HR LeadersTalk: Gillian McCombie Shares Wisdom of Experience

By Drew Railton, CPHR

Drew Railton, CPHR is a managing partner in our Western Canada offices. He has an ongoing interview series in PeopleTalk, the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of British Columbia and Yukon’s quarterly magazine. 

In the Winter issue, Drew Railton, CPHR caught up with Gillian McCombie.

With more than 22 years experience, Gillian McCombie most recently served as vice-president of human resources for Capstone Mining from 2011 through 2018.
Her career started with Placer Dome and subsequently Hunter Dickinson, before she spent five years with Telus and subsequently joined Capstone in 2011.
Headquartered in Vancouver and listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, Capstone is a base metals mining company, with two producing copper mines: Pinto Valley in the U.S. and Cozamin in Mexico.

Here is what Gillian had to say.

What was the breakout project or accomplishment that accelerated your career?

Two years into my time with Placer Dome, there was an opportunity to do 21-days-in/7-days-out at a mine site. This assignment provided me with an unprecedented opportunity to grow professionally and gain exposure in the industry. In particular, working with First Nations Peoples and the operators really allowed me to understand the business, and build relationships based on trust and credibility.

During this time, I came up against some strong personalities. I had my work cut out for me to win the respect of one operations leader in particular, who was skeptical about the value of a HR person. Every opportunity I had to work with him, I put my hand up. I was committed to problem solving with him, including putting in the extra time on weekends to work through the tough stuff. Suddenly, I was viewed in a different manner and being asked to be involved with integrated projects and initiatives.

Click here to read the article.

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