Our People

Employee Attraction, Development, and Retention

Why is employee attraction, retention, and development important?

An engaged and skilled workforce is key to any organization’s success. In geographically diverse organizations, multi-faceted and multi-cultural work forces bring a wide array of experience, knowledge, background, culture and heritage, all of which can lead to innovation, enhanced operations, and improved relationships with COIs. In the mining industry, it can be challenging to achieve a skilled, engaged, and diverse workforce due to remoteness of operations, traditions, local demographics, an aging workforce, and competition for talent. At Pan American Silver, we recognize that our people are critical to our success.  We are committed to recruiting and retaining top talent by building a respectful organization that is representative of the communities in which we operate.

2019 Goals People

2019 Goals People2019 Results2019 Performance2020 Goals
Conduct annual Leadership Development Program workshops involving leaders from all operations.

Conduct “fast track” train-the-trainers leadership program at our newly-acquired Tahoe operations
We conducted our Leadership Development Program. We initiated behaviour-based safety programs, and supported learning exchanges between operations.Conduct on-site leadership skills programs at all our operations.

Conduct safety behavior training programs and facilitate the exchange of learning between operations.
Inclusion and diversity by percentage of women in new hires and promotions by 20%15.28%Inclusion and diversity by percentage of women in new hires and promotions by 15%.

Our Approach

We work to attract, retain, engage, and develop the best talent. We offer our employees quality employment with competitive compensation and opportunities for professional development. In managing our human resources programs, we focus on key principles:

  • Providing competitive compensation and quality benefits
  • Providing opportunities for training and professional development
  • Fostering a respectful work environment


  • Global Code of Ethical Conduct
  • Board and Senior Management Diversity Policy
  • Global Human Rights Policy

Programs and Initiatives

  • Inclusion and Diversity Program – Fosters an inclusive work environment through a focus on gender, national culture, and generational diversity.
  • Leadership Development Program – Focuses on the personal and professional development of current and future leaders.
  • Site-level training programs – Provide necessary skills and development opportunities to meet site-specific current and future needs.
  • Site-level union agreements – Improve safety standards and working conditions at our operations by working with union leaders.
  • Whistleblower hotline – Employees can anonymously report actual or potential breaches of the Global Code of Ethical Conduct via phone or web, in English or Spanish, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


  • Human Resource and Social Responsibility departments lead inclusion and diversity initiatives.
  • Corporate Inclusion and Diversity Advisory Committee and site-level sub-committees oversee inclusion and diversity initiatives.
  • The Vice President of Social Sustainability, Inclusion and Diversity is responsible for inclusion and diversity initiatives and performance.
  • The General Counsel has functional oversight of corporate human resources and the Vice President of Human Resources (Operation) manages the operations human resources in the organization.

Our Performance

Employment conditions and benefits

We invest in our workforce, offering meaningful employment and fair compensation. It is important to us that the majority of workers responsible for core processes are Pan American Silver employees, not contractors. We want our employees to feel valued, take pride in our Company, embody the Pan American Silver values, and share in our success. We recognize that we must provide competitive compensation and benefit programs to attract and retain skilled and motivated employees. Although the formal mining sector is among the highest-paying in each of the countries where we operate, we regularly benchmark compensation to ensure we are paying in line with market trends and complying with local legislation.

Pay equity

At each of our sites, we set salaries based on objective criteria, not gender, and establish salary bands, which are externally benchmarked on a regular basis.


Tracking turnover is one way we review our market competitiveness, assess the effectiveness of our hiring practices, and evaluate our performance as an employer.  Across the Company, our overall annual turnover rate in 2019 was approximately eleven percent, compared to nine percent in 2018. Despite our acquisition of Tahoe Resources during 2019, we maintained a relatively stable turnover rate due to our business continuity planning prior to the acquisition and  maintaining a strong commitment to our employees. Our turnover rates reflect local labour market competition and industry trends and changes. At the operations level, competitive environments for skilled labour and opportunities at new mines are generally responsible for voluntary turnover.At the senior management level, our annual turnover increased from five to 21  percent. In past years, we have had low turnover at the senior management level, which we attributed to a shared commitment to the Company’s values and objectives. This recent increase is the result streamlining our operations after the acquisition of Tahoe. In addition, our Alamo Dorado mine in Mexico is in the post-closure stage, requiring fewer employees at site.

Merging our people 

We acquired Tahoe Resources in 2019 and increased our workforce by 41%. When we began to consolidate our assets and workforce, turnover was inevitable. Our objective was to maximize the value of each mine site over its lifespan by retaining the best talent from both companies and optimizing and streamlining teams. To manage this transition, we worked extensively with senior management to understand the needs and challenges of each operation and designed a fit-for-purpose organizational structure. Based on this information, we created an objective and transparent methodology for role evaluations and interviewed individuals for existing positions. Through this process, we were able to get the right people in each position and manage employee uncertainty that could have led to the loss of both talent and productivity.Another focus for us was the integration of employees from Tahoe Resources into our management teams and culture. This meant providing educating site leaders and supervisors on the Pan American Silver values and instilling an understanding of what it means to be a Pan American Silver employee. All of our employees are ambassadors of our values. Therefore, it is important to us that our leaders communicate these values to the site-level workforce and model these values through decision making and interactions with stakeholders.

“Pan American Silver’s greatest strength has always been its people. The acquisition of Tahoe Resources has given us access to new depths of talent, competence, and expertise.” – Steve Busby

Training and development

To retain a skilled workforce, we invest in employee development. Each operation provides training to both employees and contractors based on the needs and skill requirements of the mine. Our Leadership Development Program (LDP) allows us to identify leaders and managers from diverse backgrounds who are in positions that influence business outcomes and who are likely to drive Pan American Silver’s future success. This important program is designed to develop these future leaders by deepening their understanding of the mining industry, our business, and our operations, enhancing their management skills and leadership capabilities, and reinforcing both Pan American Silver’s leadership competencies and its corporate values. Approximately 30 employees complete this program successfully each year.

Labour relations

The mining industry is heavily unionized, and across our organization 52 percent of our employees are unionized. We respect our employees’ rights to choose whether or not to unionize. Our commitment to recognize the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining is set out in our human rights policy.Each of our sites has collective agreements with one or more unions and strives to maintain positive relationships with our unions and with unionized workers. Our objective is to work in partnership with our unions, which furthers the health and safety of our employees, and in turn, supports the Company as well as local communities. In 2019, we had no strikes or lockouts exceeding seven days.

Fostering an Inclusive Work Environment

We strive to achieve an inclusive work environment where all are treated fairly and respectfully, have equal access to resources and opportunities, are free from harassment, and can contribute to the success of the organization. For Pan American Silver, diversity includes gender, ethnicity, age, race, religion, disability, cultural, socio-economic background, nationality, sexual orientation, language, educational background, and expertise.

Our focus is on three key aspects of diversity: gender, national culture, and generational. Each mine site has an inclusion and diversity sub-committee that is responsible for developing and implementing site-specific inclusion programs and setting diversity targets. In 2019, these teams focused on developing a better understanding of what diversity means at their respective operations and the local challenges to inclusion. Because Pan American Silver emphasizes hiring from local communities, the human resources and sustainability functions work together to address actual and perceived barriers to hiring and retaining employees who are representative of the local community, as well as barriers to working with our Company as contractors or suppliers.

Diversity snapshot

Main Language Spoken by Employees

Pan American Workforce


Diversity of Employees and Contractors by Gender and Age

Gender diversity

Women are underrepresented across the mining industry, and as well in our Company, particularly in technical and trades roles. Historically, mining was not seen as an attractive career choice for women, a view that has further perpetuated the traditionally low representation of females in the industry.We see women as drivers of positive long-term change for Pan American Silver. Currently, nearly seven percent of our employees are female, a slight increase from 2018.  The majority of these women work in professional, administrative, and support roles.Across the organization we increased our emphasis on the recruitment, retention, and promotion of women, with the objective of increasing the number of new hires and promotions filled by women. We undertook a review of the capacity and skills of our female employees. This initiative resulted in an increase in the number of women in management roles in Peru, Mexico and Argentina, promotions for 30% of the women in our Lima office, and increased participation of women in our LDP.Each site faces specific challenges in regard to hiring more women. These challenges may include cultural beliefs, traditional gender roles, and low numbers of female candidates with technical training. In certain regions, the absence of available jobs in other industries keeps turnover rates low at our operations. Low turnover, in turn, can result in a lack of available entry level positions for women.In 2019, each site took steps to address identified challenges and create more positive workplaces for female workers. These actions included:

  • Providing additional washrooms and/or breastfeeding rooms
  • Allowing flexible work schedules
  • Providing protective equipment appropriate in size and design
  • Delivering training on respect for women in the workplace and sexual harassment laws and behaviour expectations

In 2019, we also updated the Board and Senior Management Diversity Policy to emphasize gender diversity as a key consideration when recruiting, hiring and promoting persons at the Board and senior management levels. We currently have one female Board member, four female vice presidents, and four female directors. No senior vice presidents or executive officers are women. Going forward, diversity, and gender diversity, will be accorded special attention as we consider Board and senior management appointments with a view to increasing the representation of women amongst the Company’s leadership.We know that our ability to attract qualified female candidates is, at least in part, dependent on increasing gender representation in career fields relating to our business and increasing the number of female job applicants. In some of our host communities, we promote mining as a career prospect to female secondary students, and to the community at large. We also provide scholarships to women entering technical programs at universities. In addition, we support external programs intended to inspire women to enter science and mining related careers, that promote women in mining and, more generally, champion women into leadership roles.

Cultural diversity

We operate mines across the Americas in areas with different cultures, languages, and values. Whenever possible, we hire our workers and management from the host communities and countries as a means of contributing to local economic development. Managers who speak the local language and understand the local culture help translate our corporate values into site practices in a way that is appropriate for that site and the local norms. In 2019, 99% of our employees were nationals of the countries where the mine is located.Although the majority of our employees have Spanish as their native language, through our acquisition of Tahoe, we have increased the number of native English speakers, and native French speakers. Our goal is to be inclusive and communicate more effectively, and we use simultaneous translators so that all participants can comprehend, participate, and contribute in critical strategic meetings. Cross culture awareness is also a component of our LDP.

Percentage of Employees by Nationality

(1)Includes only permanent employees.

Local employees by country

Senior Management(1)96%100%92%73%99%100%93%
Total Employees(2)98.2%100%99.8%99.4%100%100%100%

(1) Includes executive officers, vice presidents, country managers, directors, operation and unit managers.
(2) Includes permanent employees who are either born in or have the legal right to reside indefinitely in the same geographic market as the operation.

Generational diversity

To enable all employees to contribute fully, it is important that we understand the needs and expectations of employees in different stages of life. This refers to values, use of technology, management styles and preferences, and so forth. With 19% of our employees under 30 years of age and an older generation of miners simultaneously approaching retirement, this is of particular importance. We also need to create opportunities and mechanisms to transfer knowledge to this younger generation.


We have zero tolerance for discrimination, and we work hard to prevent instances of discrimination not only in our workplace, but also against community members and service providers. In 2019, one allegation of harassment and one allegation of discrimination were reported through the whistleblower or other reporting channels. Both allegations are under investigation. Based on feedback from our annual stakeholder engagement survey, we learned that our employees wanted to have response mechanisms available. in their workplace. This would provide another channel through which they could raise questions and concerns with management. We are currently working to build this employee response mechanism and will pilot it at all of our operations in 2020.

Next Steps

  • Roll out the Building Respect Together pilot program 
  • Develop inclusivity and diversity metrics
  • Pilot our workplace response mechanism at all operations

Click here to see additional data for:

  • GRI 102-8 Information on employees and other workers
  • GRI 401-1 New employee hires and employee turnover
  • GRI 405-1 Diversity of governance bodies and employees


Material Topic: Employee attraction, retention, and development.


  • Employment conditions and benefits
  • Employee and contractor training and development
  • Inclusion, diversity and equal opportunity
  • Labour relations
  • Non-discrimination and pay equity

Definition: Creating the right conditions to attract, develop, and maintain a talented and engaged workforce.

Feedback from COIs: Employees and potential employees look to us to provide fair compensation, stable employment, development and training. 

Diversity in our workforce and equal opportunity for all our employees.

Non-discrimination in our workforce, including equal pay for men and women.

How we’re responding: We hire locally and create other employment opportunities through our procurement and other socio-economic programs.

We are implementing diversity and inclusion programs at all sites. We set salaries based on objective criteria, not gender.

Potential Risks and Impacts

  • Skills shortages and competition for talent 
  • Labour disruptions and work stoppages
  • Low productivity and efficiency

Related SDGs

GRI Indicators

102-41 Collective bargaining agreements.

202-2 Proportion of senior managers hired from local community.

401-1 New employee hires and employee turnover.

404-1 Average hours of training per year per employee.

405-1 Diversity of governance bodies and employees.

405-2 Ratio of basic salary and remuneration of women to men.

406-1 Incidents of discrimination and corrective actions taken.

MM4 Number of strikes or lockouts exceeding one week’s duration.