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 78 E&MJ • JUNE 2018 ment," Boyt said. She said women who refuse mentoring opportunities are only cheating themselves by trying to go it alone. Addressing the female students in the room, Boyt said, "I wish I had known this when I was your age. Get yourself a spon- sor. It's the way the game is played and it's the secret sauce for leadership. The rest of you … if you don't have a sponsor, position yourself to get one." A lot of people fall into the affini- ty-bias trap. They naturally tend to trust people who are like them. If the mining business has a 10:1 ratio of white males in leadership positions, what happens when they choose who to sponsor? "They are looking down and seeing young men who remind them of themselves and in- cluding them in projects and that rela- tionship turns into a sponsorship," Boyt said. Pointing toward the panelists, Boyt said these guys have decided to sponsor someone that does not look like them. This is the critical thinking needed for a company looking to improve diversity. Boyt then turned the conversation to sex or, more importantly, the implication of sex. Older men do not sponsor younger females because they do not want people to think they are having an affair. Younger women may shy away from a sponsorship from an older male because they don't want people to think they have slept their way to the top. "Research tells us that these are the primary reasons why women are not being sponsored," Boyt said. Organizations must talk about the im- portance of sponsorships and the impli- cations of sex. "If they are not discussing it, the implications stand," Boyt said. "With current events, this is even more important. The latest research says that executives are more hesitant than ever to sponsor women." Once an organization has the conversa- tion, it becomes OK to talk about it. Some companies, according to Boyt, are des- ignating conference rooms for people to meet or places where they can have dinner. "If they are seen together, peers know it's about sponsorship and not sex," Boyt said. Maureen Berkner Boyt moderates a panel discussion, Engaging Allies in Your Career Success Through Sponsorship, at the WAAIME breakfast at SME 2018. Roughly 300 people attend the WAAIME breakfast and the executives field questions from the audience.

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