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Let’s Talk Diversity event series a success

Amid the current skills shortages facing mining organisations, there has never been a better time to consider how the industry can attract more talent….

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This article was originally published by Australian Mining

Amid the current skills shortages facing mining organisations, there has never been a better time to consider how the industry can attract more talent. The Gold Industry Group did just that with their Let’s Talk Diversity events wrapping up 2022 where they discussed what it will take to attract the future generations to the industry.

The three Let’s Talk Diversity events explored topics ranging from environmental governance to social engagement. More than 400 people attended the events in Perth, Sydney, and Melbourne to engage with ideas on how best to attract the emerging Gen Z workforce towards the gold industry.

Prevalent across each of the events was a consensus that businesses who perform strongly in the community, environment and diversity spaces will have a far better chance of not only attracting the next generation of workers, but also retaining them for the long term.

The events were structured in a Shark Tank-like format, where ‘pitchers’ would present their ideas for workforce retention to experts in the gold industry.

The winning pitches covered a range of topics.


Bellevue Gold senior mining engineer Surja Pandit proposed an innovative five-part documentary series that would be used to ‘shake-up’ how younger generations perceived the industry.


ABC Bullion general manager Jordan Eliseo emphasised the importance of reframing the prominence of gold to our modern society.


Agnico Eagle process operator Alia Melgin-Hil presented on how the industry can use social media and technology to showcase and market itself as a gateway to cutting-edge science and technology.


The Melbourne Let’s Talk Diversity event

Through engagement with the gold community, the feasibility of pitches was considered and ideas challenged as presenters engaged  in a friendly, open debate to refine the presented concepts.

A common theme from each of the events was the need to understand the motivations of Gen Z and communicate with members of that workforce in a way that suited them, as well as providing a level of transparency as to how the gold industry operated.

The current skills shortage remains a concern to not just the gold industry, but the larger resources sector as significantly fewer young people are entering into mining-based roles.

Capturing the hearts and minds of these younger workers is vital for the gold industry to thrive and attract the best talent, as Gold Industry Group chair and Gold Fields Australia vice president of legal and corporate affairs Kelly Carter said during her presentation at the Perth event.

“Everyone is aware of the significant challenges around access to labour and the importance of looking toward our workforce of the future,” Carter said.

“While these challenges are not unique to the gold industry, there is an opportunity for us to find our collective voice and position ourselves as an industry of choice among younger generations.”

The Perth event also featured insights shared by Pandit, who said the broader mining industry had a public relations problem.

The solution offered to changing a negative perception of the industry was to utilise one of the most powerful communication platforms known to this (or any other) generation: social media.

“We’ve lost Gen Z’s interest before they’ve even stepped foot in the industry,” Pandit said.

“To understand them and connect with them, we must start speaking their languages and meeting them on their platforms.”

At the Melbourne event, Melgin-Hill reiterated how the benefits of working in the gold industry can be easily shared, with little effort, to a market that has little idea it exists.

“There is scope for the gold industry to really attract people to working in FIFO (fly-in, fly-out) roles,” Melgin-Hill said.

“The lifestyle of younger people aligns quite strongly with the financial freedom that comes as a part of a role in gold industry.

“With strong marketing direction that showcases what there is to be gained in both working on-site and the experiences that can be had off-site, many more young people are likely to enter into the workforce.”

Let's Talk Diversity
The Sydney Let’s Talk Diversity event

Overall, the interest of those involved with growing the industry was a beneficial in swaying both those present on the night, and as a tool to attract interest from Gen Z in the future.

“Gold is an essential asset to human prosperity,” Eliseo said at the Sydney event.

Highlighting the necessity of gold in all its applications formed much of the ways in which Eliseo hoped to attract Gen Z to the industry.

“Let’s reinforce and explain to people all the wonderful things gold allows for in wider society,” he said.

The Gold Industry Group’s Let’s Talk Diversity events were a success across Australia and are set to continue in 2023, with a new topic to be announced later this year.

The Gold Industry Group is a member organisation championing long-term initiatives that grow understanding of the gold sector’s value to the economy and community.

This feature appeared in the February 2023 issue of Australian Mining.

Australian Mining.

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