Engineering & Mining Journal

JUN 2018

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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WOMEN IN MINING 74 E&MJ • JUNE 2018 Focused on inspiring women to engage with peers and take an active role in their career development, as well as on the broader benefit of the impact of a diverse workforce on corporate performance, more than 300 attendees of a breakfast and panel discussion heard views on diversity from some of the biggest leaders in min- ing, asked questions and engaged in an active dialogue. The event was sponsored by Women of SME, the Women's Auxiliary to the American Institute of Mining, Met- allurgical and Petroleum Engineers (WAA- IME), Women in Mining, and FLSmidth, and it took place during the annual So- ciety of Mining, Metallurgical and Petro- leum Engineers (SME) conference during February in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Diversity initiatives relating to gender hinge on hiring and retention from with- in the existing talent pool, but also that young women choose to pursue Science, Technology and Engineering and Math (STEM) degrees. With so much compe- tition within the labor market for STEM graduates, it will be imperative that min- ing companies be seen as attractive em- ployers to incoming diversity candidates. While breakfast attendees represented the full range of career maturity, from senior executives to students, more than half of those in attendance appeared to be millennials who were entering the in- dustry's workforce. Perhaps, surprisingly, many men were also in attendance, a good sign that men in the industry are ac- tively engaged in this issue, and willing to help drive diversity initiatives to support female peers in career development. During the session, billed as Engaging Allies in Your Career Success Through Sponsorship, the moderator, Maureen Berkner Boyt, also shared some frank ad- vice for women. She serves as an execu- tive coach, advising companies that want to develop, promote and retain women, and create inclusive workplaces. She has also held leadership positions in several large corporations and is the founder of several successful businesses. These days it's more important than ever for companies to develop diversity in management programs. Research shows that companies that have embraced these programs have seen 6% to as much as 30% improvement in performance, yet only 15% of the companies in the min- ing business are actively participating in these programs. If the company isn't in- terested in advancing the program, how- ever, it will likely not happen. To offset gender bias, executives will likely need to step outside their com- fort zone to sponsor and mentor female employees. This can be a sensitive area these days. The #MeToo movement has daylighted abuse, but it has also had an unintended impact on interpersonal skills within corporations, especially in male-dominated industries, such as min- ing. Older male executives will be less likely to sponsor a young female for fear of the appearance of impropriety. Similar- ly, a young female will be less likely to accept an opportunity from a senior male Building a Management Strategy That Includes Diversity Data linking diversity in the workplace with higher levels of company performance is validating the need for a management strategy that includes diversity. Executive sponsorships of female employees are one way that organizations are raising the diversity bar, but this also requires female employees to take a more active role in managing careers. By Steve Fiscor, Editor Josh Olmsted, senior vice president-North American copper, Freeport-McMoRan. Tom Palmer, executive vice president and COO, Newmont Mining. Brian Day, president, customer services division and group executive vice president, FLSmidth.

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