International Minerals Innovation Institute

SASKATOON, SK: February 20, 2019: In a Canadian first, Saskatchewan’s minerals industry and its supply chain will be tackling one of the most significant workforce challenges facing the mining sector – the lack of representation of women.

The International Minerals Innovation Institute (IMII) is partnering with the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) in a first-of-its-kind project to bring MiHR’s Gender Equity in Mining Works (GEM Works) program to a province’s minerals sector as a whole. Currently, women represent just 16% of the mining industry in Canada, compared to 48% of the overall Canadian workforce.

“Typically, individual companies have made efforts to increase the participation of women in their workforce,” says Al Shpyth, IMII’s Executive Director. “IMII’s minerals member companies have recognized that we are likely to be more successful as an industry in addressing the gender gap if we pool our knowledge about common barriers to create more effective strategies.”

“MiHR’s Gender Equity in Mining Works (GEM Works) initiative is the only program that provides mining organizations with proven, industry-developed tools to help identify and mitigate systemic barriers to gender inclusion in the workplace,” notes Ryan Montpellier, MiHR’s Executive Director. “GEM Works helps employers foster workplaces where both women and men have the best opportunities for making great contributions and MiHR is excited to have this unique chance to work with Saskatchewan’s mining sector and its supply chain to help close the gender gap.”

To help launch the project, MiHR is hosting a half-day workshop in Saskatoon on February 28th to provide interested local mining employers with knowledge and skills to help improve gender equity within their organizations. To register for this free workshop visit  This workshop was organized with the support of the Saskatchewan Mining Association and its Human Resources Committee.

For more information about this project, please see the attached Backgrounder or contact the IMII or MiHR.

About IMII

International Minerals Innovation Institute is a unique innovation supporting network of mining companies, government departments and agencies, and post-secondary and research institutions, jointly funded by industry and government.  It exists to deliver innovations that matter to mining in Saskatchewan.

About MiHR

The Mining Industry Human Resources Council is Canada’s knowledge centre for mining labour market intelligence. An independent, non-profit organization, MiHR drives collaboration among mining and exploration companies, organized labour, contractors, educational institutions, industry associations and Indigenous groups to identify opportunities and address the human resource and labour market challenges facing the Canadian minerals and metals sector.

Backgrounder – Gender Equity in Mining Works Saskatchewan

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For more information contact:

Al Shpyth, Executive Director

International Minerals Innovation Institute

(306) 668-2057

William Meyer, Director, Marketing and Communications

Mining Industry Human Resources Council

[email protected]