April 27, 2016
“We strongly believe that a diverse workforce is a stronger workforce. Through the women’s mentorship program, we are strengthening gender diversity at Trail Operations while also helping meet future demand for skilled employees.” Dave DeLong, Director, Human Resources, Zinc.
One of the ways we are working to recruit and retain more women is through our Trail Operations’ participation in the Mining and Refining for Women (MR4W) project, funded by the Status of Women Canada and implemented with assistance from the Greater Trail Community Skills Centre.
The goal of the project – which includes design and execution of a 30-month coaching/mentorship program for women – is to identify workplace barriers and increase opportunities for women in the mining and resource sectors in positions ranging from front-line operations to technical and professional roles. The project involves a series of structured eight-month mentorship programs involving two cohorts of female employees and their mentors, who are chosen from within the ranks of senior leaders at Trail.
A sponsorship team made up of representatives from the Greater Trail Community Skills Centre, the union, Teck Human Resources staff and female employees, is guiding the mentorship program design through ongoing feedback, monitoring and evaluation of each of the two cohorts.
As of January 2016, the first cohort of 16 mentees and mentors is halfway through their mentorship program. For the remainder of the cohort, the mentorship pairs will focus on the attainment of personal goals for the mentees, face-to-face mentorship meetings, group coaching sessions, the completion of a workshop on diversity, and working on their team projects. The projects are chosen by the mentees to address perceived barriers for retaining and advancing women at Trail Operations. Topics include pre- and post-maternity options and maternity policy review, posting policies and succession planning, raising awareness of gender biases at Trail and strengthening networks across the business areas.
“Throughout my career with Teck, I have been supported by several mentors who have provided valuable coaching and insight into the career paths available,” said Sherrill Moreno, Mentor, Property Services Manager. “As a mentor in the MR4W, I can now give back what others have given me. Over and above that, participating in the program has also allowed me to gain insight and understanding into other working environments and to increase my network with other women at Teck’s Trail Operations.”
“The biggest benefit of the program is networking and relationship building with the other mentees as well as the mentors. Having meaningful discussions on issues that women face in the workplace, and working together to develop solutions that directly address these issues, has been invaluable both personally and to the operation,” said Jasmine Hango, Mentee, Process Engineer, Process Support and Development. “Seeing the support and enthusiasm of some of the senior group mentors has been refreshing, encouraging and exciting.”