Aug '13

President's notes

Opening the door

By Robert Schafer

“Diversity” is one of the latest buzzwords that periodically creates upheaval in the realm of human resources. This is especially true for the mining industry which, perhaps more than most business sectors, has long been the domain of men of European heritage. At CIM we recognize the need to address this legacy and to promote a more diverse workforce. This takes many forms such as the development of forums to push people to break with tradition; the endorsement of programs that promote the recruitment, skills training and mentoring of aboriginal peoples; the fostering of the recruitment and retention of women; and international outreach to bring new talent to the operating environment.

The term “diversity,” I believe, is helpful for launching discussions about change in the workplace, but it will only take us so far. “Diverse” implies differences or separateness that must be overcome. I like to think along the lines of “inclusiveness,” as it captures the potential that many kinds of people, cultures and ideas can bring to an organization. It implies a bringing together of various intellectual, cultural and technical perspectives in a workforce, creating a powerful dynamic that promotes productivity improvements and innovation. In our places of employment, inclusiveness is an opportunity to maximize the workforce.

Inclusiveness is essential to the mandate of CIM and to me as its president. With the recent creation of a steering committee to tackle this issue, we have formalized our commitment to this goal and made it one of the organizing principles for Vancouver 2014, our next annual convention, and its theme “Mining 4 Everyone.” It is also guiding my outreach to current and potential members, encouraging them to share and participate in activities at the CIM branch and national levels. It is, I hope you will agree, the key to a successful and satisfying future.

Robert Schafer
CIM President

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