Diversity in Aperam
The steel industry of today has changed greatly from the days when recruitment was limited to men. As a result, we now have more women in the workforce, including some leading production lines at our Genk melting shop in Belgium and at our two largest rolling mill tools in France. Because Aperam sees value in a diverse workforce, we are keen to attract the very best talent, regardless of age, gender, national origin or disabilities.
> Women only make up 12% of our staff (16% in S&S Brazil, 20% of global exempts), and 17% of 2017’s joiners. However, it must be noted that some units report a better rate, such as S&S Brazil (22% in Campinas), who state that this higher level of female employees is a driving factor behind their excellent safety and efficiency levels (see Sandra’s testimony on the right), and our Luxembourg Headquarters, which boast the best score with 45% of all employees being female.>We participate in job fairs to promote the industry and the feminisation of our fields of activity (eg. in France: ‘Semaine de la mixité’, ‘Forum des métiers au féminin’). Still, despite our best efforts, recruiting women remains difficult as few apply, especially in Europe. To improve this, in 2017, our French unit launched a specific workstream on gender diversity, with action plans set up on work conditions, fair opportunities, hiring strategy, etc. At the Group level, a series of improvement axis were defined, including the correction of salary gaps, and strenghtened by a specific diversity objective introduced into the managements' personal targets.
> Regarding people with disabilities, several of our sites have undertaken special programs to promote inclusiveness, diversity and equal opportunities and to ensure that everybody is recognised for what they bring to the company. For instance, and as reported in our 2016 Sustainability Report, our Timoteo unit in Brazil launched a specific process for recruiting people with disabilities. This hiring process was combined with a range of actions aimed at increasing awareness among our employees about the benefits of inclusiveness and the many different ways everyone can contribute to Aperam’s success. To ensure a smooth onboarding process, specific care was taken to ensure teams were fully prepared to include people with disabilities and to help walk them through our routines and procedures. In 2016, 18 people with disabilities were hired and 10 trainees enrolled. More examples can be seen in our 2017 Sustainability Report.
> Because of our global composition, diversity at Aperam is often defined by language and culture. We have four main official languages: English, Dutch, French and Portuguese, and all corporate communications are dispatched in multiple language versions. In fact, many of our official communications, such as our Health & Safety campaigns, our Compliance posters (see left) and, more recently, our Anti-Corruption campaign, are translated in up to 10 languages! In addition, site management are encouraged to use the local language of the workers, thus ensuring that proximity is not an empty word. That being said, in order to boost creativity, at times we do utilise positive discrimination. For example, when several profiles match, sometime we will opt for the local profile, while other times we will go with a new nationality in hopes that they will bring different ideas to the teams they join. In other words, we take a multi-criteria approach to diversity, one that is tailored to our ingenuity credo.