Career Advice for Men: Stay Away from BHP

Career Advice for Men: Stay Away from BHP. By Janet Albrechtsen.

Parents, please revise career advice to your sons. Tell them BHP is not the right employer for them.

The Big Australian has turned on men to such an extent that working at this company is so skewed against them that it makes little sense to work hard, do well and look for promotion. …

According to analysis by accounting firm BDO of remuneration data of 57,000 workers in the Australian mining industry, women are appointed to managerial roles nearly a decade earlier than men.

On average women are appointed to their first managerial roles at 42, while men had to wait until they were, on average, 51. Fair? Only if male employees are so lacking in experience as to warrant this difference. …

Maybe a US court can deliver justice:

Burak Powers worked at BHP in the US. He is suing the Big Australian in a Texas court, claiming punitive damages because he was passed over for promotion in favour of less qualified and experienced women. Powers points to two critical facts: BHP headquarters in Australia set an “aspirational” goal of 50 per cent gender parity by 2025, and the company pays bonuses tied to these sex-based targets to encourage managers to hire women over men.

Powers says BHP is guilty of a “systemic pattern of top-down sex discrimination”. He claims he has received only positive performance reviews since starting at BHP as part of its exclusive Future Emerging Leaders Program. Until he was told his position was abolished. Then he learned the job was re-created, minus an open interview process, and offered to a female worker in Melbourne. On each of three occasions, Powers claims, he was overlooked for promotion while women less qualified than him were promoted. …

Equality of outcomes ignores merit and preferences — it is just a corrupt way of cheating for those with less ability or less usual preferences within their identity group:

There is a point when the blind pursuit of equity becomes deeply inequitable. It would be better if schools and broader society encouraged girls to consider subjects and university degrees that led to a career in mining. Much fairer than the BHP model of management trying to shoehorn a 50-50 gender balance from an adult candidate pool that is 26 per cent female. That is a recipe for discrimination, unfairness and poor hiring decisions.

For example, the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission recently found the Queensland Police Service, in search of the magical 50-50 gender balance, has been guilty of discrimination against hundreds of male officers. …

The golden skirts:

The sole beneficiaries of these policies are those who push it the most. They have become known as the golden skirts — the 20 to 30 per cent of female members in a candidate pool who may be getting promotions they don’t deserve, up to 10 years earlier than men, going by evidence from the mining industry. The golden skirts have already taken hold of company boards where females are the beneficiaries of quotas.

Just try applying for a board position if you’re an exceptionally talented 60-year-old white bloke. That mix doesn’t tick a single box in corporate Australia any more.

It’s happening elsewhere. At the Bar, gendered briefing policies put young male barristers behind the eight ball.

And now it’s taking hold in large companies such as BHP, where the message to your son is: don’t go to work for BHP or those other companies that make hiring and promotion decisions on the basis of sex. Or if you do take a job there straight out of school, do it for a few years to build your CV. Then skedaddle, before gendered promotions are made.

Working for a female manager who was promoted 10 years too early because she’s female rather than a better candidate doesn’t make for a happy workplace.

This also makes BHP shares a long-term sell.