Opportunity: Workforce Diversity in the Mining Industry


Ms Theresa Nyabeze, Ms Samantha Espley

Workforce diversity is not a new concept however, for mining in Canada, the diversity opportunity is immense in terms of improving worker representation by gender, ethnicity, religion and other characteristics. Not only do diverse teams yield strong financial returns, they also signal to society a forward-thinking, progressive business culture that attracts future talent. As the mining industry faces workforce shortfalls and global competitive pressures, there is a need to attract and retain the best talent with knowledge and creativity that builds upon the value from traditional skills and strength. Unconscious bias is an important factor whereby mining industry leaders need to be aware of the impact of practices, policies, systems, symbols and processes for hiring, developing and promoting employees. As well, based on insights gained from industry-wide surveys and recent research studies, the need for visible leaders and employee mentorship programs in mining is discussed as these influence employee attraction and retention, particularly with non-traditional segments in society. The Canadian mining industry needs visionary leaders and advocates to transform the culture. A diverse and talented workforce will be well-equipped to address the future complex challenges of our industry.