March 30, 2023
March 8 marked International Women’s Day – a global day to celebrate progress made and raise awareness of the work remaining to be done to ensure the full participation of women and girls for future generations. Côté Gold is strongly committed to fostering a supportive culture of inclusion and equity where every employee, regardless of their gender identity, feels supported and respected to set them up for success.
To mark the occasion, Lynn Girard, our Mill Manager, shared a glimpse into her professional life and told us why she enjoys being a key part of the mining industry.
At Côté Gold, we believe that leveraging diversity and inclusion through transformational leadership is the key to success. Lynn Girard shared her inspiring experiences of being a female leader working on the front line of the industry and offered advice to young women starting their careers in this sector.
How would you describe your leadership philosophy?
My leadership philosophy is centered around fairness, understanding, and growth. People want to do well, and everyone has value to add. Sometimes they just need help unlocking or communicating this value. The team needs to feel comfortable asking questions and challenging the status quo. Making mistakes is how we grow. We just need to ensure we use this experience to grow moving forward.
What is your experience of being a woman working in the mining sector? What has been your most significant challenge?
I have been fortunate to have incredible mentors throughout my career, most of whom were/are men. My mentors helped me become more self-aware, self-confident, set goals and work towards achieving them. I am naturally introverted and had to push myself out of my comfort zone to be successful in this field by finding ways to communicate my point of view in a factual and professional manner which results in respect and trust.
Do you believe that the presence of women in significant strategic and operational roles influences the ultimate success of a company?
I believe diversity and inclusiveness in general are critical for the success of a company. In this industry, the default is often to do something in a certain way because “this is how it was always done”. When we bring in diversity and inclusiveness, it forces us to challenge these perspectives which leads to better decisions.
What is your next or ultimate career goal?
My career goal is to continue to be challenged and grow as a leader. My priority now is to build a team that will successfully bring the Côté Gold mill into operation!
Do you have any advice to young women starting out in their studies or careers in this field?
Don’t shy away from the field. There are lots of exciting opportunities to make a real change. Believe in yourself, be genuine, and don’t give up. You will be placed in challenging situations outside of your comfort zone. Approach these situations as opportunities to grow rather than obstacles that set you back.