Kaeli Gattens was only two weeks into her internship in the corporate communications department at Goldcorp when she heard about Creating Choices, an internal training program for women.

Still a shy intern, Gattens gathered the courage to approach the program’s founder, Anna Tudela, Goldcorp’s Vice-President, Regulatory Affairs & Corporate Secretary, to ask for more information. Tudela, who has been a mentor and role model for many women over the years, immediately invited her to an upcoming training workshop.

For Gattens, the course offered the kind of encouragement and inspiration she needed to enter and develop in the male-dominated mining industry. In fact, Gattens says it was the skills highlighted in Creating Choices that helped her gain full-time employment at Goldcorp just a few months later.

“Creating Choices helped give me more confidence in my abilities and encouraged me to use my voice,” said Gattens, who was hired on permanently last September as Communications Coordinator.

What Gattens enjoyed most about the program was the support provided by women to other women.

“It’s not only about girl power,” Gattens said. “It’s about creating an environment that supports women to view themselves as equal and to create opportunities for them to grow, to be the best they can be at what they do. It is very inspiring to see Goldcorp have so many successful, female role models not only at corporate but at each and every operation.”

Creating Choices is celebrating its one-year anniversary from implementation, which we’d like to point out coincides with another big event that celebrates empowerment of women – Oprah’s visit to Canada this week. Oprah will inspire audiences in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver to take control of their own lives so that they can reach their full potential. It’s the same message Creating Choices brings to its participants, while strengthening their abilities in areas such as skill development, networking and mentoring.

Creating Choices is open to women at all levels across Goldcorp’s global operations. So far, more than 500 women have graduated from the program.

Goldcorp is also the first international gold mining company to offer this kind of enterprise-wide program for women. It’s part of the company’s corporate priority of “Growing People.”

“Goldcorp’s senior management team is to thank for continuing to support Creating Choices, prioritizing gender equality and encouraging women to advance their careers through the program,” said Tudela. “By acknowledging and supporting the strengths of both male and female leaders, Goldcorp is strategically developing its people to be their best, while honouring our vision of ‘Together, Creating Sustainable Value.’”

Creating Choices is delivered in partnership with The Humphrey Group and has been delivered at various Goldcorp locations around the world. In October, the “Train-The-Trainer/Entrenar a la Entrenadora” course was delivered to the 25 women on the Mexico and Guatemala Steering Committees. Following this, the program was launched in these countries at all locations.

Goldcorp’s commitment to growing people is one way the company ensures it gets the most from its employees and creates a competitive advantage.

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