“I’m looking for the next challenge!” says Gina Jardine, sitting in her new Kinross office overlooking Lake Ontario. The newest member of our Senior Leadership Team joined Kinross in April as Senior Vice-President of Human Resources, and she is raring to go – be it running a marathon, climbing a mountain, or pursuing growth and excellence for the Kinross organization.
An Australian native who holds a BA in Psychology and an MBA from the Melbourne Business School, Gina landed in the mining industry quite by chance when she was hired as the Head of HR within the Technology and Innovation Group of British-Australian metals and mining giant, Rio Tinto. She found she loved the industry and held several senior roles with Rio Tinto over eight years, moving from Brisbane to London. Her most recent role, before joining Kinross, was Vice President – Human Resources for the Diamonds and Minerals division.
In this role she was responsible for twelve mines and several large scale projects, with over 50% of her portfolio based in Africa, a continent she feels closely connected to. Gina was in Guinea during the recent Ebola crisis as part of Rio’s effort to show senior level support, and was very proud that none of its employees or their families was affected by the outbreak.
One of the things Gina is passionate about is getting the often unrecognized good work that the mining industry does, recognized. “People talk about ‘The big bad miner’ and I think, ‘Hold on a second!’ Mining companies actually do a lot of great work and in regions that especially need it, both in times of calm and crisis,” she says emphatically, citing Kinross’ response to the recent floods in Chile as a prime example. “We should feel very proud that we work for such a great company and that we contribute so positively.”
And she doesn’t just talk the talk. Last October, she reached the 5,895 metre summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, raising over 5,000 British pounds for the Fondation Guinea, a foundation that provides seed money to sustainable agriculture projects in Guinea. Since moving to Toronto, she’s run two 10k marathons in support of charities, joining Team Kinross to raise funds for Camp Oochigeas, a summer camp for children with cancer.
Gina was drawn to Kinross by its global footprint and the value that it places on its people. In getting to know the company, she was struck by the “caring feeling “at Kinross. “The warmth really shone through,” she says. Aware that the industry as a whole is challenged, she looks forward to putting in place “strategies that build organizational agility and programs that develop and prepare our people to succeed in the face of ongoing industry volatility. I want the investment in our people to be seen as one of the key differentiators when the market compares us to our competitors.”
As to the challenge of being a woman in the male-dominated mining industry, Gina has an interesting insight: that a greater proportion of women work in mining in Africa than in the developed world. She wants to figure out why and to work on strategies at Kinross that will create equal access to the workplace across lines of gender and nationality. We’ve started paving the way; earlier this year, Kinross introduced a policy aimed at increasing the representation of women within the company. Gina recognizes that the mining industry has unique challenges in that, “Unlike other industries where you can take the ‘work’ to the people, in mining, you have to take the people to the asset. We need programs, policies and innovative thinking that mitigates these challenges to create equal opportunity for our diverse workforce as a whole.”
In this case, the asset seems to have come to us. Gina will soon be joined here in Toronto by her husband Phil and 12 year old son Kyler.
Gina Jardine with husband Phil and son Kyler, on holiday in Israel.
At Rio Tinto’s Diavik diamond mine in the Northwest Territories.
With school children in Guinea.
At the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.
With her finishers medal at the New York marathon.