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Mining Association of Canada releases new equity, diversity and inclusion standards

'The global mining industry continues to be very male-dominated and here in Canada it is also homogeneously white.'
New protocol set by industry association will measure mining companies’ performance in a number of areas.

The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) has published a brand new Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) protocol focused on improving performance in the areas of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI). 

Released in tandem with a significant update to the TSM Safety and Health Protocol, renamed the TSM Safe, Healthy and Respectful Workplaces Protocol is a framework that introduces a new performance indicator on psychological safety and respectful workplaces, these new additions will bring greater transparency and improved performance to the mining industry and help address longstanding work force challenges, MAC said.

“The global mining industry continues to be very male-dominated and here in Canada it is also homogeneously white,” Pierre Gratton, president and CEO of MAC, TSM’s founding member said in a media statement.

“We need to literally change the face of the mining sector if we are to be able to continue to grow and meet today’s challenges, including producing the products the world needs to decarbonize and develop new technologies.  To do this, we also need to ensure those who work in the sector feel safe and supported, including women, visible minorities and the 2SLGBTQI+ community,” Gratton said.

“TSM has a track record of driving performance in the mining industry and these new additions, which received unanimous support from our members, are just what we need to transform the mining sector into one that is more inclusive and successful.”

TSM, a mandatory component of MAC membership focused on improving environmental and social practices in the mining sector,  addresses areas like Indigenous engagement, biodiversity conservation, preventing child and forced labour, safety and climate change.  The development of the new Equitable, Diverse, and Inclusive Workplaces Protocol came as a result of a collaborative effort by experts from within and outside of the mining industry and numerous stakeholder groups, including TSM’s international partners and Community of Interest Advisory Panels, who came together to ensure the commitments and criteria in the new standards align with societal expectations and will result in meaningful progress in the mining industry.

“To create truly inclusive workplaces, industries must make concrete and systemic changes that allow women, 2SLGBTQI+ people, and racialized Canadians to reach their full potential,” said the Honourable Marci Ien, Canada’s Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth.

“MAC has taken a great step forward by introducing mandatory protocols on EDI in their TSM program, and I look forward to seeing the fruits of this change. In an industry that is predominantly male, and white – policies like these, and the people that are ready to champion them, are a key part of making equity-seeking communities feel safe at work, while also preparing for the workforce of the future.”

The Equitable, Diverse, and Inclusive Workplaces Protocol sets out requirements for mining companies to develop and implement a corporate strategy that is complemented by site-level policies, processes, and performance to drive transparency, catalyze systemic change and improve EDI performance in the mining sector.

The new protocol will measure mining companies’ performance in a number of areas, including by:

Engaging broadly within the workforce to develop a corporate strategy for EDI with a focus on training and internal performance objectives.

Integrating EDI throughout the mine site through new and revised processes and procedures like review of biases or barriers in traditional HR processes and analysis of inequities in worker compensation.

Involving workers in developing approaches to collect relevant data, measure and set performance objectives related to EDI.