Mining and Refining for Women (MR4W):
Retaining Women in Non-Traditional Employment
The Greater Trail Community Skills Centre (Skills Centre) together with Teck Metals Ltd and Bock and Associates, with funding provided by Status of Women Canada, in June 2017, completed a 30 month mentorship project to support the retention and advancement of women employed in non-traditional roles by Teck Metals in Trail.
The goal of the Mining and Refining for Women (MR4W) project has been to enhance the retention, advancement and career development opportunities of women in positions ranging from front-line production and maintenance to professional roles. In addition to working with assigned mentors and participating in a number of workshops, the participants were each expected to identify and work on an Affinity Project addressing an issue related to women and non-traditional employment. The project involved two co-horts with a total of 34 women along with their mentors and a robust Sponsorship Team.
The Affinity Projects addressed the following topics:
- Maternity/paternity leave policy development;
- Networking events across business areas;
- Increased awareness of gender diversity within Teck’s Trail Operations;
- Posting and succession planning processes;
- Development of a Quick Guide (easy access information for employees);
- Bridging the Gap in community perception and promotion of career opportunities for women;
- Industrial lifting devices that mitigate physically demanding tasks; and
- Family Friendly Workplace practices, including research of childcare and family sick days.
As a result of the mentorship relationships, the Affinity Projects and the conversations within the project’s Sponsorship Team, other project successes include:
- greater transparency in career advancement opportunities, including more job postings;
- new kinds of conversations, including career mentorship and sponsorship, awareness of gender differences and the accommodation of family needs; and
- people at all levels taking on leadership to make a difference.
With completion of this pilot project, Teck Trail Operations is in a good position to move ahead with a secondary strategy, which will utilize internal people to develop and drive a diversity plan, including a newly established Diversity Committee.