Rio Tinto has made major efforts in recent months to diversify its operational workforce. No fewer than 500 CVs of female candidates were analyzed and 14 of them were accepted into the ranks of the multinational company in Quebec.
“It was an honor to welcome such an inspiring woman like Farah Alibay. Already in the afternoon, when she spoke to our employees before the event organized in collaboration with the Saguenay-Le Fjord Chamber of Commerce and Industry, we could see faces lighting up, people “listening,” said the Executive Director of Operations in Quebec Rio Tinto , Stephanie Gignac.
The Montreal native, who has Indian roots and works in a NASA-affiliated laboratory, did not want to grant an interview on the sidelines of the event. However, his speech was very touching.
The speaker navigated the trials of her life, whether related to her diversity or simply her ethnicity, and shared how she was able to find her place as a woman in a typically male environment. The crowd, made up mostly of spectators, was attentive during his speech.
And Rio Tinto in there
With only 6% women in positions in its Quebec operating sector, the industrial giant is looking to expand its female leadership in the coming years.
“Just by hiring our 14 supervisors, we have doubled the number of women. We may aim for a symbolic proportion of 15% women. We believe we can increase the male to female ratio by 2% per year,” said Ms. Gignac.
Rio Tinto doesn’t just want to recruit for the sake of recruiting, but also wants to work to retain the new employees, the managing director explained. “We want to keep them. We want to take care of it. This is about support, support and also networking. We want to do everything we can to make it work,” the company leader added.
When it comes to cultural diversity, this time the Australian company assured that it is making the same efforts as its approach to female leadership.
“There is a partnership with the First Nations. Over the next 18 months, our 4,300 employees will be trained on Indigenous history and its issues. It is part of our desire to be proactive both in terms of gender diversity and cultural diversity,” concluded Stéphanie Gignac.