Earlier this month, as part of its commitment to inclusion and diversity, Kinross hosted a global ‘Connecting Across Differences’ webinar to promote religious literacy. The session was an opportunity for employees to learn more about dismantling bias, and to recognize and understand various religions in our workspaces to foster more authentic professional relationships.
A recording of the session can be accessed on Kinross University here.
The session featured guest speaker Isselmou Ghaly, Community Relations Officer, Tasiast , who spoke on religious inclusivity at our Mauritanian operation. At Tasiast, the majority of employees practice the Muslim faith and in an effort to foster religious inclusion, Kinross has implemented a variety of programs and services that respect these employees’ religious identity.
In 2012, Kinross built a more than 21,500 square foot mosque on site which can accommodate 3,000 people for prayers (with a reduced 1,000 person capacity during COVID-19). The mine also employs two Imams who lead prayer services.
In an effort to further support employees’ religious development, Kinross sponsors employees to attend ‘Hajj’ – the pilgrimage to Mecca. Hajj is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, and of supporting their family during their absence from home. Each year, 15 employees are chosen by random draw and are awarded a trip to Mecca. Additionally, for the last two years, they have been able to increase the participation to 20 employees chosen per year.
Kinross also accommodates employees during the Ramadan holiday which requires members of the faith to fast during daylight hours. Tasiast modifies shift times to ensure employees who are participating in the fast are not working during high-temperature hours to prioritize their health and safety. The Company also donates food kits during Ramadan to support the local community during this special holiday.
While the majority of Tasiast employees are Muslim, the remaining team members represent a variety of diverse religious groups. In order to ensure all faiths are recognized and welcome in the workplace, employees are encouraged to participate in cross-cultural awareness training aimed at raising awareness for both nationals and expatriate employees. Participants learn to better understand appropriate behaviours and customs on matters related to faith.
“We are very proud of our efforts at Tasiast to create an inclusive workspace for our employees of all cultures and religions,” said Isselmou Ghaly, Community Relations Officer, Corporate Affairs, Tasiast. “It is important for us to ensure all employees feel welcome, equal and accepted in our workplace and we believe Tasiast has done an outstanding job at building an environment that is inclusive to all religions.”