'Require, not ask' for women in mining, urges ex-Anglo chief

Mining is not only for men. Companies have to do more to push gender diversity, according to Cynthia Carroll, former chief executive officer of Anglo American Plc.

“Companies should require, not ask that executives promote, recruit and include women,” Carroll said in an interview on the sidelines of a conference in Singapore. Heading the miner from 2007 to 2013, Carroll was Anglo American’s first female chief executive, and now sits on the boards of a few companies, including Hitachi Ltd.

Mining remains male-dominated. In a survey of 30 companies, the Responsible Mining Foundation found “little or no evidence of efforts” to strengthen the gender balance of their leadership and governance teams. Women also accounted for less than 5% of senior management at top trading houses, Bloomberg reported last year.

Global majors have urged and taken steps to ensure workplace diversity in recent years. No. 1 miner BHP Group in February boosted the number of women in its executive leadership team to 50 percent. The London Metal Exchange is also seeking to stamp out sexist entertainment that has long been a feature at some events during the LME Week gathering in London every fall. Still, the change hasn’t been substantial, said Carroll.

"It’s a very, very conservative industry and it needs to change,” said Carroll. “They have got to be casting their net more broadly, and they’ve got to be looking at women.”

(By Krystal Chia)