March 9, 2017
In honour of International Women’s Day, Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC) and Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women, officially announced EHRC’s newest initiative to support the increased representation of women as skilled workers in the electricity and renewable energy sector.
The Leadership Accord on Gender Diversity for the Electricity Industry is a public commitment by employers, educators, unions and governments to promote diversity and inclusion within their organizations. Whether it’s through recruitment, retention or governance practices, the signatories to this accord acknowledge that united action is required to ensure the support of women in the industry, along with equality and fairness for the entire workforce.
These leaders have already signed the accord
Here’s a list of who’s already signed, in alphabetical order. Expect the list to grow.
- Alectra Inc.
- Algonquin College
- Hydro Ottawa
- International Brotherhood Electrical Workers (IBEW)
- Ontario Power Generation
- Power Workers’ Union
- Society of Energy Professionals
Accord advocates include The Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists, Electricity Distributors Association (EDA), Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance (CEEA), Energy Council of Canada and Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE).
As in many technical sectors, women working in electricity are under-represented and face barriers that limit their advancement or desire to remain in the sector. These barriers may include conscious or unconscious discrimination, a lack of female role models, or workplace culture and practices that erode an inclusive workplace. Integrating women into workplaces that employ skilled workers requires more than just opening the doors to female employees. Paradigm shifts require repeated focus and attention.
“Diversity breeds innovation. Research has consistently shown that diverse teams are more creative and innovative, while better representing the customers they serve,” says Michelle Branigan, EHRC CEO. “Our objective is to accelerate the rate of change, so that women working in trades' and technology careers become the norm, and truly reflective of the society we live in today. In addition, we believe that organizations who take the lead in creating a culture of equality and fairness, will open their doors to a wider pool of top talent which will inevitably be reflected in their bottom line.”
“Gender equality matters because our economy needs the talents of all Canadians to thrive and grow,” says Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women. “By working together with employers in the electricity industry, [EHRC] will help build a workplace culture that attracts, supports and promotes women at all levels. This is more than just an investment in women — it is an investment in the future of the industry.”
About the Leadership Accord on Gender Diversity
This accord was developed by EHRC and the Connected Women steering committee, a group of industry stakeholders who are working to develop a national mentorship program for women in the sector (to be launched May 2017).