In Chile, women make up just 8.3% of workers in the mining industry. At 14%, Teck’s workforce in Chile exceeds the industry average. However, knowing the importance of inclusion and diversity, we doubled down on a cultural change with a gender perspective to better support and attract women into our workforce.
“In an industry that has traditionally maintained a male-dominated workforce, we recognized that a cultural shift that better supported a female workforce would have tremendous benefits,” says Chris Dechert, Vice President, South America. “By being more inclusive and diverse, we’re able to come up with better perspectives and more innovative approaches to our work, and attract a broader pool of candidates.”
Women in Teck
Chris worked with Diversity Development Consulting to review Chile’s operations, projects and corporate office processes to identify obstacles related to diversity and inclusion. The result was a recognition that women—not only at Teck in Chile but across all Teck operations—wanted a women’s support network. Thus, Women in Teck (WIT) was born.
Led by Amparo Cornejo, Vice President, Sustainability and Corporate Affairs, Chile, WIT’s goal is to provide a support network for the different labour and industry challenges, offer information on job opportunities and participate in industry events for women.
“Women in Teck has been tremendously successful in centralizing efforts that support women in our company and providing them with information and opportunities they otherwise would have missed out on,” said Amparo. “There’s still lots of work ahead of us, but we have a strong foundation now to help support gender diversity not only at Teck, but across the industry.”
In 2018, WIT organized a day of reflection for International Women’s Day across Chile operations, bringing in Chile’s first female Aerospace Engineer, Karin Saavedra, to talk about technology and innovation on Mining Day, and establishing a working relationship with the Women and Mining Working Group of the Chilean Ministry of Mining and the Chilean Ministry of Women and Gender Equity. For this work in support of our commitment to gender equality, Teck in Chile was acknowledged by the PROhumana Foundation.
WIT continues to work on the programming of activities for 2019, with a mission to further enhance gender diversity in the company.