Apr 11, 2017

Rio faces pressure over lack of female directors

Rio Tinto shareholders are being urged to vote against the re-election of the mining company's chairman at its annual shareholding meeting because of slow progress in improving the diversity of its board. Mining companies are coming under growing pressure to hire more women as the sector has become notorious for its lack of female representation. Rio used to have three women on its board, but Anne Lauvergeon retired and the company has put up David Constable, Sam Laidlaw and Simon Henry for election as non-executive directors at the annual general meeting in London Wednesday. "Although the company has stated its commitment to diversity and to seeking to ensure better gender balance in future appointments to the board, we believe Rio Tinto must demonstrate a credible plan and a serious commitment to reaching the 33 per cent target by 2020," Hermes said. Rio said in its annual report that the board "Continues to value diversity in its broadest sense when considering non-executive director appointments and, in addition to considering gender and ethnicity, will seek to achieve within the boardroom the appropriate balance of skills, experience, independence and knowledge of Rio Tinto and the industry as a whole."

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