Celebrating Women in Steel: Gender equity, slow but steady steps

To celebrate International Women’s Day, Sofia Trombetta, Director of People, Health and Wellness at ArcelorMittal Long Steels LATAM and a global sponsor of diversity and inclusion for ResponsibleSteel Member ArcelorMittal, explores the slow but steady progress being made in the company as well as the wider industry to promote gender equity.

Despite advances in women’s rights and the greater occupation of spaces in the public and private spheres, society remains unequal in gender issues. In the global steel industry, the scenario is not different. We are a company of a traditional and mostly male sector. Aware of our responsibility, ArcelorMittal leads this transformation to build a more equitable community.

According to the World Economic Forum, gender inequality at work will only end in 253 years. Companies play an essential role in accelerating this process of social evolution. Research shows that more diverse teams (with more women and people with different backgrounds and profiles) bring better results to companies. In the case of its Brazilian operation, ArcelorMittal joined UN Women in 2020 and launched the goal of having 25% of women in leadership positions in its workforce by 2030.

To move in this direction, the company has adopted Woman Career Pathing, which focuses on mentoring and developing women in leadership with the goal of career acceleration. Another initiative is STEAM Girls, aimed at girls from 13 to 18 years old, with the objective of contributing to the improvement of teaching and learning in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. And the project “Elas na Siderurgia” aims to train women who were apprentices.

In addition, ArcelorMittal’s Tubarão unit – located in the municipality of Serra (ES) and the first steel plant in the Americas to obtain certification of its operations against the ResponsibleSteel Standard – is also aligned with this purpose. The plant, together with the unit of Vega (SC), held the 2nd edition of the Woman Award last year. The trophy was created to identify and recognize women, in various areas of activity, who are at the forefront of business or transformative social projects in the States of Espírito Santo and Santa Catarina, and for its third edition this year, will launch a public notice at national level. The action reinforces the company’s commitments to encourage female empowerment.

At the steel plant in Monlevade (MG) – another unit in Brazil to receive ResponsibleSteel certification – the company’s specific goal for women in leadership positions gained the attention of auditors during the certification process. The company has about 14,000 employees, approximately 14% of whom are women and 21% of those hold leadership positions. A breakthrough that already demonstrates the effect of our gender-inclusive actions.

Diversity and Inclusion is a theme that has been on the agenda at a global level since the creation of the ArcelorMittal Group’s Gender Diversity Steering Committee. In 2019, with the constitution of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee in the Brazilian operation, the company began the effective design of a program that supports the definition of the strategy and the setting of metrics and KPIs. In this way, ArcelorMittal in Brazil promotes respect, acceptance and appreciation of diversity not only as concepts, but as values in daily practice.

And the initiatives that support these values are not restricted to ArcelorMittal’s internal workforce. We have revisited several programs to promote greater representation of women in the company. The I AM Qualificar program offered technical training and qualification courses in steel processes for residents of Itatiaiuçu, Itaúna, Mateus Leme and the wider region. At the time, campaigns were created to specifically attract the female population of these locations. In another program, called I AM Expert, there was an increase in applications from women for the vacancies offered. The last cycle of the Apprentice program had countless girls interested in entering the industrial sector.

The company wants to create a more welcoming, fair and plural environment for women. We understand this is a challenging journey, but we are committed to achieving this goal by 2030.

By Sofia Trombetta, Director of People, Health and Wellness at ArcelorMittal Long Steels LATAM

Sofia Trombetta is Director of People, Health and Wellness at ArcelorMittal Long Steels LATAM and a global sponsor of diversity and inclusion in the ArcelorMittal Group.

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