Joanne Farrell

Joanne Farrell
Vice President - Organisation Resources
Rio Tinto
Category Nomination Women In Resources Champion

Joanne is the most senior woman in Rio Tinto's global iron ore business. In her role as Vice President - Organisation Resources, Joanne has a highly diverse portfolio, covering human resources, health and safety, communities, environment, climate change and water for operations and projects in Australia, Canada, Guinea and India.

Throughout her career Joanne has been a strong advocate for women. She has advocated on both a personal and an organisational level for women to join and develop in the resources sector. Joanne is proud of the successes of many women she has worked with, led or facilitated their development over the years. Currently in her own team, Joanne has three female general managers of six and 17 female managers of 37, bearing testament to her focus as a women in resources champion.

In her role as head of HR Joanne has driven policy and practices that facilitate women joining and developing in the resources sector as well as enabled flexible work arrangements so that work and family can be balanced.

In addition to her responsibilities with Rio Tinto, Joanne formally and informally mentors other women and supports initiatives encouraging school girls to consider a career in the resources sector. Joanne believes that as we focus on bringing women into the industry at a younger age, such as in graduate positions, over time we will see the gender balance improve. In the meantime, we have to play 'catch-up' and so we must provide support to women in accelerating their career development. Hopefully in the not too far away future this will not be necessary.