With mineral deposits often located in remote areas across the globe, mining can be both a challenge and an opportunity. At Newmont, we view them as one and the same. Our global operations span five continents and present opportunities to work side by side with men and women from different cultures, races, religions and traditions.
Jeannine Carter, Newmont’s Director of Diversity and Global Inclusion, explains that the diversity in operations and employment at Newmont makes it more important than ever to create a culture of inclusion, whereby employees recognize, respect and embrace each other’s differences.
“Studies show that employee satisfaction and morale are higher at companies that are inclusive,” Carter says. “This improves companies’ ability to attract and retain employees and also leads to increases in creativity, innovation and productivity.”
Although Carter leads Newmont’s global diversity and inclusion strategy, she emphasizes that the work supporting this effort extends well beyond her own. It includes gathering insights from employees in geographies, cultures, business units and job levels across Newmont’s global operations to create a culture that supports the regional needs and cultural differences of employees.
Consider the cultural differences at Batu Hijau in Indonesia, where Newmont’s workforce is primarily national employees of Indonesian descent, but also includes expatriates (expats) from the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Africa. With different cultural and religious backgrounds, misunderstandings can take place. As a result, we’ve taken the following measures:
- Hosting cultural events where employees interact off the job site;
- Instituting a company housing complex and also encouraging employees to live in the communities near the mine site;
- Conducting cross-cultural training for expat employees and dependents;
- Organizing mine tours to increase community understanding of the mine and its diverse workforce.
While cultural diversity is an extremely important consideration in the development of Newmont’s diversity strategy, so is gender diversity. In mining, an industry in which gender diversity is noticeably lacking, there are opportunities for women to have a greater presence. At Newmont’s Ahafo mine in Ghana, we’re working to empower women through programs and partnerships such as the Women’s Consultative Committee, a group that provides input on livelihood and social responsibility initiatives created by the Ahafo mine.
In any country and at any job level, Newmont believes it is important to support gender diversity. To that end, we have increased the number of women among our executive ranks and on our Board of Directors. Currently, 30 percent of Newmont’s Board is composed of women. This is a 5 percent increase since the December publication of the 2012 Catalyst Census: Fortune 500 Women Board Directors report in which Newmont was recognized for making Catalyst’s 25 percent and above list. This compares to a U.S. mining industry average of 14.7 percent and is better than 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies. So why is gender diversity important?
“Because when you have a homogenous group, you often get group think,” explains Carter. “But when you have people with a variety of backgrounds and experiences coming to the table, including women, you get different perspectives that allow you to solve problems in different ways.”
There is no question that diversity and global inclusion are critical components of being successful on a global scale. They provide companies with a larger pool of ideas, experiences and insights that enable them to operate in multiple geographies and markets.
As we move toward a more diverse and inclusive culture, Newmont will continue to build a workforce that is cohesive and supportive so that our employees can value and embrace each other’s differences and similarities, and work toward a common goal – becoming the most valued and respected mining company through industry-leading performance.