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With over 15 years of experience in Human Resources and a background in labour policy and research, Ms. Courtnay Hughes has worked with employers, educators,  and the mining and exploration associations at the national and regional level.  Courtnay’s work focuses on developing and managing impactful  Human Resource strategies, policy and programming.

As Senior Consultant – Diversity and Inclusion at PHC Inc. Courtnay provides advisory services to mining and exploration employers, educators and advocacy groups seeking to increase the attraction, retention and development of mining and exploration workforces. Ms. Hughes is a recognized expert on gender diversity in mining and leads national and regional research and policy initiatives on diversity and inclusion for the mining sector.

Prior to her work with PHC Inc., Courtnay worked for the Mining Industry Human Resources Council(MiHR) developing and managing national Equity, Diversity and Inclusion programming to support the attraction and retention of a more diverse workforce in the mining and exploration sector; these projects included; the first national Virtual MineMentor program for the mineral and mining sector, the Explore for More career awareness campaign, and the Gender Equity in Mining – GEM Works program. While at MiHR and in partnership with PDAC, Courtnay was the principal researcher on the national workforce study for the Effects of Field Experience on Recruitment and Retention of Geoscientists in Canadian Mineral Exploration. As the Manager of HR Research, Courtnay contributed to national HR research projects focused on the exploration sector: Unearthing Possibilities: Human Resources Challenges and Opportunities in the Canadian Mineral Exploration Sector; and the Canadian Mineral Exploration Outlook.

Throughout her career, Courtnay has engaged in national and regional mining and exploration industry committees and projects focused on diversity and building HR capacity. The committees include the BC HR Mining Taskforce, WIM-WIN Sask, WIM Canada National Action Plan, APEGBC’s Gender Diversity Taskforce, and CIM Diversity and Inclusion Advisory.  Of note the “Engendering Engineering Success,” an interdisciplinary research consortium connecting post-secondary research institutions with industry whose aims to increase the retention of women in engineering. Courtnay is currently the VP of Engagement at Women in Mining BC.

Courtnay holds a Bachelors of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University and a Masters of Applied Science in Mining Engineering from the University of British Columbia. Her thesis titled  “A study on the career advancement and retention of highly qualified women in the Canadian mining industry” was one of the first Canadian studies to identify and investigate gender inequity within the Canadian mining workforce. Courtnay is a requested panellist and presenter on human resources in the mineral and exploration sector and has presented her research work at Round-up, CIM, World Mining Congress, the Australian Institute of Mining, and the Canadian International Resource and Development Institute.

Outside of work, Courtnay is an avid runner and road cyclist and enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids exploring the amazing parks, mountains and forests in BC.