Towards gender balance, from mine to boardroom
From laws preventing women working in specific jobs, to stereotyping of gender roles and abilities, historically the metals and mining sectors were inhospitable environments for women to enter and progress careers. Long overdue change is now happening in the industry, but there is still much work to be done, thirteen exceptional female leaders told S&P Global Platts. Collectively, their careers span almost every continent and a wide variety of roles and products. They discussed their motivations for working in metals and mining, views on how the sector has progressed, and what needs to be done next to ensure greater diversity in the workplace.
Look out for more interviews being added regularly in the run-up to the S&P Global Platts Global Metals Awards on June 30, 2020.
Noreen Doyle has served on Newmont’s board of directors for 15 years and has led the company’s drive to increase diversity. She was chair of the board throughout the company’s merger with Goldcorp in 2019 and prior to her time at Newmont, she was the first vice president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development from 2001 to 2005.
"We are in an industry that has a talent shortage and more and more of our jobs require brains and not brawn"
Thabile Makgala is an executive at platinum miner Implats with nearly 20 years of experience in the sector. She oversees two operations on the Eastern Limb of the Bushveld Igneous Complex in South Africa, with about 7,000 staff. She is also the chairperson of Women in Mining South Africa.
"Since I set foot underground, mining is something that I've become passionate about"
Vicky Binns is a non-executive director at Evolution Mining and Cooper Energy. She previously worked at BHP for a decade and led the team that moved metallurgical coal pricing away from annual benchmarks to index pricing. She is co-founder and ex-president of Women in Mining and Resources Singapore.
"Sustainable change in diversity is not possible without the buy-in of the line leaders"
Melinda Moore is chief commercial officer of Norwegian iron ore miner Sydvaranger, listed equity research analyst for Empire Energy in Australia, and has other consulting works on the go as part of her company, Cleanup Commodities, alongside finance and global outreach roles at Women in Mining (WIM) UK. She previously held strategic marketing roles at ICBC Standard Bank and BHP.
"What I really admire about mining is its ability to adapt and to change"
Gladys Smith is managing director of trading company Sanav, which specializes in minor metals, rare earths and concentrates. Smith began her career with a mining company in London, dealing minor metals. She was on the Minor Metals Trade Association committee for eight years, and more recently, working with International Women in Mining (IWiM) she has opened committees for the organization all over Latin America.
"When I decided to go solo and open my company, it was even more difficult because men just didn't take me seriously"
Gina Rinehart rebuilt an iron ore business from a precarious situation and took it to greater heights, witnessing and contributing to the development of the Pilbara region in the process. Rinehart steered the company towards the successful financing and startup of Roy Hill, a $10 billion project and Australia’s largest single iron ore mine, which began shipping the raw material in 2015.
"I saw firsthand the benefits mining brought to West Australia"
Marsha Serlin founded United Scrap Metal in 1978 in Cicero, Illinois, just outside Chicago. She started with just $200 and a rental truck from Sears, but over the past 40 years built her company to more than 550 employees in six locations.
"It was being underestimated in a man's world that really was the key to my success"
Tamara L. Lundgren
Tamara Lundgren is chairman, president and CEO of Schnitzer Steel Industries and also serves as a member of the company's board of directors. Prior to joining SSI, she was an investment banker, lawyer, and professional board member with 25 years of experience in the US and Europe.
"Never be afraid to recruit people brighter than you or different to you"
Ana Sanches is CFO for the Brazilian iron ore business of Anglo American, a multinational mining company with a diverse metals portfolio. Sanches overcame the challenge of an unexpected nine-month halt in production at the Minas-Rio mine in 2018, and has since witnessed and contributed to the ramp-up of the Brazilian operation, which produced about 23 million mt of high grade iron ore in 2019.
"It is not only about representing women, but about expanding representation of different groups"
Young-Jin (Jin) Chang
Jin Chang has spearheaded growth in CME Group’s metals business since joining in 2011. Her results-driven career led her from early days as a ferrous alloys trader through roles of increasing responsibility at CME Group to her current position as managing director and global head of metals products. Chang also serves on CME Group’s Diversity and Inclusion Council, which is responsible for driving the company’s D&I strategy.
"You need to cultivate a broad network - not just female but also male, who support you from within the organization"
Deshnee Naidoo started her mining career at Anglo American Platinum in 1998 where she built her career, holding a range of positions. She was appointed CFO of Anglo American Thermal Coal in 2011, where she managed thermal coal and manganese, across three geographies – South Africa, South America and Australia. Naidoo was appointed CEO of Vedanta Zinc International in 2014, with responsibility for Vedanta Zinc International operations in Africa and Europe, and copper mines in Australia. In May 2018, Naidoo was appointed to the board of the Minerals Council South Africa – at that point the only woman in South African mining to fill this position. She left Vedanta in May 2020.
"Leadership commitment must be clear and we need to hold leaders to account – more transparency in reporting is required."
Gay Huey Evans
Gay Huey Evans is the first woman to be appointed chairman of the London Metal Exchange (LME), taking on the role in 2019. She holds a number of non-executive director positions including Standard Chartered and ConocoPhillips. Evans has over 30 years’ experience working within the financial services industry, capital markets and financial regulation.
"It's clear that across the industry, there is a gender imbalance, but also an overall lack of diversity"
Michelle Manook is chief executive at WCA, which represents coal miners and users, since July 2019, and previously worked in strategy, government and corporate affairs in senior roles over 25 years in the energy and mining industry.
"The most important, impactful influencer on corporate culture is an understanding of unconscious bias"