Deloitte challenges mining stereotypes

Deloitte has highlighted the challenges of changing the image of mining, along with practical actions to reset the Australian public’s perception of the industry.

In a new report, Deloitte highlights key questions that need to be answered regarding the mining brand and the role of leadership and culture in change, its desired future state, and the next steps to achieve these goals.

In recent years, BHP has contributed to the shift in the mining brand by launching its ‘Think Big’ brand campaign.  This campaign communicates the scale and leadership BHP plays in positive societal change through its role in the local community and economy.

Lieutenant General David Morrison AO, Australia’s former Chief of Army, who spearheaded a gender equality, diversity, and inclusion initiative, highlights the importance of driving change through leadership and culture.

Morrison highlights similarities between the army and the mining industry and provides advice on driving change.

“Leaders in militaries – and in mining – must realise there are now opportunities they may be missing because they’ve appealed to a largely male demographic. As societal expectations change, and technology creates a more level playing field, people of all genders now have unprecedented opportunities to excel,” Morrison said.

Key takeaways from Morrison’s interview include the importance to pause and reflect on the industry in context of the broader community, especially regarding societal expectations.

Change is imperative in creating a positive culture, which Morrison defines as “the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves”. This is key in attracting the best workforce of the future, coming from diverse backgrounds.

A social licence to operate is vital for mining organisations to operate. The four pillars that determine a social licence to operate are worker and workplaces, communities, care for the environment, and value to society. Improvements in these areas are key in changing the conversation, according to the Deloitte report.

“Leaders must live permanently in three time zones. They always live in the past because they have responsibility for the history and heritage of the organisations they lead. They live in the present, like we all do, but most of all they need to live in the future because that is where their legacy is realised,” Morrison said.

Deloitte’s paper covers the practical next steps, including leading a cultural change, collaborating across the mining industry, and taking an active role in creating a dialogue that builds a positive and forward-thinking culture.

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