Vale employee smiling in green landscape. She is wearing a green Vale
uniform, goggles, helmet and ear plugs. Visual wave artifact Vale
Our people inspire us to continually evolve. We are committed to and actively invest in talent development, inclusion, and diversity in our workforce. Safety is an obsession at Vale, and ensuring the health and well-being of our people is an integral part of this commitment. 

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Number of employees

We currently have a workforce of approximately 215,000 employees (including direct employees and contractors) spread across 18 countries. At Vale, our management practices ensure we take care of our employees, respect human rights, work tirelessly to eliminate accidents, support skills development, foster an environment that encourages open communication, and provide a living wage and compensation that is consistent with the complexity of each role. 


Workforce by gender

People with disabilities





Workforce by country 

Country  Direct employees  Contractors
Employees by business unit  Direct employees   Contractors 
Steelmaking solutions 
Energy transition materials 
Vale's Archive

Cultural transformation

The Brumadinho dam failure prompted Vale to embark on a deep-reaching cultural transformation — a tragedy of such profound impact demanded swift action to accelerate learning, change and improvements within the company. 

We articulated strategic ambitions for the next five years, which include strengthening our commitment to safety, building stakeholder trust and achieving leadership in sustainable mining. We revisited and prioritized the behaviors we want to cultivate within the organization in support of our goals (as outlined below), and defined five levers: Safety, the Vale Management Model (VPS), People, Innovation and ESG. 

Vale’s ambitions: 
  • benchmark in safety;   

  • best-in-class reliable operator;  

  • talent-driven organization;   

  • leader in sustainable mining;   

  • benchmark in creating and sharing value. 

To support these ambitions, we have established the following key behaviors: 
  • obsession with safety and risk management; 

  • open and transparent dialogue; 

  • empowerment with accountability; 

  • sense of ownership; 

  • active listening and engagement with society. 

An integrated plan informs our initiatives to scope out our organizational culture and core beliefs, including leadership development programs and a review of our organizational processes and systems. Cultural elements have also been integrated into the Vale Production System (VPS). Key performance indicators are used to gauge progress in strategic areas and to monitor processes in the coming years.

 In 2021, we introduced Ecos Pulse, a survey designed to assess employee perceptions of our cultural transformation, enhance engagement, and measure the impact of changes. In 2022, more than 35,000 employees responded to the survey, offering their views on culture, leadership, careers, well-being, and belonging. 

Progress on our cultural transformation

  • Aspiration defined
  • Review of key behaviors
  • Initial leadership awareness-raising
  • Cultural assessment
  • Vale narrative revised and Purpose defined
  • Leader development as role models
  • Start of system and process review (D&I, Cultural Integration, VPS, People Management, etc) 
  • Influencer network created 
  • Vale Narrative communicated
  • Manager engagement around Culture
  • Senior leadership engagement around Purpose
  • First results from Ecos Pulse survey
  • Front-line leader engagement
  • Engagement strategy
  • Digital inclusion of operations
  • Culture scale-up across operations
  • Vale 100
  • Purpose permeating our strategy - Vale 100
  • Culture supporting the Vale of the Future
  • Expanded digital inclusion
  • Organization-wide development initiatives
  • Front-line leader experience
  • Deep-dive into Operations

Diversity, equity and inclusion 

As a core part of our cultural transformation, we are channeling efforts to make our workplace environment more diverse and inclusive, reflecting the full spectrum of human diversity. 

In 2020, we created a Global Diversity and Inclusion Department and have since implemented structuring initiatives that have delivered significant results, as we continue to evaluate progress and the challenges that still lie ahead. Lessons learned have deepened our understanding of what it truly means to be an inclusive company and have allowed us to continuously refine our initiatives. In 2022, we launched an affirmative action program to accelerate our journey to becoming a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive company. 

Vale’s Diversity & Inclusion Policy establishes six core priorities (see the table below), yet our commitment extends beyond these dimensions as we work toward our overarching goal to become a genuinely inclusive company. Professional skills building, career development and training on harassment, discrimination and prejudice have been some of our initiatives in support of these priorities.  

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Our priorities

Gender: Double the share of women in our workforce (from 13% to 26%) by 2025, and achieve 26% women in senior leadership roles globally. 
LGBTI+: Raise awareness about LGBTQIA+ issues and reinforce Valley’s stance on respecting sexual orientation and gender identity, regardless of individuals’ personal beliefs and worldviews. 
Local talent: Provide visibility, training and growth opportunities for talents from regions and countries that are less represented in leadership positions within the company. 
Ethnic and racial: Have 40% of leadership roles filled by black employees by 2026. Raise employee awareness about ethnic and racial issues and their impacts on workplace relationships.
PwDs: Support the inclusion of people with disabilities through training and physical and digital accessibility. 
*Vale against harassment: Increase employee awareness and engagement around cultivating a safe environment where all individuals have a voice (psychological safety) and opportunities to develop their potential. 


  • +5,000 women since December 2019 

  • +63% women in the workforce in 3 years 

  • +11.4% black and brown people in leadership roles (coordinator and above) in 2022 

  • 120,000 hours of training and education on diversity, equity and inclusion 

Our initiatives and improving metrics show that we are making progress, but we recognize there are still gaps and we have a long way to go in promoting equity and effective inclusion. Below, we spotlight key initiatives from the past three years that have helped to drive improvement: 

  • Since 2019, when we set our goal of doubling the share of women in our workforce, from 13% to 26%, we have achieved a 57% increase in the number of female employees in various departments, demonstrating our ability to attract and hire women for traditionally male-dominated roles; 

  • We have made a concerted effort to select and hire female engineers, analysts, and managers. In 2022, we launched a Professional Training Program (PFP) offering more than 1,200 vacancies for women in operational roles; 

  • Vale has established affinity groups to foster discussion and share ideas, including groups for: women (in Brazil and Canada), ethnic and racial equity, individuals with disabilities, and LGBTI+ (Brazil and Canada); 

  • We have joined the Racial Equity Movement (Mover) in Brazil, a collaborative initiative with 46 other companies to expand opportunities for black individuals, reduce inequality, and fight systemic racism in the workplace; 

  • Vale has subscribed to the Racial Equity Pledge, an initiative aimed at implementing an ESG Racial Protocol for Brazil, and we have introduced a new development track on Racial Literacy; 

  • We have achieved a 5.4% share of people with disabilities; 350 individuals have benefited from our Potencializando Talentos PcD (“Empowering PwD Talent”) program, an initiative that aims to empower people with disabilities by cultivating their capabilities, potential, and a fresh perspective in confronting challenges; 

  • Our Global Trainee Program works to select diverse talents. In our 2022 selection process in Brazil, 67% of 113 selected trainees were women and 71% self-identified as Black or Brown; 

  • In 2022, we launched the following affirmative action programs: Empowering Black Talent, Empowering PwD Talent, Career Acceleration for Black Women, and the Impulsiona program, directed to disadvantage black women; 

  • We have redoubled our efforts to combat harassment, prejudice, and discrimination. These efforts include: our No to Harassment webpage, a source of information on this topic; an improved support channel for employees facing sexual harassment or discrimination; and a newly launched training program, titled “React - Combating Sexual Harassment in the Workplace,” newly launched in 2022. 

Greater transparency

To enhance transparency around our actions, we anually publish a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Report detailing our initiatives and performance against commitments as part of this journey. 


Vale pays no less than the legal minimum wage and, as published in our Integrated Report, there is no significant difference in basic salary between men and women in the same roles. Any minor variances, which in 2022 did not exceed 2.25 percentage points in either direction, can be attributed to differences in seniority and experience levels within specific job categories. 

Among other improvements, we have introduced concepts such as a “living wage.” The living wage is defined as an amount of income that enables an individual and their family to meet their basic needs, maintain a dignified standard of living, and achieve a level of well-being that aligns with the social and cultural expectations of their community and/or the country where they live. In 2022, Vale paid a living wage to 100% of employees across all our global operations. 

Vale's Archive

Our living wage calculation takes into account not only the cost of food but also other goods and services needed to afford a decent standard of living (food, water, housing, education, healthcare, transportation, clothing, and other essential necessities, as well as a buffer for unexpected events). The reference calculation, in turn, combines a variety of macroeconomic data (poverty levels, minimum wage rates, household expenditure, etc.) to estimate a living wage that is used to validate and supplement the model-based calculation. 

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Empresa Cidadã 

As a member of the Empresa Cidadã (“Corporate Citizenship”) program, Vale provides employees with extended parental leave. Maternal leave is extended by 60 calendar days from the end of the statutory 4-month period, and paternal leave is extended by 15 calendar days from the statutory 5-day period. 

This promotes responsible fatherhood by involving fathers in the care of their children from the earliest moments, as well as contributing to gender equality. 

Healthcare for indigenous peoples 

Under an agreement with indigenous communities, Vale provides supplementary healthcare services including elective, urgent, emergency, and dental care through an accredited network. The ethnic groups covered by the agreement can request healthcare services as needed through a focal point.

Commitments and targets 

  • Double the share of women in the workforce, from 13% (2019) to 26% by 2025. 

  • Achieve 40% of leadership roles (managers and above) held by black individuals by 2026. 

  • Achieve 50% reduction in exposure to health-hazardous agents in the workplace by 2025. 

  • Achieve zero recordable high-potential (L2) injuries by 2025. 

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Policies and guidelines 

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Training and development 

The combination of a conducive workplace environment with our unique management model offers a powerful tool for cultural change. Recognizing this, our redesigned management model has been integrated into culture awareness training for leadership roles to provide line of site between aspirations and day-to-day impact on operations. 

Vale's Career and Succession process is designed to cultivate a culture of meritocracy, development, and mentorship, and one that encourages transparent and open communication, with the ultimate goal of creating value for individuals and the business. Our employee development strategy is structured into three pillars: technical training and development, behavioral development, and leadership development. 

Vale recognizes the need to be responsive to today’s fast-changing world by building skills that can enable our company and workforce to adapt to new ways of doing business and achieve a competitive edge. To this end, we have reimagined our learning model under the motto “Learning Together.”  Our ongoing cultural transformation supports greater autonomy, knowledge sharing, hands-on learning, and resourceful problem-solving.   

Through our Corporate University — Valer — we have structured a portfolio of training and development initiatives for diverse audiences, focusing on technical, management, and leadership skills. These courses also address cross-cutting themes aligned with our strategy, including safety, the Vale VPS management model, risk management, and sustainability. 

With the expansion of our digital learning platform, Valer Digital now serves more than 30,000 employees worldwide. 

We understand the pivotal role that leadership plays in Vale’s cultural transformation journey. Accordingly, we have created an environment of continuous learning so our leaders can develop the skills needed to inspire and build teams that are increasingly capable of facing both current and future challenges. 

Leadership development at Vale is grounded in the following principles:

  • Close alignment with Vale’s strategy and cultural transformation, with Leadership Attributes as a backbone.
  • Continued adoption of a global approach that provides opportunities for leaders to acquire adjacent experience across different business units as needed, while capturing economies of scale.
  • A greater focus on a phased approach, where initiatives are delivered to a subset of the audience at a time rather than all leaders at once.
  • An increased emphasis on: i) hands-on learning and key behaviors, ii) strengthening links with the external workforce market, and iii) expanding offerings to encompass all organizational levels.
Vale’s Leadership Academy portfolio offers a wide array of leadership development programs and on-demand opportunities. These programs equip leaders with the skills needed to effectively manage talent and develop their teams.

As part of our approach to succession planning, we measure our organizational capacity to provide opportunities for high-performing employees over time, retain talent, develop behaviors aligned with our future-state culture, consistently drive high performance, foster skills building, unlock individual potential, and ensure business continuity. 

In 2019, we introduced a Global Talent Review to identify and develop successors not only for C-Suite positions but also for other critical leadership roles, with a focus generating future value for the company.  

Our People and Compensation Committee addresses succession planning for senior leadership roles in quarterly meetings, reporting to the Board of Directors. 

In 2022, we conducted a review of our critical positions: 94% of them have at least one identified successor; 55% have successors planned for the short, medium, and long term. We also take diversity and inclusion into account. Among the 112 critical positions identified, 72% have at least one woman as a successor, and 46% have at least one non-white successor, ensuring a diverse leadership pipeline. 

Vale's Archive

Attracting talent 

We strive to attract and retain the best professionals who align with our purpose and culture, and to achieve our ambition of being recognized as a talent-driven organization. Throughout Brazil, we use a strategic recruitment approach aligned with the Vale Performance System (VPS), focusing on the candidate experience and using artificial intelligence for precise profile searches, with diversity as an underpinning pillar of our strategy for attracting and selecting talents. In 2021, we launched a program to roll out these practices globally, starting with Canada. 

We have also developed an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) outlining attributes of our organizational culture and workplace experience for employees and target candidates. The EVP describes the core attributes and themes that inform all our employer branding activities and communications. It provides a framework for the underlying content used in messaging and a communication strategy to bring our culture to life and connect with different candidate groups. 

Explore some of Vale's talent attraction programs: 

New Graduates Program – Vale  

Opportunities for Students – Vale 

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Union relations 

Vale works to maintain positive relationships with labor unions in all the countries where we operate, seeking to resolve disputes through regular meetings and consultations with union representatives. Collective bargaining is an ongoing practice, supported by dialog with unions and training provided to leaders on labor relations matters. 

We uphold the principles of freedom of association, aligning our practices with the Vale Code of Conduct, local labor laws, the eight Fundamental Conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the guidelines of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Where local legislation in a given country imposes restrictions on freedom of association, we work with equivalent labor organizations.

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Notably, there have been no employee strikes within our own workforce in Brazil since 1989. Labor disputes and litigation involving the company and unions have also decreased. The number of employees voluntarily affiliating with unions has increased. In Brazil, all employees are covered by collective negotiations involving 12 unions, and over 15,000 have chosen to become voluntary members of the union entities that represent them. Across all countries where Vale operates, 94% of our direct employees are covered by collective bargaining agreements. 

In 2021, there was a two-month strike by employees in Sudbury, Canada. During this period, negotiations continued until a new agreement was reached in August 2021. 

Since 2005, employees have elected, through direct voting, a member and their respective alternate to the Board of Directors. These elections are jointly organized by the company and labor unions. 

Labor relations representatives at Vale, at various levels, convene weekly meetings with union representatives to address routine matters and strengthen social engagement. 

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Legal working hours in countries where Vale operates 

Country Hours per week