Cummins Inc., a global power technology leader, is a corporation of complementary business segments that design, manufacture, distribute and service a broad portfolio of power solutions. The company’s products range from internal combustion, electric and hybrid integrated power solutions to components including filtration, aftertreatment, turbochargers, fuel systems, controls systems, air handling systems, automated transmissions, electric power generation systems, microgrid controls, batteries, electrolysers and fuel cell products.
Empowering female leaders. The new mining groundbreakers
“The industry has so many challenges ahead … Diversity is the answer. There is so much opportunity for advancement and professional development.”
This truth from Leigha Chadwell, Six Sigma Black Belt, PSBU, Cummins Mining & Aftermarket, sets the scene for why Cummins is so committed to empowering women across all the industries it serves, including mining, and in leadership roles.
It’s a matter not just of equality and diversity, but of culture. Cummins, which recently appointed Jennifer Rumsey as President and CEO, recognises that women in leadership positions help other women see the rich potential of the careers they can build; a virtuous domino effect leading to more women growing successful careers in mining.
“Female representation within mining company C-suites sits at 13%” – S&P Global, June 19, 2020
This matters because the mining industry has historically struggled to attract women. Cummins sees International Women’s Day on March 8 as an opportunity both to highlight the dynamic opportunities for women that the industry offers, and to celebrate the women who are already transforming Cummins’ mining business worldwide.
Service technicians, engineers, sales and marketing experts, and executive leaders – women from many backgrounds – are becoming critical to Cummins’ success. Energetic initiatives are driving greater gender balance and equity into its workforce. Among these are:
- Cummins Women in Technology Initiative and Conference;
- Focusing on gender balance during recruitment;
- Reducing the gender pay gap;
- Inspiring the next generations of engineers with STEM programs designed for girls;
- Empowering women through the Cummins Women’s Empowerment Network, an employee resource group;
- Providing flexible working arrangements and enhanced parental benefits; and
- Award-winning breastfeeding-friendly facilities/workplaces.
Training opportunities are a big part of this, highlighted by a Cummins-owned distributor in Chile, where a pilot program in 2022 recruited women with no prior technical experience to undergo specialised training for engine maintenance.
The result? The first group of women who are certified maintenance technicians serving mining customers. The program is set to grow in 2023.
The company’s goal is to ensure women are not just fully represented, but shaping and defining the industry, driving it forward in leadership roles that other women can see and aspire to.
“It’s incredibly important that women see and have access to other females in positions of leadership, including in the mining industry,” Jenny Bush, President, Cummins Power Systems, says. “Women need others they can relate to and the support and encouragement to dream big when considering their career aspirations. Mentoring is extremely valuable. I am passionate about opening doors for women by providing visibility, giving candid feedback and making connections so more women have pathways and time to develop and move into leadership roles.”
Jenny’s views are clearly reflected in the experiences of other women in mining at Cummins.
“Cummins put importance on having female representation in leadership and visible roles and how this might influence other women pursuing careers in this field,” Aki Bentley, Account Manager for Key Cummins OEM accounts, says.
“Female representation in leadership or highly recognised roles is recognised by others even outside of the company, encouraging others to see the possibilities,” Erica Baird says.
Discussing the professional accomplishment within mining she’s most proud of, she says, “I am the second or third African American woman to graduate with a degree in mining in the country and the first from the University of Arizona. I have had an amazing career and I am still here making a way for women and blacks to come behind me.”