Building a Gender Diverse Mining Workforce in the Columbia Basin-Boundary Region

Building a Gender Diverse Mining Workforce in the Columbia Basin-Boundary Region

Tue, 02/18/2020 - 12:07
Open Pit Mine

Columbia Basin-Boundary region mining industry is a significant economic driver for BC and Canada. The communities in the region provide the workforce to support the Kootenay mining industry. The purpose of this research was to explore the barriers facing women who wish to enter the mining workforce in the region. The goal of this research was to identify barriers, and to explore ways in which to remove them and create more opportunities for women who wish to enter into the mining workforce.

This research highlights some key themes around women in the mining workforce. Participants identified what was driving positive change within the mining sector. Strong mining company practices and policy are creating frameworks and guidelines that ensure diversity and inclusion are at the forefront of company culture. Mentorship programs are helping current and prospective employees learn more about the industry. In addition, mentorship programs are sharing knowledge and creating networks. Public perception and the narratives about women in mining are changing. The stereotypes of women not liking mining because it is “dirty” or “dangerous” are being eroded and replaced by positive stories of women working and thriving in the mining sector. However, there are still major systemic barriers that impact the attraction and retention of women in the mining workforce. Learn more.