By Anna Tudela, Vice President, Diversity and Regulatory Affairs, Corporate Secretary, Goldcorp
Picture a woman in the mining industry. What do you see?
If you imagine a woman typing away in an office, or prepping a hearty lunch for the crew in a camp kitchen, it’s time to toss those stale gender stereotypes aside. Why? Because it’s 2017. And because diversity in a company’s workforce and on its leadership team strengthens the entire operation.
At Goldcorp, a woman may choose to climb the career ladder by climbing into a 300-tonne haul truck. For us, moving up in the world could mean going deep underground or working in an open pit – where there are no glass ceilings.
Today, March 8th is International Women’s Day – a perfect opportunity to challenge long-held gender stereotypes inherent to the resource sector. Diversity doesn’t just look good on paper; it broadens our pool of high quality employees, improves employee retention, and allows us to access different perspectives and ideas.
Let’s talk numbers. Worldwide, Goldcorp employs more than 1,400 women – a figure we firmly expect to grow. Our leadership represents nine nationalities from more than 20 distinct cultures and ethnicities. We are aligned with the goal of boosting the representation of women on Canadian boards of directors, as shown through our support of the Catalyst Accord and as a member of the 30% Club Canada. With 33% female representation on our board in 2016, we have surpassed key international targets. And we’re not done yet.
The tone at the top of an organization sets the standard for others to follow, and I felt the need to dislodge long-held, entrenched views. That’s why in 2010, I spearheaded Creating Choices, the first enterprise-wide development and mentorship program for women offered by an international gold mining company: to bring real change to the demographic face of the industry. More than 1,700 Goldcorp women have graduated from Creating Choices and its successor, Growing Choices, which teaches women how to brand themselves as leaders, balance work and life commitments, and plan for career success. These flagship initiatives not only empower our workforce, they provide a pipeline of diverse, engaged talent. That’s good for the bottom line.
I’m also proud to work for a company that has provided Unconscious Bias training for the entire management team in Canada and Mexico. Designed to increase the understanding of both unconscious and conscious bias in the workplace, plus provide strategies for disrupting and overcoming bias, this training challenges all stereotypes – including gender.
In April 2017, I’ll be honoured to speak at the UN Global Compact Gender Equality Forum in Toronto, where I look forward to connecting with men and women from across industry sectors and international borders, to share the ideas and tools we’ve developed through our diversity programs. Co-hosted by the Global Compact Network Canada, UN Global Compact and UN Women, the Forum will focus on achieving tangible goals and giving business leaders the tools they need to empower women.
In recognition of International Women’s Day – and as a salute to the hard-working women in traditionally male-dominated sectors – I’d like to share a short video that’s intended to challenge the way people think about women in mining: link to YouTube or watch below.
There’s an old saying that a woman’s place is in the home. At Goldcorp, we feel at home in a uniform at an active mine site. Sure, we still appreciate a great pair of shoes… but those shoes are often steel-toed boots.