In a context of increased hybrid workplaces, combined with the digital and automation revolution at mine sites and the increasing ESG expectations from stakeholders, the mining sector must focus on attraction, retention and development of talent; health, safety and wellbeing efforts; innovation and new technologies; as well as inclusion and better work management practices.

Inclusive Workplace Design refers to the process of creating and developing a workplace infrastructure and culture that provides workers with safe and inclusive work environments that are conducive to improved performance,  wellbeing and belonging. An effective workplace design utilises a multidisciplinary approach.


The Inclusive Workplace Design project was designed by IWiM as a multi-stakeholder initiative that aims to provide the industry with guidelines and frameworks through which organisations can ensure retention and inclusion of all its workers. Through the project’s deliverables and actions, IWiM will lead change towards a more inclusive and sustainable mining industry globally.

  • To discuss innovative and practical ideas to improve workplace design that benefits everyone working in mining. How can we make mining inclusive and accessible regardless of gender, ethnicity & race, ability, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic background, religion and ability?
  • Share best practice and practical solutions to achieve attraction to the sector, recruitment, retention and well-being of women and men working in mining
  • Focus on action-orientated outcomes within businesses and organisations which, supported by key procurement processes, encourages individuals and organisations to challenge the status quo
  • Provide further insights into the key themes of Inclusive Workplace Design
  • Contribute to the development of a framework, guidance material or toolkit to assist organisations to implement their own Inclusive Workplace Design

Key themes of Inclusive Workplace Design:

  • Safety and personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Changing rooms & toilets 
  • Menstruation, menopause, pregnancy, miscarriage and fertility, adoption, lactation
  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Shift design, fly-in-fly-out (FIFO), remote work
  • Parental leave & child care
  • Office, mine, camp and plant physical infrastructure including access, lighting and security
  • Neurodivergence and ability

2019: Research and drafting of concept note by Barbara Dischinger and Kristy Christensen

➡️ Concept Note Inclusive Workplace Design in Mining

2020: The first round table on this topic was hosted by IWiM at the PDAC Convention in Canada during March 2020. The discussions that ensued provided fertile concepts with which the project was formed.

➡️ Read the PDAC 2020 round table summary notes (HERE) for further details.

Roundtable discussion at Norton Rose Fulbright in Toronto during PDAC 2020

2020-2021: Translation of the concept note into Spanish, attempts to hold virtual round tables

2021-2022: Between mid 2021 and the end of 2002, the project’s efforts were coordinated by WIM USA and WiR (Women in Resources, Northern Territories, Australia) as part of the International WIM Alliance. During this period the project team focused on identifying key themes and trends regarding Inclusive Workplace Design through various roundtables and meetings with different stakeholders, namely women in mining organisations and large-scale mining companies in various locations.

Discussion topics included: safety and PPE; mental health; shift design and FIFO; changing rooms and toilets; menstruation and menopause; pregnancy and lactation; parental leave; crèches and nurseries; procurement and supply chains; technology/digital transformation and automation; and office design.

By the end of 2022 the project team defined the next phase of the project with further research on each of the key concepts identified, as well as workshops to survey industry practitioners.

2023: During the first quarter of the year, research will be carried out by a global team, guided by a research lead who will focus the scope on the 7 identified topics. It was decided that project coordination and focus will no longer be part of the International WIM Alliance as the focus and objectives expands to the entire mine value chain.

Data collection and analysis is ongoing.