Most diversity and inclusion (D&I) events in mining revolve around the topic of women in mining (WIM). National WIM establishments and chapters within professional organizations are discussing the issue, and it’s getting play at the industry’s biggest conferences: the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, Mining Indaba and the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy, just to name a few.
For some of these WIM organizations, the roots go back to being created as “clubs of miners’ wives,” with the main mandate to educate the public about mining while serving as a medium for the “women in mining” to lean on each other. This might have made sense decades ago. But today, the majority of these WIM organizations serve important causes, are structured to promote gender diversity and support the young professional and student female population in choosing mining careers.