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Glencore Elects First Female Board Director in Patrice Merrin

Mining conglomerate Glencore has ended its reign as the last bastion of all-male boards in the FTSE 100, appointing Canadian Patrice Merrin as its first...

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|Jun 26|magazine4 min read

Mining conglomerate Glencore has ended its reign as the last bastion of all-male boards in the FTSE 100, appointing Canadian Patrice Merrin as its first female board director.

At its annual meeting a month ago, Glencore chairman Tony Hayward expressed the company’s desire to elect a female director by the end of the year. According to business leaders around the globe, the move is a “breakthrough” of “enormous significance.”

Merrin, 64, has worked for the mining group Sherritt for 10 years, rising up to chief operating officer before exiting in 2004. Merrin has also been director of another Canadian miner, Stillwater, as well as spending two years at Canada’s biggest thermal coal producer, Luscar.

Announcing the onset of Merrin, Hayward said: "On behalf of the board I am delighted to announce the appointment of Patrice Merrin. Patrice's in-depth experience of operating across the resources sector will help strengthen the board's ability to work with the opportunities and challenges presented by the global extractive industry. Her record of non-executive director appointments, activist involvement and industry advisory board service is also an excellent complementary skill set to our board.”

Despite Merrin’s appointment, women remain scare among Glencore’s top leadership, which is headed by Chief Executive Ivan Glasenberg, the company’s second largest shareholder with a more-than eight percent stake.

Glencore is one of the largest commodity trader and mining companies in the world.