International Women's Day – Meet Eight Women Who Have Made Their Careers in the Mining Industry

About Vale


International Women's Day – Meet Eight Women Who Have Made Their Careers in the Mining Industry

A woman's place is where she wants to be, even in the mining industry. At Vale, there are women in different areas, from equipment operators to company directors and presidents in other countries. The company also aims to double the female workforce by 2030, from 13% of its employees to 26%.

On March 8th, International Women's Day, we pay tribute to the employees who are part of our team, bringing stories and messages from some of them who decided to build their careers at Vale long ago.


“Vale was my first job; I joined the company when I was only 20 years old. At that time, my family was concerned if I would be able to face the challenges, such as the need for physical strength and variable weather conditions – since my job is outdoors –, and if I could work on day and night shift schedules. When I started, there was still a lot of prejudice in the industry, but I was lucky to find people who helped me and believed in my potential.

My trainee group was the second one with women and the first that is still working in the operational area. Here we have won our space and the respect of our colleagues and leaders.”

Interesting facts: Tracy has held different positions at Vale until she reached the presidency.

“I feel honored that my hard work has been recognized by the company. More importantly, I think I have been very fortunate to have been working for a company, and in roles, that have had a front-line seat to witness China’s rapid economic development and elevated international status.

I’m not the first nor the only female in our company to hold leadership position. What I’ve learned over time is that you need to have confidence in the value you bring in. To promote people based on high performance with meritocracy will be key to reaching desired level of diversity.”

Interesting facts: Gabrielly operates large equipment using joysticks. This activity is exclusive for the operation of Carajás Serra Sul (S11D) iron mine, where Vale operates autonomous mines.

“I work with pieces of equipment that demand a lot of responsibility because they require daily inspections as well as continuous attention and focus. Working here has enabled me to show that focus and dedication are essential; I’m a woman, I’m short but I’m able to operate these giants. I’m always seeking knowledge and I dream of reaching a higher position, maybe a manager”.

Interesting facts: Theresa was born in Zimbabwe, emigrated to Canada at a young age and is now a mining engineer. She is the author of a book, Underground! My Mining Adventure, which tells the story of a girl who explores the world of mining with her mother.

“I went to an all-girls high school, studied in a University program that was not that gender diverse, and have now worked around mostly men in most of my career. What I now know to be true, is that when you work with anyone with a different experience and perspective, it’s important to become curious about how you can show up and communicate in a way that allows both parties to really understand one another.

I see amazing opportunities for women to fully integrate into the mining workforce through education, sponsorship, mentorship and being informed about the positive possibilities for them in the sector. As for me, I want to continue contributing to initiatives that improve the industry together with the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM); I want to promote dialogue on diversity and inclusion in this industry and write some other books.”

Interesting facts: The work at Vale helped women guide their careers. Izabel, a production engineer, is doing graduate studies in Safety Engineering. Miriam is majoring in Quality Management and wants to do graduate studies in Industrial Pedagogy.

"We’re responsible for providing new employees with training on CARs (Critical Activity Requirements), PROs (procedures), and new employee onboarding process. The first thing we talk about during onboarding process is our history in the company.

We, women, like to be challenged. We know that we are in a work environment in which we must show that we are capable of doing our work. We have strength, care, and passion for what we do.”

“At first, I was afraid and not confident. But after getting used to it and provided with trainings on safety and SOP, all of those feelings went away. What I like most of my job is that I can interact with colleagues in the same team and can achieve the production target without any accidents. As a female employee I hope that other female employees can receive a bigger portion in every career development opportunity.”

“I joined Vale as a trainee in 1998, in Brazil, and over the years I’ve always felt that Vale offered different learning opportunities, in the country and abroad, meeting different people and working in different areas. We see many positive changes not only at Vale but also in the industry. When I moved abroad in 2005, I hardly found female colleagues and now we have a different scenario.

Among the main challenges ahead is total equality, not only in gender but in terms of general inclusion, without labels. I think that female empowerment in companies should include a discussion about the role of men too (or partners), especially concerning children. When managers encourage equal treatment of responsibilities, the possibilities for effective inclusion are expanded.”

International Women's Day – Meet Eight Women Who Have Made Their Careers in the Mining Industry