Our employees – our human capital – are essential to delivery on our business strategy. A productive and motivated workforce, equipped with the right skills and knowledge required to achieve our strategic objectives, is vital to the creation of sustained value throughout the business cycle.

Several key people management initiatives were undertaken in 2019 to ensure that AngloGold Ashanti remains competitive, agile and consistent in creating and delivering value.

As one of five key strategic focus areas, our human resources strategy is integral to our business strategy. Furthermore, our risk and materiality processes have highlighted people as an important focus area.

Creating value through our people

Six strategic human resource prioritiesWhat we achieved – 2019
Align organisational design and operating model with business strategy
  • New operating model established together with relevant changes to management structures; appointment of two Chief Operating Officers – one for Africa and one for International operations
Implement health of discipline frameworks to support delivery of Operational Excellence
  • Roll-out of health of discipline frameworks completed
  • Clearly defined technical and functional role profiles and competencies
Develop capable, valuesbased leadership
  • Leadership competency framework embedded in human resources practice
Employee engagement and commitment
  • Employee survey conducted to better understand employee motivations – action taken to address issues identified
      (See below for more detail)
Talent management and succession planning
  • Good talent cover ratio achieved for key positions
  • Chairman’s Young Leaders Programme well underway
  • Group-wide mentorship programme launched
      (See below for more detail)
Simplify and integrate human resource systems
  • Design of our integrated human resources framework currently underway, including enhanced performance management and compensation systems

Integrated talent and succession management

Given that the retention of critical skills and talent is a key risk, our human resource-related activities are aimed principally at addressing and mitigating this risk. Various initiatives are in place to attract and retain talent, to build leadership, to develop internal capabilities, to upskill and develop young talent and to encourage diversity and inclusion.

Our approach to integrated talent and succession management aims to ensure a pipeline of leadership and critical skills talent across the organisation.

The effectiveness of these initiatives is measured through the annual talent and succession planning review conducted in a cross functional and systematic manner by operational, regional, functional and executive leadership teams for presentation to the board.

In 2019, the following outputs were achieved:

  • A 9% year-on-year increase in the talent pool to 257 employees
  • 67% of Stratum IV (senior management) and higher vacancies were filled internally, illustrating the strong focus on internal appointments for key positions
  • A retention rate of 90% for employees graded at Stratum IV (senior management) and higher
  • A 14% increase in female representation in the talent and succession pool between 2016 and 2019, and a 3% improvement in the appointment of female leaders in key positions
  • Steady progress in skills transfer to and training and development of local nationals, reducing the number of expatriate employees
  • A 14% improvement in the 26- to 35-year age group talent and succession pool since 2016 – positioning them for senior leadership and critical scarce skills positions in the future
  • Approximately 740 formal, informal and on-the-job interventions, including job retentions, were conducted to grow, nurture and retain talent

Employee engagement

AngloGold Ashanti conducted its third global employee engagement survey in five years in May 2019. The survey aimed to improve understanding of our employees, their expectations and motivations. The survey findings are used to improve perception of the organisation, to develop our brand as an employer of choice, and to retain and attract critical and scarce skills talent. Despite the challenging operating business landscape, 76% of employees participated in the survey.

Results of the survey highlighted that employees highly rate the extent to which AngloGold Ashanti conducted its business as a values-based organisation, placing a high value on the leadership and the Company’s vision. Based on the results of the survey, work began to develop, implement and track relevant interventions to improve the business culture and reinforce our values.

To improve employee engagement with senior leadership and in response to feedback from the survey, CEO breakfast sessions were held on a quarterly basis, providing an opportunity for informal conversations with employees. Additionally, CEO town hall meetings, regional COO town hall meetings and other engagements were hosted to promote a more active dialogue, ensure alignment to the group’s strategy and support collaboration throughout the business. Progress on these interventions will be provided to the board on an annual basis until the next survey. The next employee engagement survey is planned to take place in 2021.

Developing capabilities locally (localisation)

Localisation encompasses efforts to strengthen local economic and employee development. These efforts include preserving and increasing local jobs, skills development, local procurement, and infrastructure and service development.

Increasing localised employment is an important area of focus, especially in the Continental Africa region where we are currently working with local institutions to develop local talent. In 2019, 16 key positions in the region were filled by local nationals, despite increases in expatriate numbers due to the Obuasi redevelopment and the move to underground mining currently underway at Geita.

Initiatives are underway to ensure that local adequately skilled individuals with good potential are included in talent pools and succession planning. Ongoing talent mapping to identify, develop and maintain a pipeline for general manager and head of department positions is a critical area of focus to localise senior management.

In 2019, there was a year-on-year improvement in general manager and head of department talent pools, with significant increases in successors in the “Ready now”, “Ready in 1-3 years” and “Ready in 3-5 years” categories – see graph below.


Fair, equal and responsible pay

At AngloGold Ashanti, we are committed to the principles of fair, equal and transparent pay, the framework for which is continually evolving. These principles are reflected in our group remuneration policy. See Fair pay, diversity and inclusion for further details.

Focusing on diversity and inclusion

Fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion, based on dignity and respect, across our global footprint, is a business imperative.

Gender assessments conducted internally during the year helped inform our Global Diversity and Inclusion Framework, which had oversight from the Sustainability, Ethics and Social Committee. Knowledge of country-specific legislation as well as input from focus groups on the needs of females and the barriers that prevent many from joining and actively participating in the business were used to determine desired key outcomes of the framework.

The Global Diversity and Inclusion Framework, is aligned with the ICMM and United Nations Global Compact principles as well as our group human resource objectives to empower all employees, irrespective of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and people with disabilities. The 10-pillar framework guides managers as they work to achieve a truly diverse workforce and a workforce free of inequality. Furthermore, unconscious bias awareness workshops are being rolled out across the organisation.

The Policy on Diversity, which promotes gender and racial diversity at board level in accordance with the JSE Listings Requirements, has been expanded to include culture, age, field of knowledge, skills and experience. Voluntary targets have been set for race and gender inclusion.

Take aways from the gender diversity assessments included:

  • A range of issues impede the recruitment and development of females
  • Cultural issues, favouritism and biases are evident in the recruitment and promotion of females
  • Marginalisation of women exists
  • Inadequate facilities and services for females in some areas of the business
  • More inclusive science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) opportunities can enhance the pipeline of talent
  • Branding of mining, it is not inclusive for women

The 2020 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index

AngloGold Ashanti voluntarily participated in the 2020 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI). The 2020 index comprises 325 companies in 42 countries with a combined market capitalisation of $12 trillion.

The GEI tracks the financial performance of public companies committed to supporting gender equality through policy development, representation and transparency. The Bloomberg GEI metrics measure indicators such as: the likelihood of a woman remaining employed at a firm following parental leave, the availability of on-site lactation rooms, and sponsorship of STEM education programmes for women.

Our overall score of 69% compares with an average score across all sectors of 63% and 67% for the mining sector. Our highest scores were for disclosure, equal pay and gender parity, and for our sexual harassment policies. Opportunities exist to improve our performance – in terms of a female leadership and talent pipeline, and inclusivity – and submission, and, with the support of the board and executive committee, to promote gender diversity and create an inclusive working environment.

Our inaugural submission has established a foundation to benchmark and improve upon in promoting gender equity, diversity and inclusion. Our inclusion in the Bloomberg GEI is recognition of the work we are doing to achieve diversity across the group. With the support received from the board and Executive Committee to promote gender diversity and create the right working environment for women, opportunities exist to improve on future submissions.