would be protected and supported within their operations.

BHP’s shortcomings

Lack of clear policies to deal with disabled groups

Lack of clear commitments towards addressing disability in the company setting


In the contemporary world companies are required to show support to the disadvantaged groups by incorporating a number of them into the organization (Kruse et al.,2018, p 799). BHP has no clear policies towards sporting the disabled groups. The company’s workforce is quite large and it would be crucial for them to address issues based on disability. Failure to do so may taint the companies name negatively as it shows the failure to apply duty of care.


It is clear that the company has put in a lot of effort to address gender disparities. However, the company has failed to adequately deal with issues pertaining to other forms of inequalities. In an attempt to address the various shortcomings, I propose the following recommendations;

  1. Formulating stringent measures to address issues pertaining to racial discrimination.

This could be achieved through formulation of support groups such as Jasper support group supports the LGBTQ+ group.

  1. Employ individuals based on their competencies rather than nationality and location.

His will be crucial in ensuring that the company attains its desired goals without having to conflict between society responsibility and performance.

  1. Formulating of tough policies to punish those employees found to be discriminating other stakeholders and colleagues.

Having strict policies to prevent discrimination will play a crucial part deterring employees from activities or conducts that may be termed as discriminatory.

  1. Educating employees on need for inclusivity and guiding them on how to effectively deal with their own personal cognitive biases.

According to researchers, one of the still prevalent cause of discrimination is personal biases that most individuals are unaware of. It is crucial to monitor employees bias by starting educational programs.


In the contemporary word, equality and diversity takes precedence in HRM. BHP is a successful company with about 80,000 employees. The company has invested a lot of resources in ensuring that they achieve gender equality. The company has made a tremendous stride towards gender inclusivity. However, the company has made very little effort to address other types of diversities such as race, and minority groups. These unaddressed diversity issues form the major shortcomings of the Human Resource department. It is crucial that they are addressed fast in order for the company to maintain a good reputation and subsequently profitability. This report suggests a series of recommendations that we believe will address the shortcomings of BHP Human resource department.


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