CFO fosters trust and guides IAMGOLD’s digital shift
Canada’s CFO of the Year Award finalist Carol Banducci
The mining industry is undergoing an unprecedented transformation. Today, as it becomes harder to find new ore deposits and ore grades diminish, miners worldwide are looking to technology to improve safety, productivity and efficiency. And it’s giving rise to a digital and talent revolution. Canada’s CFO of the Year Award finalist Carol Banducci, Executive Vice President (EVP) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of IAMGOLD Corporation, has seen the transformation firsthand.
Carol joined IAMGOLD as EVP and CFO in 2007, and today, she oversees all aspects of finance, information technology and investor relations. The company currently operates four producing gold mines on three continents, and she’s excited about the impact digital technologies are having on IAMGOLD’s mines—and its people.
At the forefront of an industry in transition
Miners worldwide are looking to “digital mining” to keep people safe and optimize operations, Carol remarks. For example, drones and other devices can help remotely monitor and control activities while robotics can automate often dangerous tasks. What’s more, advanced sensing technology and real-time operational data are helping workers make better, faster decisions.
“Embracing technology throughout the business is increasingly important to surviving in the digital age,” Carol says. “We’re already seeing the value of integrating digital technologies into our operations, from maintenance, safety and compliance to mine planning and heavy machinery operation.”
IAMGOLD’s Côté Gold Project in Ontario, for example, will use autonomous production drilling and autonomously driven trucks to drill and haul ore and waste from the mine. Even Carol’s Finance team is reaping the benefits of new technologies. New consolidation and reporting platforms have cut the time needed to reconcile data and help Carol and her team track in real time a range of operational key performance indicators.
A bold new direction on talent
Mining’s digital revolution will have a profound impact on the workforces at IAMGOLD and other mining companies, from how mines are run to the skills people need to thrive. “We need fewer heavy equipment operators and more software engineers, robotics experts, cybersecurity specialists and data analysts,” Carol says. Addressing this transition means helping existing workers acquire the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in a digital world—and recruiting new kinds of talent.
And attracting that talent to the mining sector can be a challenge itself. Carol notes that young people think very differently about their careers, embracing diversity, mobility, corporate social responsibility and flexible, welcoming business cultures.
“We need to modernize our image by earning the trust of our future workforce. People need to see that we’re also deeply committed to innovation, sustainability and inclusivity.” - Carol Banducci, IAMGOLD
“Carol Banducci truly understands the connection between an engaged workforce, and a successful organization. As CFO, her dedication to the principles of transparency, integrity, and her openness to new ideas and technologies, has helped establish a more innovative culture for her team, and a commitment to shared goals across the business.” – David King, Canadian Director, Robert Half
Building a trustworthy organization
Not surprisingly, trust is a topic Carol is particularly passionate about—especially in the digital age. “I believe the most highly valued attributes of a CFO are integrity, transparency and trustworthiness,” she says. As part of the leadership team, she strives to embed transparency and trustworthiness throughout IAMGOLD’s organization and culture. Extraordinary performance requires an empowered workforce, she says, and real empowerment is based on trust.
She and her fellow leaders make a point of ensuring that transparency and trust are front and centre in executing the company’s strategy. They make sure they have the right people in the right places handling the right things, the right community relationships to support the company’s success, and a level of transparency and trust with local governments that preserves their ability to operate mines and grow the business.
The company’s Zero Harm vision is an important part of its trust-building efforts. Zero Harm, unveiled shortly after Carol’s arrival at IAMGOLD, is the distillation of the miner’s commitment to continuously strive for the highest standards in human health and safety, minimize its environmental impact, and work in close cooperation with the communities that host its mines and other operations.
A legacy of trust amid transformation
The rise of the digital age has only made trust between people and businesses more critical, Carol notes, as both mining—and miners—change in surprising new ways. “Trust has to be at the core of our relationships with all our stakeholders,” she remarks. “It’s about opening up the world and trusting more people in different ways.” And more and more, technology is what enables this trust.
With their investments in digital technology and a digital workforce and a relentless focus on trust, Carol Banducci and her colleagues at IAMGOLD are well-positioned to thrive in mining’s new era.
About Canada’s CFO of the Year Award
Presented by Financial Executives International (FEI) Canada, PwC Canada, and Robert Half, Canada’s CFO of the Year™ Award is given annually to recognize and honour the best in financial leadership.