Capturing & Sharing Stories for Change

Capturing and Sharing Stories for Change

The sharing of stories about successes in gender inclusion will allow employees at all levels and across sites to learn from one another; and also “bring to life” the benefits increased gender inclusion can bring to their day-to-day work. On an industry level, stories can help people inside and outside the sector to get a sense of the important progress being made within mining workplaces.

Why storytelling?

A story is a narrative of past employee experience that is communicated informally within the organization or the industry. Knowledge grows through such experience.

Storytelling is part of an oral tradition that allows people to benefit from the experience and knowledge that exists within the ”community” – whether that is a worksite, a mining company, or the mining industry. Storytelling triggers listeners to respond with other stories, building new understanding. Memorable stories can capture and hold our attention, increasing the likelihood of learning.

What defines a “story”?

A story is more than a “report to management” about a task that was completed. It includes context, personal involvement and often a connection to important values. To make it useful for others, a story should describe some of the following – it might be helpful to add a simple template or form to your intranet to facilitate this:

  • What the challenge was and why it mattered to the people involved.
  • What an individual or group did.
  • What impact it had and why that is important.
  • What others can learn from it.
  • How it can be replicated or extended.

How can stories be gathered?

Employees could submit their gender inclusion stories on an individual basis or in collaboration with other colleagues – for example:

  • An individual crafts and submits a story.
  • A group of employees work together on an informal basis to craft and submit story.
  • As part of committee/site/organization-wide meeting, employees are invited to spend 10 minutes sharing their stories, which can be documented and submitted after the session.
  • Executive/manager/supervisor invites staff to participate in a facilitated session dedicated to crafting stories, which can be documented and submitted after the session.
  • Leaders listen for gender inclusion examples or experiences they hear about informally in their conversations – and they use and share them in an intentional way. Many leaders build their own “library”’ of Stories for Change.
  • At an industry level, employers can share stories and use them to inspire progress within their own organizations; or industry associations can capture them and disseminate them through websites, newsletters and social media.
  • REMEMBER: Be sure to protect confidentiality when sharing stories.

How can you best disseminate stories?

To maximize the impact of the stories submitted, dissemination methods could include:

  • On a regular basis (e.g. once a quarter), the most impactful stories could be communicated to all staff via internal communications.
  • At the end of each year, staff could have a chance to “vote” for the story they heard/read that most impacted them. The top contributors (e.g. one per site) could be invited to tell their story at an event or on video for posting internally.
  • Each quarter, the names of all contributors could be entered into a draw to win a gift certificate. Frequent participation by site could also be recognized.
  • Industry associations, training organizations, suppliers and other stakeholders could sponsor a campaign asking for stories of gender inclusion; publish the results and summarize the progress made and benefits achieved.
  • Industry analysts could include selected stories of demonstrated impact of gender inclusion in their reports on key business metrics for the mining industry.

What are the benefits of sharing stories?

Sharing stories has benefits at multiple levels.

For employees

  • Offers an opportunity to share their insights about working in a genderinclusive environment, and inspire others to take action.
  • Provides a vehicle to learn from peers about new behaviours and day-today benefits of gender inclusion.
  • Creates a feedback loop to management about what is really happening in the organization and how individual employees are leveraging gender inclusion.

For change agents and champions

  • Provides practical examples of demonstrated benefits that can be useful for engaging others – such as influencing nay-sayers, or confronting myths and misconceptions.
  • Provides lessons learned on how to be effective in fostering change and overcoming challenges.
  • Uncovers success stories that can continue to inspire and motivate change agents.

For the organization

  • Contributes to organizational change and an inclusive workplace for all.
  • Contributes to a library of good practices, to sustain inclusion for future employees.
  • Promotes becoming a learning organization where employees across all levels and regions can learn from one another.
  • Provide insights into the impact of current gender inclusion on initiatives in the organization.
  • Promotes a culture where Diversity and Inclusion are lived and breathed in every part of the organization.

For the industry

  • Builds the reputation of the industry as gender-inclusive – both externally to attract potential job seekers and influencers such as family members and teachers, and internally to engage and retain current talent.
  • Encourages and inspires other worksites, employers or stakeholders (educators, suppliers, unions, associations) to follow your lead.
  • Creates a sense of momentum and collaborative progress in the industry.

Additional resources

Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) – Gender Equity in Mining (GEM) Works eLearning Suite

The Gender Equity in Mining (GEM) Works – Learn to Make a Difference e-learning program supports change agents in applying the GEM Works Toolbox to update policies and practices to identify and remove unintended barriers. In particular, see: Module 4: Building Organizational Support & Momentum – for additional ideas for engaging stakeholders.

Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) workshops – Being a Gender Champion and Building Momentum on your Journey towards Gender Equity

The GEM Works Executive Development Sessions are two half-day, interactive programs that enable mining leaders to succeed as a “Gender Champion” driving change towards a more gender-inclusive workplace. The workshops include topics such as addressing difficult questions, and myths and misconceptions.

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