Video: A focus on corporate values can drive change in mining, says consultancy owner

Ashley Kirwan, left, and Anthony Vaccaro at the Mining Legends Speaker Series on June 8 in Toronto. Erik Rotter photo

ESG is something that needs to be integrated into the business rather than something on the side, and has evolved from “nice to have” to “must have,” said Orix Geoscience co-founder Ashley Kirwan on June 8 at the Mining Legends Speaker Series, organized by The Northern Miner, the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame and Young Mining Professionals.

“I think employees have good opportunities to drive that change too. There’s a generation that wants to work for companies that have good values, that are inclusive, that are doing things the right way,” Kirwan said at the event in Toronto that was moderated by Anthony Vaccaro, president of The Northern Miner Group. “With juniors…[there are] individuals who don’t have that expertise. I think it’s okay for groups to say they want to do the right thing but they don’t know where to start.”

Corporate values have been the main focus for Kirwan ever since she and her business partner Shastri Ramnath launched Orix in 2012 as a 100% female-owned geological consulting firm. They didn’t widely broadcast the fact Orix is owned by women because they were unsure at the time how it would be received.

“Things have changed a lot in 10 years,” she said. “We focussed right away on…values and interpersonal skill sets, on [if people] would be curious, if they would be a good team player. I think a focus on that has helped us attract a diverse group.”

But Kirwan noted that the “real goal” of building a diverse workforce should be “diversity of thought”, rather than just hiring different people.

“You want different ideas on how to explore and recruit,” she said.

Watch the full video here:

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