Session A, April 20, 2021, 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. ET
Avoiding Disaster – The Case for Building a Stronger Future by Including Diversity in Decision Making

Session Chairs:  Kristin Hanson, P.Geo. and Mary-Anne Hildebrandt, P.Geo.
A moderated Q & A will follow after the panel presentations.



Presentation 1: Speak Up! Diversity of Thought and Innovation are Stifled by Confirmation Bias and Group Think

Speaker:  Shastri Ramnath,
P.Geo., CEO & President of Exiro Minerals Corp., Co-founder Orix Geoscience - SEE SPEAKER'S BIO

Unconscious bias refers to the associations that are made between different qualities and social categories and are judgements that are made without conscious awareness. The most talked about ones include gender bias or racial bias but there are many other forms of bias that most people are unaware of. One of the most common types of bias is ‘Confirmation Bias’, which is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms or supports one's own beliefs. Corporations are now recognizing that these types of bias’s limit diversity of thought and ultimately our ability to think creatively. If each person on the team thinks the same way, the team runs the risk of creating a stale environment. To push boundaries and drive innovation, all angles must be looked at and a wider range of influences and opinions are essential. However, having people with differing points of view, is not the sole solution. People need to be given a safe environment and the confidence to speak up with new ideas. The environment and leadership are key to growth of not just the people, but of the business.

Presentation 2: Purpose Over Profit? How Long-term Value is Supported by Diversity and Inclusion

Speaker:  Siri Genik,
Principal and Founder BRIDGE ©, Former Vice Chair of Board of Directors, Women in Mining Canada - SEE SPEAKER'S BIO

Siri will use some recent examples of mining incidents to highlight why purpose is more important than profit, and why you cannot think of building long-term value within a mining organization without first focusing on Diversity & Inclusion.

Presentation 3: Where are All the Women? The Facts of a Leaky Pipeline

Speaker:  Maureen Jensen, P. Geo., Past Chair Ontario Securities Commission, Past President, PGO-  SEE SPEAKER'S BIO

Since the pandemic began there has been a drop in women’s participation in the workforce. At the same time, we have seen a continued lack of female representation at senior levels of most organizations. The Prosperity Project is collecting statistics and the underlying drivers of why women are leaving the workforce and are missing at senior management and board levels in Canada. Maureen will present these statistics and give examples of failures in corporate governance linked to a lack of diversity at the top.

Presentation 4: Tools You Can Use to Help Build a More Sustainable Future

Felix Lee, P.Geo., President and CEO of Willeson Metals, President PDAC - SEE SPEAKER'S BIO

Equity, diversity, and inclusion remains an imperative of the mineral exploration sector. We must acknowledge this fact and up our game if we are to address the current skills shortage, as well as develop a sustainable future workforce with the diversity of skills, knowledge, and experience needed to tackle the demands of the future, not the least of which is the mineral industry's critical role in the transition of global economies toward a low carbon future.

In 2019, PDAC launched its Gender Diversity and Inclusion Guidance to assist junior exploration and mining companies improve their gender diversity and inclusion in the workplace and community setting. And though the initial focus is on gender issues, the guidance document will be expanded to address other forms of diversity and represents PDAC’s commitment to improving the overall performance and practice of equity, diversity, and inclusion within the mineral exploration and mining community.

Register online for this session or for the full Symposium.