OTTAWA – The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) and its members, which include 45 of Canada’s leading mining companies, today released a statement denouncing all forms of discrimination, racism and sexism and committed to actions to eliminate them in the Canadian mining industry.
“Racism, sexism and discrimination have no place in the mining industry and as the largest private sector employer of Indigenous peoples in Canada, we recognize that our industry in particular has an important role to play in ensuring anti-racist policies are in place to ensure responsible and respectful practices,” said Gordon Stothart, President and CEO of IAMGOLD and MAC’s Chair. “MAC’s members also strongly recognize that diversity and inclusion breed success, making the fight against racism both a moral and a business imperative.”
Over the past six months, MAC and its members have come together to identify and commit to several tangible objectives focused on ensuring discrimination, racism and sexism have no part in Canada’s mining sector.
“It is important to our organization and to me personally that our workplaces are safe environments where everyone can thrive – regardless of gender identity, race, ethnicity, abilities, sexual orientation, family status or position within the company,” said Alice Wong, Cameco’s Senior Vice-President and Chief Corporate Officer. “This is a fundamental right of every employee and we are pleased to see MAC take a stand on this issue.”
MAC and its members have put this commitment to ensuring equity, diversity and inclusion are prioritized in Canada’s mining sector into a formal statement encompassing several actions that received unanimous support at its November Board meeting. These objectives focus on efforts to ensure the Canadian mining workforce reflects the diversity of Canada and the communities where the industry operates and focuses on a culture of belonging and inclusion.
“There is a clear role for employers to play in addressing discrimination of all forms,” said Carolyn Chisholm, Vice-Chair of MAC’s Board of Directors, and Director External Affairs at Rio Tinto. “We look forward to seeing the industry continue to take concrete steps to drive positive change.”
MAC’s statement in support of enhancing equity, diversity and inclusion in Canada’s mining sector includes a commitment to taking company-specific actions in support of the following objectives:
- Strengthen equity, diversity and inclusion in all aspects of workplace culture, policies, procedures and practices.
- Seek to identify, acknowledge and confront conscious and unconscious bias, as well as individual and systemic racism, sexism, ableism and discrimination.
- Bolster efforts to increase representation of underrepresented groups, including women, youth, Indigenous peoples, racialized persons, newcomers, persons with disabilities and members of LGBTQ2S+ communities in the mining sector workforce, leadership, supply chain and boards of directors.
- Provide leadership and share effective and proven tools, resources, practices and lessons learned.
- Enhance reporting objectives, actions and performance.
“Through MAC’s Towards Sustainable Mining program, the industry is implementing a newly updated standard on Indigenous and Community Relationships that focuses, among other actions, on ensuring management and employees at mine sites are educated on the history of Indigenous peoples and receive skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights and anti-racism,” said Pierre Gratton, President and CEO of MAC. “However, it is clear our industry has much more to do to eliminate racism, discrimination and sexism in all its forms.”
MAC and its members are committed to ongoing improvement in its commitment to diversity in the mining industry. A broad sample of current projects that support equity, diversity and inclusion in Canada’s mining sector can be found here.
“The mining sector has worked in recent years to understand and address the conscious and unconscious biases affecting our traditionally homogenous male-dominated industry,” said Leslie Woolcott, Director of Inclusion and Career Development at the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR). “The MAC statement both challenges and supports our sector to reflect more diverse perspectives and to become more welcoming, inclusive and respectful of the many communities that make up Canadian society.”
To ensure that a broad and diverse set of mining industry perspectives were incorporated into the statement, MAC partnered with MiHR who struck a special Inclusion and Diversity (I&D) Committee tasked with assisting in its development. Joining mining company I&D specialists on the Committee were representatives from DiversitySTEM, Women Who Rock, Unifor, and the Waubetek Business Development Corporation.
“Shared commitment is required in order to succeed at advancing equity and creating opportunities to eradicate systemic racism, sexism and discrimination,” said Michelle Edwards, member of MiHR’s I&D Committee and Corporate Director, Global Rewards and Culture, at Agnico Eagle Mines. “The MAC statement reinforces this commitment by our industry.”
The mining industry is a major sector of Canada’s economy, contributing $109 billion to national GDP and responsible for 19% of Canada’s total domestic exports. Canada’s mining sector employs 719,000 people directly and indirectly across the country. The industry is proportionally the largest private sector employer of Indigenous peoples in Canada and a major customer of Indigenous-owned businesses.
The Mining Association of Canada is the national organization for the Canadian mining industry. Its members account for most of Canada’s production of base and precious metals, uranium, diamonds, metallurgical coal and mined oil sands, and are actively engaged in mineral exploration, mining, smelting, refining and semi-fabrication. Please visit www.mining.ca.
For more information, please contact:
Cynthia Waldmeier, Director of Communications
The Mining Association of Canada
(613) 233-9392 x225, 613-894-2128 (cell)