Opening New Doors: IMII Announces Diversity & Inclusion Challenge Program

SASKATOON, May 2, 2017 /CNW/ - Saskatchewan mining companies are on a mission. They are about to invest $1 million, through the International Minerals Innovation Institute (IMII), in innovative solutions that will hoist the number of women and Indigenous people employed in the minerals sector.

As part of this mission, the IMII has created the Diversity & Inclusion Challenge Program to mobilize the minds and resources of external stakeholders, and is making $1 million available this year for Diversity & Inclusion Challenge Program projects.

"If we make the best use of internal and external ideas we are confident we can find innovative ways to open new doors to the opportunities that exist for women in mining, and Indigenous people in mining," says Al Shpyth, IMII Executive Director.

IMII has identified several Challenges that explicitly identify the opportunity to help minerals companies achieve their diversity and inclusion targets. The Diversity & Inclusion Challenges provide focused, actionable areas where innovative approaches to education and training are being sought.

The IMII is now accepting applications for funding under the Diversity & Inclusion Challenge Program under four challenges:

  • Improving access to employment opportunities with contractors and suppliers to the minerals sector for Indigenous peoples;
  • Creating new opportunities for Indigenous peoples in the minerals sector workforce;
  • Promoting mining careers to young women by connecting earlier in the talent pipeline; and
  • Increasing the number of women in key occupations in the minerals sector.

Under the Diversity & Inclusion Challenge Program, projects may be for a maximum of two years in duration and may receive maximum funding of $250,000.

As IMII is committed to open innovation, qualified educators, trainers, scholars, education & training professionals, post-secondary institutions, Indigenous organizations, professional organizations, labour organizations, employers, employer associations, and industry-based organizations can apply for funding provided they are offering an innovative solution to help address the minerals industry's diversity & inclusion needs.

IMII member companies have identified improving diversity & inclusion in the minerals sectors' workforce for Indigenous peoples and women as their education & training priorities for 2017 and 2018. IMII will ensure applications are aligned with these priorities, represent innovations in education & training, and will result in practical outcomes for the minerals industry.

IMII will not fund existing education & training programs under the Diversity & Inclusion Challenges Program. IMII is seeking innovative ideas which can be advanced, developed, demonstrated or piloted in the context of Saskatchewan's minerals industry and its diversity and inclusion needs.

Information on the Diversity & Inclusion Challenges Program application process is available on the IMII's website at

The webpage includes:

  • The four diversity & inclusion challenges for 2017; and
  • A template for submitting the preliminary project proposal.

June 9, 2017 is the closing date for submission of preliminary project proposals.

SOURCE International Minerals Innovation Institute

For further information: For more information about when and how to apply for IMII's Diversity & Inclusion Challenge Program funding please contact: Marylou Langridge, Finance & Operations Coordinator, Email:, Tel: (306) 668-2051; For more information about the Diversity & Inclusion Challenges or the IMII, please contact: Al Shpyth, Executive Director, Email:, Tel: (306) 668-2057

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