Our diversity strategies extend to local employment with specific, targeted programs to promote under-represented groups. At Puna Operations, our training program for heavy equipment operators was extremely successful in attracting women to the mining industry. Of the 118 participants from local communities, 32 were women. Many of the women, who may not have driven motorized vehicles of any kind before entering the program, can now operate trucks and other heavy equipment.
In Saskatchewan, our Community Partners Scholarship program was established to support women in the Lac La Ronge Indian band and the Peter Valentine Cree Nation, in partnership with the RBC Foundation and the Government of Canada’s INDSPIRE program.
In Nevada and British Columbia, we are encouraging gender diversity in mining through scholarships: the first “Women in Mining Scholarship by SSR Mining” at the Colorado School of Mines was awarded in 2019, and the first “SSR Mining Award for Women in Mining Engineering” at the University of British Columbia was awarded in 2020. Each award is for US $20,000 and CAD$20,000 respectively, to support a female mining engineering student in advancing her future career.
In Eastern Turkey where our Çöpler Mine is located, cultural norms can create additional barriers for women entering the workforce. We actively encourage local women to apply for jobs at the mine and our ambition is to increase the number of women employed at the mine year on year. We also support gender-focused initiatives which provide skills and economic independence to local women, and approximately 30% of projects supported by the Çöpler Social Development Fund were women led projects.