Fortescue leads the way towards gender parity

Fortescue Metals Group will sign the ParityPledge, becoming one of the first companies in Australia to make the commitment to foster an inclusive and diverse workforce.

The parity pledge aims “to close the gender gap at the highest levels of business, where the gender gap is most acute.”

It is a public commitment to gender parity by interviewing and considering at least one qualified woman for executive-level roles.

According to the global gender gap report, when women are in leadership roles, more women are hired throughout the company, ensuring a pipeline of future female leaders.

Fortescue chief executive officer Elizabeth Gaines said the best results came from an inclusive and diverse workforce that was encouraged to reach its full potential.

“Making this commitment to the parity pledge builds on Fortescue’s practical policies to support women and to foster a workplace that truly embraces diversity,” Gaines said.

“By focussing on supporting leadership development, the retention of female talent and providing more balance and flexibility in the workplace, we want to ensure that as many women as possible have the opportunity to participate and make a strong contribution to the Australian resources sector.”

Solomon general manager Jessica Pringle said Fortescue was building a pipeline of women ready to pursue a career in the mining industry.

“To benefit from increased diversity in the mining sector, we need to focus on capability as part of the recruitment process and ensure we are building a greater pool of talent,” Pringle said.

“Programs such as Fortescue’s Trade Up and Vocational Training and Employment Centres are helping to provide our female team members with practical measures to gain operational and trade qualifications.”

Fortescue is a member of the 30 per cent Club in Australia, which aimed for 30 per cent women on ASX200 boards by the end of 2018.

In the 2018 financial year, Fortescue was one of six Australian companies recognised by the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for supporting a gender diverse environment across the business.

Gaines, previously Fortescue’s chief financial officer, became the company’s first female CEO in 2018.

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