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Athalie Williams, Chief People Officer, took part in a panel debate in London with the Chief People Officer of the UK Civil Service, Rupert McNeil, on the theme of diversity, governance and trust.

The event was convened by the Whitehall and Industry Group and the audience included representatives from the public and private sector and from a range of industries.

Speaking about our approach to diversity and inclusion, Athalie described how BHP Billiton’s ambition is to be trusted by a number of stakeholders groups, top among them is employees - including those who work for us today, and also those who we want to work for us in the future.

Programs such as “Safe to Speak up” engender trust, and contribute to a sense of inclusivity. The principle of safe to speak up is a mechanism to address potentials gaps in trust and is a critical factor to drive retention rates among employees.

Speaking of BHP Billiton’s aspirational goal to achieve gender balance, Athalie described the positive impact that initiative is already having, such as an increase in talented women reaching out to us to learn more about the company and also that a public goal raises the bar for the rest of industry; it is incumbent on the global corporate community to improve levels of trust and diversity.

Discover more about inclusion and diversity at BHP Billiton.

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