NRI billionaire Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Resources aims to have 25 per cent representation by women in its Board by next year and all appointments will be made purely on merit.
At present, the natural resources major does not have any women member on its Board now, but they constitute 8.4 per cent of the total company strength that stood at around 88,000.
"This year, we continued our spotlight on bringing more women in to our business, with the proportion of women in the business rising to 8.4 per cent. Further, we have taken an objective of 25 per cent women representation at the Vedanta Board level by 2015 with no appointment made to date," the London-listed firm said in its annual report. All appointments will be made on merit," the company said. Vedanta Resources has eight members in its Board now.
Natural resources firms such as Vedanta Resources, which is in the business of iron ore, oil and gas, aluminium, copper and zinc, face challenges in maintaining gender balance in the leadership roles.
"However, we are determined to make serious efforts to move in a positive direction and the Group has recently appointed a female independent non-executive director to the Board of Sesa Sterlite," it said.
Listing out the constraints on maintaining the balance in the traditionally male-dominated areas, the firm said this is mainly due to cultural constraints and remote geographical locations of its operations.
"It is essential to overcome the reasons for lack of female representation to date...In order to achieve our target for women on the Board, we ensure that women candidates are considered routinely as part of the recruitment process," it added.
Vedanta Resources has businesses across different nations and employs people mostly from communities that surround its operations to encourage local employment opportunities.
As much as 91 per cent of its senior management in India are locals, 100 per cent in Australia and Ireland, 59 per cent in Zambia and 40 per cent in South Africa. Its attrition rate stood at 4.92 per cent in last fiscal.