Breaking mining’s ‘rock ceiling’ for women – by Derrick Penner (Vancouver Sun – March 6, 2015)

Goldcorp among companies taking steps to make industry more welcoming

By the numbers, the mining industry still looks very much like a boys club. Just 17 per cent of the sector’s workforce in Canada is female, according to Mining Association of Canada statistics.

Industry leaders know they need to raise that number over the long term if the sector expects to maintain a sustainable pool of applicants to fill jobs in its rapidly aging workforce.

The industry has also launched programs to recruit more minority groups and First Nations, which has proved a particularly successful strategy in northern B.C. Vancouver-headquartered Goldcorp Inc. has adopted its own edge in recruiting by expanding Creating Choices, its internal training and mentorship program for women.

The program is “becoming one of the tools” attracting potential recruits, said Anna Tudela, Goldcorp’s vice-president of regulatory affairs and corporate secretary and the program’s creator.

“In the mining industry, we’re lacking the (future) workforce,” Tudela said. “We will have to attract more women,” as well as workers from diverse backgrounds.

Tudela knows one recent hire in the company’s corporate social responsibility department who chose Goldcorp over other offers specifically because of Creating Choices. And after putting some 1,200 women through the course in its first five years, she is hearing more stories about women advancing within the company.

The program’s focus is goal-setting, leadership, networking and better managing a work/life balance.

It is broken up into six modules, Tudela added: how to build self-esteem, how to “dream about where you want to go” in setting goals, how to take the initiative, how to “unlock the power of your voice” and how to create a “leader script” – so when an employee does seize the initiative, she can communicate that effectively.

The final module, she added, is how to “achieve the persona of a leader.”

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