Glencore appoints Patrice Merrin as first female director

Glencore ended its status as the only FTSE-100 company without a woman on its board by appointing former Canadian mining executive Patrice Merrin an independent non-executive director with immediate effect.

Merrin is a former of chief operating officer at nickel and energy producer Sherritt International Corporation and chief executive officer of Luscar, the largest thermal coal producer in Canada, Glencore said in a statement on Thursday.

Glencore would appoint a female director by the end of 2014, Chairman Tony Hayward said in May, describing it as an “important priority” for the global mining and commodities group.

Glencore’s became the only all-male board of any FTSE-100 company after fellow mine operator Antofagasta hired Vivianne Blanlot in March. The Local Authority Pension Fund Forum, an association of 60 public sector funds with assets of 120-billion pounds, in May advised members to oppose Hayward’s re-election because of lack of progress in appointing a female board representative.

“Patrice’s in-depth experience of operating across the resource sector will strengthen the board’s ability to work with the opportunities and challenges presented by the global extractive industry,” Hayward said in Thursday’s statement.

Glencore, run by billionaire chief executive Ivan Glasenberg, has previously said the appointment of a woman “is a significant consideration” and the company is working to find the right candidates.

Climate change
Merrin is a former director of the Alberta Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation, was a member of the Canadian Advisory Panel on Sustainable Energy Science and Technology, and served on Canada’s Round Table on the Environment and the Economy.

While the UK says it wants more women directors, a government-commissioned study led by former Standard Chartered Chairman Mervyn Davies recommended a 25% goal by 2015 rather than quotas.

Peter Grauer, the chairman of Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, is a non-executive director of Glencore and chairman of the company’s nomination committee. – Bloomberg

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