Gold Industry Group brings together industry to promote diversity

Published: 09/11/2016

Originally published by Gold Industry Group – October 2016.

The Gold Industry Group hosted its inaugural Women in Gold event at The Perth Mint earlier this month, attended by more than 300 industry professionals.

The event was hosted in conjunction with Women in Mining WA to recognise and promote women in gold.

Headline speaker Gold Fields Australia Vice President of Legal and Compliance Kelly Carter captivated the audience telling her story and addressing current challenges and opportunities for the mining sector.

Kelly was clear that although things have improved, there has been very little progress in terms of the overall representation of women, particularly in management and executive positions.

Sharon Warburton, Non-Executive Director, Gold Road Resources

“We often say that the ‘benefit to the business’ goes without saying, but the lack of progress that has been made in achieving gender equity is indicative of the fact that the relevant decision makers don’t seem to believe what they hear,” Kelly said.

“My proposition is simple: A team, whether it be a board, management group, workgroup or broader organisation, is more likely to be open and inquiring when it is not comprised of people who look, think and act the same way.”

Kelly explained why a different approach is important to engage management and gave her perspective on how we can be an agent for change.

“Without a culture of inclusivity, gender equity simply becomes a numbers game.  Equally, without the numbers, inclusivity is almost impossible to achieve.  As with any cultural change, this requires strong, visible leadership.

“From my experience at Gold Fields with our Women in Gold Project, its success is dependent on it being owned and led by the entire executive, and that is seen by our workforce.”

Gold Fields is the world’s seventh-biggest gold producer, and Kelly plays a key role in overseeing its operational performance and regional strategy.

Gold Road Resources Non-Executive Director Sharon Warburton also shared her insights as an entrepreneur in mining and champion of flexibility, diversity and work-life balance.

“I am passionate about gender diversity and it’s fantastic to be involved in the promotion and recognition of successful women here tonight,” Sharon said.

Gold Industry Group Director David Woodford recognised the important contributions of women in the gold industry and provided an update on the Group’s long-term community engagement activities.

“Promoting gender diversity in our industry is a key focus for the Gold Industry Group and we will continue to champion its importance and assist industry to embrace change,” he said.