Diversity and Inclusion Council

At U.S. Borax, we value diversity—of gender, of sexual orientation, of cultural heritage, of age, of opinion, and of backgroundand experience. Our diversity is our strength, and inclusion is our goal. We invite you to meet our employee Diversity and Inclusion Team located at our operations in California.

The Team: Ron Fox | MB Garrison | Brent Mize | Victoria Rodriguez | Mayank Verma | Drew Yazzie

I’ve been an employee at Boron for a while now (20 years) and have had the opportunity to hold several roles, from laborer to superintendent. From that perspective, I bring some insight from a few different angles.

I will say that during my time at U.S. Borax, we have grown a lot in this space, but it is clear that we have plenty more work to do.

My personal ‘why’ is that I desire that every employee who gets hired at our site—regardless of position/rank—feels welcome and as enthusiastic, grateful, and excited as I was (and still am) when I started. I also hope anyone can be afforded the same opportunity as I have had to promote and excel through the business based on their hard work, attitude, and qualifications and no other biases.

Operations Superintendent, Boric Acid Plant

“It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” —Confucius

I quietly repeat the words of Confucius on days when my legs are weak and the going gets slow—to remind me that regardless of my speed, it’s just important that I get there. I want to bring light to those of us with life challenges. Some may have lost their sight, others may be unable to speak or are wheelchair bound. But many are capable and enriching communities and businesses throughout the world.

Having any sort of disability doesn’t mean you can’t contribute, it just means there’s an extra ‘rock’ in your backpack. Having successfully come through not one, but two back surgeries, has added walking difficulties to my life (my rocks). However, my Rio Tinto team values my contributions. I am accepted, heard, and appreciated. They do not see my disability. They see only my ability.

Manager, External Relations and Community Engagement

Growing up in a small town in the South, I had a very small view of the world. Then, after traveling the globe with the military for more than a decade, I was able to develop a passion for helping and understanding others on a new level. I lived in Japan for six years, where I met my wife, and spent several years in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan where I worked with contractors and military from all over the world.

In 2007, I was working in the ICU at the only level 1 trauma center in Bagram, Afghanistan. We helped a 5-year-old girl with severe head trauma. Soldiers had witnessed her father pushing her down a mountain and we were told it was because she was a girl. She wasn’t expected to live but after weeks of care, she recovered well.

Now my daughter is 6 years old, and I want to help build a world for her where the only limits are her imagination. This is one of the experiences that drives my passion for inclusion.

Superintendent Reliability Engineering

Growing up, I often felt like an outsider in my small town. My beliefs were very different from those around me, and because of that I found it easier to listen rather than to speak. I opted to observe from the sidelines and learn from the people around me. I saw family members struggle because the world was built in a way that did not consider their physical limitations. I saw classmates treated like outcasts because they did not fit in to the socially accepted norms of the larger group. I realized that many people felt excluded, and although that always bothered me, I didn’t think that I could make a difference.

In 2005, my daughter was born premature. She struggled for many years with respiratory and immunity issues, which dictated much of what she could and could not do. While most kids were playing outside, swimming, and riding their bikes, my daughter was inside reading, writing, and painting. Seeing the impact my daughter’s physical condition had on the direction of her life was a constant reminder that the little I know of others is just the surface of a whole life of experiences that make them who they are. Every time I get to know someone, I gain knowledge and perspective that I would not have acquired on my own.

For me, inclusion means appreciating and respecting what makes each of us different, and to being empathetic to the struggles that we cannot understand through our own personal experiences. We all have very different backgrounds that make us unique. I believe that we all benefit when we understand that those things that make us different are what make us collectively stronger.

Quality Supervisor, Quality Assurance Lab

Inclusion to me is to embrace all people irrespective of their place of birth, culture, gender, disability, or religion. And, to give everyone the same opportunities that Rio Tinto has to offer.

It is not just walking through the front gate to work every morning, but to also have a sense of belonging—where my colleagues and friends genuinely care for me, my ideas, and my wellbeing, just like I care for them.

As a council member, I want to be an advocate for change and inspire people around me by sharing my experiences. I don’t want anyone to be afraid to share their ideas or to speak up and work towards making Rio Tinto a more inclusive place for everyone.

Project Engineer, Carbon and Climate

Inclusion means being accepted no matter the differences in race, gender, disability, and the color of our skin. We all deserve to be heard and respected for our opinions. We should be respected for our ideas that we bring to the table. We should all feel welcome and valued for our involvement.

As a Native American (Navajo), I grew up on the reservation in Tuba City. Located in northern Arizona, it is also known as the Painted Desert. Living on the reservation came with its challenges, which included a general lack of resources and low rates of economic development. We had to learn quickly to adapt, overcome, and to rely on each other. We’re also rich in cultural and traditional beliefs. There are still many people that occupy hogan (traditional, one room, dome-shaped Navajo homes). And, currently there are nearly 410,000 registered Navajos.

I’ve been with U.S. Borax for a little more than 13 years now. I am also a retired Navy veteran and disabled. While in the military, I worked with all types of diverse cultures. I’m part of the Diversity and Inclusion Council to help by sharing my past experiences and knowledge as an indigenous person.

Supervisor, Fixed Plant

Diveristy and inclusion in action

MB Garrison, manager of external affairs, communities, and communications

 

MB Garrison, our manager of external affairs, communities, and communications, discusses what the International Day of Disabled Persons means to her.

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ADA accessible ramp at the Borax Visitor Center

 

We are happy to do our part in removing obstacles at the U.S. Borax Visitor Center with a newly completed ADA-accessible lookout, making the entire Boron operations viewable to all.

Learn more about our visitor center
Wilmington signage

 

We're constantly working to make our workplaces more inclusive.

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U.S. Borax, part of Rio Tinto, is a global leader in the supply and science of borates—naturally-occurring minerals containing boron and other elements. We are 1,000 people serving 500 customers with more than 1,700 delivery locations globally. We supply 30% of the world’s need for refined borates from our world-class mine in Boron, California, about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles.  Learn more about Rio Tinto.

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