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Brendan Harris

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director


Achieving gender equity is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do from a business perspective and leads to better societal outcomes overall.

To achieve gender equity I firmly believe that we need to be brave and take a different, systematic approach, just as the mining industry has done to improve its safety record over many years. We must have real intent when we are designing how we work, where we work and what we do, to ensure the environment we create is inclusive and supportive of an increasingly diverse workforce. As I like to say, we are striving to create an inclusive culture that values diversity. In time, this must extend to our recruitment processes, our exit interviews, the facilities we provide and everything in between, so that our systems and processes create clarity and psychological safety.

We believe in setting hard targets and linking results to executive remuneration to ensure we are focused on delivering tangible outcomes. I am pleased to say we have reached our 40:40:20 target for our C-1 suite with over 40 per cent of our Executive team being female, while more than 40 per cent of our Directors are also female. We need to maintain this momentum and increase the level of female participation throughout our company.

Of course, this will take hard work and dedication, but we cannot have the next generation of young females repeating the same message that ‘nothing has changed’ 5, 10 and 20 years from now. I often hear people say that this approach positively discriminates against men. I only ask, do you know a white Anglo Saxon male who delivers results and is passionate about what they do who hasn’t been given opportunities?

I see a bigger risk being the ability of the mining industry to attract talent. The earth sciences were going out of vogue when I was at university and we have to arrest that trend. To do so, we must promote our capacity to change and innovate, our cutting edge technology that our industry has and continues to develop, and the opportunity we provide to work and live in different cultures.

If the world is to meet its decarbonisation goals, it needs the mining industry more than ever. We will need to foster the best minds and the broadest talents, and this will only happen if we have a supportive, progressive and inclusive workplace. As the CEO and Managing Director of Sandfire Resources, a global company with a footprint across four continents, we know this will be critical if we are to deliver our strategy.

And our industry is fortunate to be able to pay our people well. As more woman move into senior roles and are better represented in the broader industry, some of the imbalances that narrow the pathway to financial freedom will also be alleviated.

As a CEO, I can make a real difference in one company, and with a group of CEOs I can collaborate to drive real change that benefits broader industry and our communities. CEOs for Gender Equity provides a powerful forum for CEOs to share their learnings and ideas, and I want to be part of that environment. I encourage others to join me.


CEO Conversation.


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