Why is this important to us?
The protection of human dignity is perhaps the most important social issue for the 21st century, and crucial to the relationships between different nations, and between employers and employees. Despite international recognition of labour and safety standards, accidents, discrimination and unfair treatment in the workplace persist, and gender inequality is considered a major barrier to sustainable development. Employers wanting to attract, develop and retain the brightest talent must ensure they address these issues, and create a positive working culture that respects them.
The commercial imperative:
What kind of challenges do we face?
Employing over 222,000 people across the world means we carry enormous responsibilities. When accidents happen, there are huge consequences for the person involved, their family and colleagues. Protecting the security of our own people, where necessary with armed guards, is another significant responsibility. And, despite investing heavily in the quality of our leadership, incidents may still arise where the dignity of individual employees is challenged in breach of our code of business conduct.
What do we need to do?
Safety is our number one priority and always has been. To produce steel and extract minerals without either fatalities or injuries, everyone must take responsibility for ensuring a safe environment, not just for themselves but also for their colleagues, which includes contractors. Taking the same approach elsewhere will help us create a culture of wellbeing, engagement and integrity, in which everyone is committed to our success, where diversity is valued, and every individual is respected and developed. This means ensuring all our standards are observed by every employee, and if there are problems, we learn from them and apply the lessons across the business.
What is the potential to create value?
It is in everyone’s interests to aim for a workplace entirely free from any safety incident. We want to go one step further and actively promote the wellbeing, integrity and personal development of our employees, because we know this makes our people happier and more productive in their work. Likewise, a diverse business is a more creative business, which is why we value equality and inclusion in our operations.