Gold, Gold Road Resources

The Gold Road to diversity

Gold Road Resources has made great strides in encouraging diversity in all areas of its business.

When Gold Road Resources general manager of people and culture Jessica Logan first joined the company in 2022, she had big plans.

“I found that Gold Road had a number of objectives, such as increasing female representation, promoting diversity and LGBTQIA+ inclusion, and trying to bring in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders from the communities we operate in,” Logan told Australian Mining.

“I wanted to make 2023 the year we turned things around through a holistic approach, not just from targets and measures. While research shows that targets are a key driver to change, there’s several other things you need in place to keep it sustainable.”

Gold Road has committed itself to taking a consistent approach to diversity, seeing an increase in female representation as a result.

As of October 2023, 52 per cent of Gold Road’s new hires were women. Women also made up 34 per cent of the company’s workforce.

Eight per cent of Gold Road’s workforce identifies as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

But the work hasn’t stopped here. In Gold Road’s Perth head office, its corporate personnel is made up of 53 per cent women, and 40 per cent of the company’s executive leadership team is female.

Despite the positive progress made, Gold Road knows there’s always room to improve.

“I don’t think we will be where we need to be until it’s the norm to have an equal amount of female representation and there’s no gender pay gap,” Logan said.

Gold Road has also increased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation within its workforce.

As of October 2023, 22 per cent of Gold Road’s new hires identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, making up over eight per cent of its total workforce.

Logan said this was achieved by Gold Road listening to Indigenous people, sharing their stories, and understanding their needs.

“I’ve seen (another) chief executive officer (CEO) change his mind about Reconciliation Action Plans and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement just by hearing stories from Traditional Owners,” she said.

Gold Road has also signed up to HESTA Super Fund’s 40:40 Vision project, which encourages ASX-listed companies to set medium and long-term targets for its executive leadership teams, with a pledge to achieve gender balance by 2030.

“(Gold Road) CEO and managing director Duncan Gibbs is fully supportive of any diversity inclusion initiatives,” Logan said.

“When I asked him to engage in the HESTA initiative, he didn’t even blink an eye. He was like ‘no problem, I support it’. Previously, I would say that many leaders haven’t been as courageous as him. And I think diversity and inclusion needs courageous leadership.”

As 2023 comes to a close, Gold Road plans to continue introducing diversity initiatives in the new year.

“One of my key strategies next year is to implement a long-term leadership and management program that doesn’t just support employees but underpins the female pipeline for leadership roles,” Logan said.

“I would also like to try and get more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the business across all levels. I have just engaged with a new heritage manager who is a Koori man from Victoria. Having a senior leader with an Aboriginal background is a really big step for us.”

Logan said that while Gold Road’s diversity objectives may not change drastically in 2024, she will continue to challenge the strategies set to achieve these goals.

“I want to engage with our counterparts, competitors, friends and peers to challenge the status quo,” Logan said.

“So you will find me very loud and proud about these types of initiatives because I think we should all be doing them.”

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

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