October 2015

President's notes

A common goal

By Garth Kirkham

Garth Kirkham Every industry has its diversity challenges, whether it is the technology sector, considered to be the most advanced and innovative or, not so surprisingly, mining. I only say that because the mining industry is still viewed as an “old boys’ club.”

While this may have been true in the past, mining has come a long way and is, in some respects, one of the most progressive and innovative industries. We have led in many areas including automation, safety, environmental stewardship and corporate social responsibility, to name a few. There is no reason we cannot show the same leadership in regard to diversity.

When I look around the CIM Council table, I have nothing but admiration for my female and male colleagues. They all bring a point of view and dynamic that is unique and helps make CIM better as a whole and the centre of excellence that it is now known to be.

We may have come a long way but we have many leagues to go.

Last year the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) nudged the industry forward, enacting reporting rules that compels publicly listed companies to either detail the efforts they are making to improve female participation in their C-suites and boards or explain why they are not. Early indicators suggest that the majority of reporting companies are opting to comply with and adopt formal diversity policies. It is sad that, despite growing evidence that diverse boards can boost returns, we need to be pushed to make these changes. As the father of two teenage daughters, that is not acceptable to me, and it is not acceptable to them.

I will encourage my daughters to follow the lead of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, to “lean in” and take the responsibility to advance their own careers. We in leadership today, however, also need to put our shoulders to the wheel and bear our share of the responsibility.

So let us all…lean in!

Garth Kirkham
CIM President

Next: Letter to the editor
Attention to fluid safety overdue

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