South Africa: Gold Fields 'Deeply Concerned' After Report Reveals Toxic Workplace Bullying, Sexual Harassment, Racism

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JSE-listed Gold Fields said it was committed to stamping out the scourges of bullying, racism and sexual harassment after an independent workplace culture report revealed the scale of social toxicity at the company.

Following a trail blazed 18 months ago by global mining giant Rio Tinto, Gold Fields on Wednesday released an independent workplace culture report conducted by Elizabeth Broderick & Co.

More than 4,000 employees were surveyed across the company's global operations about their experiences over the past five years.

Download the full report here

"The review revealed a number of deeply concerning findings. Overall, half of the participants in the survey reported having experienced bullying, sexual discrimination or racism in the past five years," Gold Fields said.

Specifically, the review found the following:

  • 47% of respondents reported experiencing bullying.
  • 23% of women and 7% of men reported experiencing sexual harassment.
  • 15% had experienced racism.
  • 29% of respondents who identify as LGBTIQ+ reported having experienced harassment, with many reluctant to openly acknowledge their status in the workplace.

In an interview with Daily Maverick, Gold Fields interim CEO Martin Preece said one such incident was in effect one too many.

"In my view, if we had one single case, or 1% of any of these incidents, it's not acceptable in our business," Preece said.

This toxic culture, based on the responses of employees surveyed, stretches from the underground shafts to the head office in Sandton....

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