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Meet White Ribbon ambassador Adam MacMillan

December 8, 2021

Our North Atlantic Operations and Toronto Base Metals HQ are working with White Ribbon, an organization first founded in Toronto in 1991, to end violence against women and girls, promote gender equity, healthy relationships, and a new vision of masculinity. To that end, employees and leaders like Adam MacMillan (he/him), who’s on the Base Metals Strategy and Strategic Projects team, have become White Ribbon ambassadors in their respective locations to help get the message out, and affect change. Vale News caught up with Adam to talk about his involvement with White Ribbon. Read on. 

“I recognize the privilege I carry as a white cis-gender male,” said Adam, who, over the course of his 20-year career at Vale, has worked in Sudbury, ON, Brazil and now Toronto. 

One such opportunity occurred when he lived in Sudbury. Adam started a rugby team with some friends, including one who worked in a youth group. One day, this friend brought some of the older boys from the home to play. 

Adam said the boys could see that rugby is a contact sport involving regular tackling and scrums. On the other hand, the team was comprised of men from varied backgrounds, who trained, supported and competed with discipline and respect for each other. 

“I think it was a good way of showing what healthy masculinity can look like, while engaging in what could be considered a ‘macho’ activity, especially for those who may not have had positive male role models their lives.” 

When Adam lived in Brazil, he led a technical team that was divided equally between the genders. “That was phenomenal,” he said. In Canada, however, it’s been more challenging to get equal representation in the Strategy department. 

The problem? Too few women are applying. Adam feels that baked into the average job description are barriers that prevent women from even trying. He’s not alone. LinkedIn analyzed “billions of interactions between professionals, companies, and recruiters,” and found that “in order to apply for a job, women feel they need to meet 100 percent of the criteria, while men usually apply after meeting about 60 percent.” LinkedIn concluded that “a decisive step toward hiring more women and creating a gender-balanced workforce is understanding these differences and optimizing the recruiting process to be more inclusive.” 

Adam’s current team, all engineers, includes three men and one woman. Gillian Moore is the newest and youngest member, and according to Adam, “brings a welcome perspective, great experiences, and unique skills to the team.” He’s hoping that the recruitment process will continue to come up with ways to encourage more women like Gillian to apply. 

With White Ribbon, Adam would like to see more awareness around gender-based violence, inequality, and healthy masculinity. “We need to get to what we should be, rather than what we are today.” 

What can you do right now? 

  • Take a White Ribbon selfie today. After you receive your white ribbon, show allyship by taking a selfie wearing your white ribbon and emailing your photo to this link by end of day today, December 8. Sorry, we cannot extend the deadline.  
  • Take the pledge. Go to https://www.whiteribbon.ca/Vale-Pledge.html  and take the pledge to end gender-based violence and promote gender equity. It takes just a minute to complete. 
  • Educate. Share this story on your social channels with the hashtags #AlliesOfQuality, #WhiteRibbon, #ValeProud
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