MELBOURNE, Australia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Rio Tinto and the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) at UNSW Business School have partnered to strengthen Indigenous leadership in the company through the School’s Emerging Indigenous Executive Leaders Program (EIELP).
Under the partnership, the AGSM’s EIELP has been tailored for Rio Tinto to focus on empowering Indigenous leaders who have an influential role in shaping the future of its business.
The first group of Rio Tinto Indigenous leaders has now completed the six-month long, globally recognised program through AGSM at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Business School. The group of 17 leaders graduated with an AGSM Certificate of Executive Management Development after a final week of the program in Cairns that included cultural immersion, presentation of strategic challenges and a graduation ceremony.
Rio Tinto Chief Executive, Australia, Kellie Parker said “This partnership was formed from our strong commitment to attract, retain and grow Indigenous leaders within the company and improve the way we do business. We are thrilled to partner with AGSM and UNSW to deliver this program.
“We know a diverse workforce with a strong Indigenous voice at its centre will strengthen our business, and this initiative will play an important role in advancing Indigenous leadership across all areas of our company, and at all levels.
“Investing in the next generation of Indigenous leaders, including Traditional Owners who have links to our signatory agreements, will not only grow a skill set needed for those communities, but will also strengthen our company’s relationships with those communities.”
The EIELP provides opportunities for participants to further develop leadership capabilities, learn and exchange traditional and contemporary knowledge and network with and learn from business leaders.
On completion of the program, participants receive an AGSM Certificate of Executive Management Development that can be applied towards AGSM’s online MBA program, the MBAX. EIELP alumni are invited to join a 400-plus strong network of EIELP alumni and participate in a number of AGSM life-long learning initiatives.
Tracey Flynn, Head of Enterprise Relationships, AGSM Executive Education, said “The AGSM EIELP Program, designed in partnership with our Indigenous adjunct faculty, creates better leaders who are equipped to contribute to building a better business and a better organisation.
“By bringing together 60,000 years of knowledge, wisdom and practices and the best of Western research, the nine-month program supports participants to uplift their leadership capability and bring their whole selves to work to impact change.”
The roll out of the globally recognised program to its emerging leaders is part of Rio Tinto’s $50 million commitment over five years to attract, retain and grow Indigenous leaders in the company, and has been tailored to incorporate Rio Tinto’s ways of working, including our values and business priorities .
Since November 2020, Rio Tinto has increased the number of Indigenous leaders from six to 32, and more than 126 Indigenous employees earned promotions across Australia in 2021.
In addition, Rio Tinto is partnering with Traditional Owners and local stakeholders to deliver initiatives that contribute to improving the pathways to employment for Indigenous peoples, increasing the number of employment opportunities and providing positive experiences for current and future employees.
Rio Tinto is one of the nation’s largest employers of Indigenous Australians with almost 1,500 Indigenous employees and contractors working across our Australian business.
Since its inception in 2017, more than 100 Indigenous leaders across Australia have participated in the EIELP at UNSW’s AGSM.
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