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At IAMGOLD, employees hold and learn different skill sets to focus on responsible mining with new technologies.Provided

If you don’t work at a company like IAMGOLD, you might imagine that mining is still an industry stuck in a previous century. Joe Jongeling certainly did.

A manager in financial planning and analysis at the company, Jongeling says that prior to joining the organization, he’d heard of mining being an “old school, male-dominated industry with significant environmental impact and very little appetite for innovation.”

Since joining the company, however, he’s discovered an organization and sector very much on the rise – one that is invested in diversity, talent and innovation, environment and community.

“The challenges and opportunities mining companies face require modern solutions, skill sets, and knowledge from individuals of diverse academic and technical backgrounds,” he says. “Whether they’re in engineering, geology, logistics or environmental science – just seeing how these great minds come together to achieve the same goal is really quite inspiring.”

Dorena Quinn, IAMGOLD’s senior vice-president of people, has similar observations. “There are misconceptions surrounding what mining is today. The entire industry has experienced a seismic shift in its philosophy and approach on environmental, social and governance matters. One might argue that the mining industry has seen the most growth and investment of any industry.

“Look at our Côté Gold project in Gogama, Ontario. With a fleet of autonomous trucks and production drills being monitored and operated from a central control room, this next-generation mine will serve as a model for modern mining in Canada for years to come. With new technology comes greater mechanical and operational reliability, productivity and, most importantly, employee safety.”

This cutting-edge business demands the wide variety of skill sets that Jongeling sees at the company. Quinn says this means “a new hiring face for mining, one that is reliant on very different skill sets, including both data management and computer acumen. As well, we prioritize practices aimed at minimizing our impact on the environment and maximizing our support for the local communities in which we operate. In addition to ensuring smooth working relationships, this contributes to our sense of purpose.”

This has expanded the specialties IAMGOLD looks for when recruiting employees. “There are community relations and engagement experts for sure,” Quinn says, “and there is a big demand, especially in Canada, on regulatory and permitting specialists. And right now we’re exploring AI, decarbonization, biodiversity – all new and exciting roles for the next generation.

“We place a strong emphasis on hiring individuals who not only possess the technical skills required for the mining industry, but also share our values,” she adds. “Commitment to safety is a differentiator, as is responsible mining. The ideal candidate should be really well-rounded, able to work with a team, and excited to handle new challenges in the mining industry.”

Jongeling describes how the effort the company puts into recruitment follows through in the workplace. “It’s a culture of empowerment and engagement – it’s motivating coming to work each day knowing that the people I report to are very invested in my development. And when opportunities present themselves that might be a little out of my comfort zone, they encourage and support me to pursue them anyway.”

In addition to pension and share-purchase matching programs and fully funded health plans, IAMGOLD offers support in mental wellness, fertility treatments, gender affirmation and subsidies for electric vehicles among its employee incentive programs, as well as an online learning program for professional development.

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Advertising feature produced by Canada’s Top 100 Employers, a division of Mediacorp Canada Inc. The Globe and Mail’s editorial department was not involved.

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