In response to the recent articles regarding Women in Mining, Women in Mining and Women in Nuclear Saskatchewan Inc. (WIM/WiN-SK) would like to acknowledge that some people have experienced harassment and discrimination in the workplace.
Conversations are the first step in a long process of moving past the existing bias and we thank those who have shared their experiences. WIM/WiN-SK wants to also emphasize that not all women have had these experiences. Many of our female colleagues have very rewarding careers. This is not meant to downplay or ignore the challenges that do exist and the fact that companies and the industry as a whole needs to continue to take steps to address gender inequality.
The future of the mining industry depends on its members working together to advance and improve our current techniques in all stages of mining, from exploration through to production and milling. This innovation originates from all employees supporting one another to excel as professionals. This advancement happens with hiring and promotion decisions being made based on personal qualifications and skill sets.
Statistics show that more diverse companies generally outperform their less diverse competitors McKinsey & Company suggests in their 2015 ”Why Diversity Matters” publication that companies with more diversity on their leadership team are more likely to attract and retain top talent, therefore leading to better performance. Yet, many industries, including the mining industry, struggle to increase their diversity. As calculated by the Saskatchewan Mining Association (SMA), the percentage of women in the mining industry in Saskatchewan remains at 14%, trailing the national average of 20%. However some companies have taken steps to increase their diversity and are starting to make it a priority.
WIM/WiN-SK understands that it is a long road to gender equality but applauds those companies that are taking an active role; they are leading the change in the industry. We want women to know that they can have valuable and rewarding careers in the mining industry and that there is a wealth of opportunity for all. We encourage everyone to reach out for support when needed and to keep the progress happening.
WIM/WiN-SK believes that the conversation has begun but positive change can only happen with the support of top management and leaders.