MAC CEO Pierre Gratton
The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) on Thursday published a new Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) protocol, focused on improving performance in the areas of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI).
Released in tandem with a significant update to the TSM Safety and Health Protocol, renamed the TSM Safe, Healthy and Respectful Workplaces Protocol, that introduces a new performance indicator on psychological safety and respectful workplaces, these new additions will bring greater transparency and improved performance to the mining industry and help address longstanding workforce challenges.
"The global mining industry continues to be very male-dominated and here in Canada it is also homogeneously white. We need to literally change the face of the mining sector if we are to be able to continue to grow and meet today's challenges, including producing the products the world needs to decarbonise and develop new technologies,” said MAC president and CEO Pierre Gratton.
To do this, industry needs to ensure those who work in the sector feel safe and supported, including women, visible minorities and the 2SLGBTQI+ community, he added.
"With Canada's mining industry facing a tight labour market, attracting diverse sources of talent is no longer a nice to have – it's a need to have," commented Mining Industry Human Resources Council executive director Ryan Montpellier.
TSM, a mandatory component of MAC membership focused on improving environmental and social practices in the mining sector, addresses areas like Indigenous engagement, biodiversity conservation, preventing child and forced labour, safety and climate change. The development of the new Equitable, Diverse, and Inclusive Workplaces Protocol came as a result of a collaborative effort by experts from within and outside of the mining industry and numerous stakeholder groups, including TSM's international partners and Community of Interest Advisory Panels, who came together to ensure the commitments and criteria in the new standards align with societal expectations and will result in meaningful progress in the mining industry.
Adopted by MAC in the first instance, MAC is confident other TSM partners around the world will follow suit.
"To create truly inclusive workplaces, industries must make concrete and systemic changes that allow women, 2SLGBTQI+ people, and racialised Canadians to reach their full potential," said Women and Gender Equality and Youth Minister Marci Ien.
"MAC has taken a great step forward by introducing mandatory protocols on EDI in their TSM program, and I look forward to seeing the fruits of this change. In an industry that is predominantly male, and white – policies like these, and the people that are ready to champion them, are a key part of making equity-seeking communities feel safe at work, while also preparing for the workforce of the future."
The Equitable, Diverse, and Inclusive Workplaces Protocol sets out requirements for mining companies to develop and implement a corporate strategy that is complemented by site-level policies, processes, and performance to drive transparency, catalyze systemic change and improve EDI performance in the mining sector.
"Unifor, as a leading worker's union, believes in having meaningful, respectful and diverse workplaces, especially in the mining industry. We have been actively participating in the development of protocols for the mining industry in Canada and abroad on EDI within the TSM program of MAC that will further improve the livelihood of all workers," said national president Lana Payne. “We are confident that these new protocols will ensure that all mining companies are held more accountable and more transparent to all stakeholders."
The new protocol will measure mining companies' performance in a number of areas, including by:
- Engaging broadly within the workforce to develop a corporate strategy for EDI with a focus on training and internal performance objectives.
- Integrating EDI throughout the mine site through new and revised processes and procedures such as review of biases or barriers in traditional HR processes and analysis of inequities in worker compensation.
- Involving workers in developing approaches to collect relevant data, measure and set performance objectives related to EDI.
"Women in Mining (WIM) Central America celebrates the launch of the new TSM protocols, which represents a significant milestone in promoting inclusivity and gender equality in the mining industry. TSM has recently been adopted by several mining associations in Latin America and we are confident that these new standards will do much to foster an environment that promotes equal opportunities and ensures everyone working in our sector feels valued and respected," said WIM Central America president and founder Ana Gabriela Juárez.