Rio Tinto looks to diversify board with addition of more women

Appointments bring firm’s board back to full strength with 12 directors, a third of them women

A Rio Tinto copper facility in Australia. Photograph: Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Rio Tinto copper facility in Australia. Photograph: Bloomberg via Getty Images

 

Rio Tinto has moved to address the lack of diversity on its board with the appointment of three female non-executive directors.

The Anglo-Australian company has been mocked for the fact that it has three times as many board members named Simon as female ones.

That is set to change after the miner named Hinda Gharbi, executive vice-president at Schlumberger, Jennifer Nason, a global chairman at JPMorgan Chase and Ngaire Woods, professor of global economic governance at Oxford University, as non-executive directors.

Rio said the appointments would bring its board back to full strength with 12 directors, a third of them women.

Strengthen

“I am delighted to welcome Hinda, Jennifer and Ngaire and look forward to benefiting from their insights and expertise in natural resources, finance, technology, governance and public policy,” said Rio chairman Simon Thompson. “Their diverse international experience will further strengthen the Rio Tinto board.”

Following the departure of former Royal Mail boss Moya Greene last year, Rio had just one woman director, Megan Clark. In contrast it had three directors named Simon on the board: chairman Simon Thompson and non executive directors Simon McKeon and Simon Henry.

The appointments came as Rio ended talks with the government of Mongolia over a two-year tax dispute and said it would seek a ruling from arbitrators at the United Nations.

Mongolia is home to one of Rio’s most important growth assets – the underground expansion of the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine.

– Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2020