Women in Engineering – Vale Wants to Increase the Number of Professionals and Keep Opportunities Open

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Women in Engineering – Vale Wants to Increase the Number of Professionals and Keep Opportunities Open


On June 23, Vale celebrates International Women's Day in Engineering. At Vale, talent has no gender. The company has 9,661 women and the goal is to double this number by 2030. To attract and retain diverse people, they must feel fully respected, and that is what the company seeks to guarantee in its offices and operational units.

According to Universum's survey on the most attractive companies in the market to work for, Vale ranked 11th in the Engineering category – an area that constantly offers job opportunities in different locations.

Patti Pegues is a mining engineer who started her journey at Vale in 2003 as a student. She then held technical and operational positions, including a leadership role at a former copper mine in Zambia. “My love of puzzles and solving complex problems led me to engineering. As a female in this field, I like to focus on new ways to approach problem solving with team collaboration so that we are all improving together. Being an engineer is no longer a solitary role that is only about working alone at a drafting table. Being an engineer now is an opportunity to have an exciting team-based and collaborative career that takes you all over the world”, comments Patti, who strongly encourages women to get involved in this profession.

Susan Tilley, a civil engineer in Canada, agrees with Patti and explains why she chose this profession: “I selected a career in engineering because it is a diverse field that would open doors to many opportunities in various work environments. The work environment at Vale is fast paced and challenging with countless opportunities and the potential for personal development and growth.  Vale provides a culture of teamwork, safety and respect.”

In 2019, civil engineer Fernanda Valença joined Vale. She is the first woman to hold the general management responsibilities of the operations of Vitória-Minas railroad (EFVM). “Being the first general manager at EFVM makes me very proud but challenged at the same time. I want to show that the railroad work does not depend on gender; it must be focused on delivery. I hope to inspire other women who wish to pursue such a career.” The manager believes that she can work with men but she does not need to be one: “We must be next to other people and not behind. And this goes for any kind of minority. This is not an easy task but we will continue to teach people how it works,” comments the leader, who works as railroad manager for 12 years.

In terms of the cultural change mentioned by Fernanda, Vale has a Human Rights policy and guide, which are widely shared among its employees. In addition, the company provides information through its communication channels and offers internal online and in-person courses on Diversity & Inclusion. The company also encourages the creation of affinity groups to promote conversation. We now, we have two groups of women who address gender equity issues. 

Download the complete Universum’s survey.


Women in Engineering – Vale Wants to Increase the Number of Professionals and Keep Opportunities Open