International Women in Mining (IWiM) has successfully completed its 2021 International Women in Resources Mentoring Programme (IWRMP).

The virtual closing ceremony was held on 5 October 2021 and was attended by over 130 participants worldwide. These included mentees, mentors and representatives of sponsor organisations who used the occasion to celebrate the positive impact that the programme has had on their careers and organisations.

Established in 2018, IWRMP is an annual cross-company programme designed to promote and empower women and enable them to accelerate progress in their careers, overcome professional challenges and build the confidence required for achievement and industry leadership. “The mentoring programme is making great strides at a time when organisations are welcoming knowledge, ideas, and initiatives on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) improvements in the workplace,” commented Barbara Dischinger, IWRMP Programme Director.

To date, the programme has facilitated the personal and professional growth of 200 mentees, including 56 scholars, with a record 70 mentees from over 20 countries participating in 2021. The 2021 programme received an overall 4.8/5 rating for programme satisfaction from participants, making this the third consecutive year that this this key metric has been improved.

“According to McKinsey’s 2021 report, Why women are leaving the mining industry and what mining companies can do about it, women represent an estimated 8 to 17% of the global mining workforce,” said Dischinger. She added that the research has demonstrated the importance of sponsorship for the advancement of talent—especially in the case of diverse talent. “In an environment where women feel that they are being passed over for opportunities, feel like cultural outsiders, and perceive advancement decisions to be opaque, harnessing the benefits of sponsorship is paramount.”

Support from industry leaders

The programme has been embraced by mining industry leads such as Rio Tinto (IWRMP Platinum Sponsor), BHP, Agnico Eagle Mines Limited, New Gold Inc, Newmont, SRK Consulting, World Gold Council, Centerra Gold, Central Asia Metals PLC, Chemours, Eldorado Gold, Golden Star Resources, Sandvik, Sherritt and Stantec.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, keynote speaker Felicia A. Henderson, a leadership and EDI consultant, professor and author said, “It’s important to remember that we are not fixing individuals but empowering them to navigate imperfect systems. The ultimate objective is fixing these systems. There are many ways to champion equity, diversity, and inclusion, and I challenge you to be intentional about choosing the one that is right for you, right now.”

Sponsorship opportunities for next year’s programme are open until 31 December 2021. Global mining organisations can learn more about the benefits of sponsoring the programme here:

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