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Leadershift: Pathways to Gender Equity

Despite good intentions and investments in programs to support women’s participation in Canada’s electricity sector, the pace of change has been slow.

Leadershift: Pathways to Gender Equity explores the status of women’s representation in companies across Canada’s electricity sector, with a focus on the leadership level. It includes a review of the current levels of women’s participation in the sector, highlights champions and successful initiatives, and offers recommendations for sparking meaningful change.

Changing the face of Canada’s electricity sector requires us all to work closely together. We need to shift the way we think about leaders to understand the current situation and work towards a more equitable and gender balanced workforce. Leadershift can help us get there.

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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Checklist

Changing the face of Canada’s electricity sector requires us all to work closely together. We need to shift the way we think about leaders to understand the current situation and work towards a more equitable and gender balanced workforce.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Checklist

2SLGBTQ+, Apprenticeship, Best Practices, Diversity, Gender Equity, Hiring Practices

This checklist includes promising practices to help organizations prioritize, embed, and broaden their diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.

Open Toolkit

Leadership Pathway to Gender Equity Webinar

Leadershift was launched on Thursday, May 28, 2020. The launch included:

  • Opening remarks from Kathy Lerette, Senior Vice President of Business Transformation at Alectra
  • Overview of the research
  • Key findings and takeaways
  • Recommendations and how to foster positive change
  • Guest commentary from industry experts, Lyne Parent-Garvey, Hydro Ottawa, Jeanette Southwood, Engineers Canada, and Elaina Eifler, ATCO
  • Questions & answers from the research lead

This research explores the status of women’s representation in companies across Canada’s electricity sector, with a focus on the leadership level. It includes a review of the current levels of women’s participation in the sector, highlights champions and successful initiatives, and offers recommendations for sparking meaningful change.



with that I’d like to welcome Kathy Laurette our moderator for the day to introduce leader shift pathways to

gender equity great thanks Alex well good afternoon everybody and welcome to

the online launch of leadership pathways to gender equity my name is kathy loreck

I am a senior vice president of business transformation at electric utilities and I’m very pleased to have the opportunity

to introduce today’s proceedings on a topic that affects every one of us in the workplace regardless of our gender

it’s great to see the large audience today as it really signifies the importance of this issue and how

passionate so many of us are for creating change in this area so the agenda for today starts with a

presentation on the research by Michelle Brannigan who is a CEO of HRC and meru

to Moga Freeza who is the program manager of diversity and inclusion and the reports research lead we’ll then

move to a panel discussion with industry members Lynne parent Garvey Jeannette

Southwood and Alaina Eifler and finally we’ll open it up to questions and answer

period so if you’d like to submit a question please enter it at any time into the chat box and a member of our

team will submit it to the panel as we know gender representation at work is an

ongoing conversation the electricity sector has long been very male-dominated

and has been slow to embrace change many of us have seen programs and initiatives

aimed at supporting women’s advancement over our careers but despite these

efforts progress has been far too slow women’s participation in the sector

remains about 26% and women’s representation at leadership levels is

similarly low so what’s going on here well a leadership provides the missing

piece of the puzzle as the first survey of its of its kind specifically looking

at the status of women’s representation in Canada’s electricity sector leadership offers a valuable snapshot

of where we are right now the report highlights existing initiatives profiles

champions of equality and offers recommendations on how we can make our existing empowerment and support

programs stronger to create meaningful lasting change so with that let’s move

right into it and I’m going to turn it over to Michelle and Maru to for those discussion of leadership pathways to

gender equity Thank You Cathy and for

those who don’t know us electricity Human Resources Canada or ek4 C is the

organization that provides Trustwave market intelligence and evidence-based

solutions for human resource challenges in the electricity sector we speak to

best HR practices and innovative HR programs development from evidence-based

research and as a national organization we provide commentary on HR issues that

impact the electricity sector every day we really pride ourselves on acting as an essential HR partner for all of

industry supporting the electricity industry’s most critical asset which is of course our people now over the years

we have collected data on the number of women in the electricity sector at a broader level but of course we saw that

there was not missing piece and that was the lack of information in regards to women’s representation at the most

senior levels on boards and in corporate leadership roles so if you’re on this

call you’ll know that there is now broad consensus that companies really benefit in having a diverse workforce enhanced

innovation and competitiveness higher employee engagement and lower strategic risk these are just some of the benefits

that have been documented and in the context of an electricity industry that

is facing dramatic shifts be that technological or demographical the

advancement of women into leadership positions is critical but to do that

successfully to actually move that dial we need to understand structural and cultural barriers that

are impeding women today as you’ll hear the research confirms what is well known

by most industry observers and that is that the leadership ranks do not reflect the number of talented women in the

sector so the leadership report will provide our stakeholders with more information

on how to accelerate change and also fully understand why these changes are

necessary and I’m not here not everyone is on the same page however change is

possible and I think the report really is going to provide insights on how we move forward now in the interest of time

I’m going to keep this section very brief more detail can be found of course in the report so if it’s now live on our

website electricity HR GA so following this event you can go and get access to

the full report throughout the research we did engage with over 61 organizations

of all sizes geography and business line and and following an extensive

literature review we conducted a survey which gathered not only statistical data

but explore the personal experiences and perspectives of both men and women working in the sector we then moved on

and developed champion case studies set with seven men as senior leaders who are

all recognized industry change agents now each of these men described the

personal experiences that shaped their understanding of gender issues and saw them actually walk the talk when it came

to making a difference in their own organizations the study was also guided

by a National Steering Committee who provided great insight and support throughout the project thank you so much

I know most of you are on the call and with that I am going to pass it over to Murder two to take us through the start

of some of the findings

you right you over to you


no sorry thanks Michelle here’s the exciting stuff so I’m going to speak to

some of the key numbers that emerged as with new cut holes for self directors and executive teams in the sector so

among the 61 industry organizations that will research we found that 88% of words

hobbit is one woman sitting at the table which means 12% of the world still have

no women in 77% of the words of two or more women which means that almost 1/4

which is 23% of the words have no women or and only one woman member the

previous research has concluded that one woman and alone on a board is insufficient and that the business

benefits of diversity and unlikely to be gained based on these numbers alone the

board in our sectors are missing out on the advantages that are more balanced perspective can bring also note that

being an only one board member has its own downside for instance as the only member on a board and can face

challenges in getting their voices heard and it sometimes buzina spoken off in themselves that they are seeing us talk

about it not because of their skills or experiences but we have some positive

news when we take into account account the size of the boards not having two women when a four-person board is not

the same as having two women on 10% board so we found that 63% of the words

have more than from 25 to 49 percent of their seats held by women in a very few

6% have had half or more of their seats held by women so overall 30% of board

seats are held by women within individual boards 58 percent of the board submit or exceeded the 30%

critical mass benchmark so we move from part of it to executive

teams we found that the sectors track record in executive ranking is not as

quite as positive at the board level we found out one quarter of the companies we reached research have no women

publicly listed on their executive teams and almost half which is about 46% of no

women listed in assisted positions overall we have 26% of the senior

executive named own company information sources are women if you look at your

screen and see the charts on the left you will see the representation and executive teams we have 30% 34% of the

companies are one-quarter to one-half women and in 26 percent of the

organization the companies there are less than one-quarter women represented

in 25% of them have no women and then we look at the 15% of the companies that

are comprised of five or more women in their executive things while this 15

person might be encouraging these organizations are typical of the industry overall and we saw as one

number of Hogan additions I responded to the study which

kind of skewed the results and if we look at the right side to see most roles

held by women we know that the women are over represented in corporate functions they trust HR IT egan and we all know that

roles in corporate functions we’re really to senior positions and this is a trend that we saw through the study what

this means is that these women are less likely missing the highly volatile operations and technical experience that

would advance them into the CEO and other key decision-making ones close because it also contributes to the

gender pickup with women continue to earn less than men I’m wondering if

anybody has a challenge hearing me I can hear you okay Mario – okay so now

let’s go further and to look at the diversity of the board how is the representation so when we look at the

diversity of the board’s themselves and break it by age ethnicity education

level the field of study and certification over one-third are aged 55

in a bar and may be looking to retire and then we have only only 44% well that

are members of visible minority groups and then we only have 3% indigenous

population so even within our female representation there is room for improvement you can also look at the

field of study reflect on what I just mentioned earlier almost all have university degree in or our professional

designation the most common fields of study are commerce slim pants and no and

I think there’s a trend here which means that many women are not working in the area which they are they studied in

trade or they’re actually hitting the glass city semi within their careers so

it wasn’t enough for us to look at the numbers and you know numbers can be a little bit boring but so we found it

critical also to just go through and I understand in exam I examined what’s

happening in the world so we started we wanted to explore the perspective all

the employees men and women and we share would present that I said thanks for

thanks Maria – so while the research of course looked at the numbers who’s

sitting around the board table and in the c-suite we also looked at organizational culture and examined the

viewpoints of men and women working in the sector and then of course still make up over 74 percent of the industry and

as such they have grass still have great influence on hiring decisions at all levels not to do not to mention

developing a culture that is or is not equitable for all employees so we discovered them women and men

don’t see the problem the same way and I wasn’t surprised with the fact that men and women still few gender equity

progress differently but I was surprised however at how far apart that actually were almost one in every five

men so 18% that we surveyed believed that it is actually easier for women to

succeed in their workplace than it is for men in contrast three of every four

women so 75% believe that women have a more difficult journey so we’ll just

take a quick look at the four areas or saw the biggest difference in perspectives so compared to the 82% of

men who believe that they can demonstrate their full availabilities and potential in the workplace only 66%

of women feel the same way now women believe that their advancement has been held back because of others assessment

of their technical skills or of their behaviors and their styles such as teamwork the way they communicate even

ambition and while 6% of men think that their employers opinion on their style

of behavior has held them back over a third of the women we surveyed actually

felt that way and then we look at colleagues opinion so while none of the

men thought that their colleagues opinion of them was a barrier to success 27% of women felt that it was indeed a

barrier to their advancement and then finally 25% of the women also founded a

challenge to get the educational and skills development they needed to succeed in their career of choice

none of the men actually reported that that was an issue so really the industry is really still falling short on

creating a shared understanding of our sectors gender reality with men being much more likely to think that gender or

ethnic backgrounds don’t make a difference in relation to career success and these views matter because the

respondents who are positive about career support are more satisfied with their jobs more likely to recommend

working in the sector unless likely to be planning to leave so what were the

perspectives around those who are actually in charge those in leadership positions at the executive level well

the women in our survey are not at all confident that senior leaders are aware of the barriers or the extent of the

barriers within the organization that’s one piece the research also reported that women

still have some doubts about the commitment of our industries leaders including within their own organization

and and and one in every seven women in our survey feel that leaders within the

electricity sector are not at all interested in increasing the numbers of women in leadership and that a lack of

executive commitment limits women’s progress in their own company however

almost half of the men feel that the leaders are very committed so it appears

that men and women are hearing very different messages there and in fact

senior management respondents were much more likely to believe that equity is

firmly established within their organization so understanding why women’s workplace experiences often

differ so much from their male counterparts it’s critical because these differences in perspective make it even

more challenging to reach agreement on actions for change now the research also

found that male managers are not the only ones who might be hesitant to take action on gender issues about one third

of respondents also believe that women avoid supporting gender equity

initiatives in some cases they fear potential backlash or reputational risk

so they don’t want to be seen as making waves or being labeled if they push too

hard and that while it’s understandable is a little bit disheartening it

suggests that they don’t believe that the organization is as truly committed

to gender inclusion as a positive focus for the business men we spoke to some of

them didn’t see that there were gender barriers they don’t think that they themselves have the scope to make change

or they’re deterred by a concern that merit will be put at risk and that women

will get promoted over other candidates just because they are a woman and then

among our state survey respondents this relates to culture is one of every women’s the 20% which was high I thought

reported that they had personally experienced harassment violence or bullying in their work for in the

workplace at least monthly in the last five years

so the third focus of our research was looking at why and how individuals can

make a difference just over 50% half 51% of our survey respondents report that

all talk no action is a barrier to making progress towards greater gender

balance in their organization but our salmon champion first person interviews

and their organizational set success have shown that it can be done

these men have taken concrete action and and demonstrate the impact of active day

by day persistent involvement of leaders as advocates each of them describes the

experiences that help them become personally more aware of the challenges that women face in the workplace and

then they translated that awareness into behaviors that actually make a difference such things as addressing

unconscious bias building the trust required for flexible work arrangements

navigating style differences between women and men using equity to advance

women’s careers and sponsoring women for growth opportunities so they have really inspired me I know the two quotes are

OBO are ones that I will be using again and again because at the end of the day

it’s really it’s time to start doing now as always with any study it’s really

important how we respond or what we do next so I’m gonna hand back over tomorrow to for a brief overview of our

recommendations okay so based on what we uncovered through the study and our

understanding of the gaps we recommend the value of building awareness which is

key and support by communicating on a personal David with candor and openness

to difficult discussions so we have to motivate leadership and all employees by sharing our success stories in a

personal in organization level this is no no way around it and spread the

discussion across the organization where and every day if needed if we also have

to change the narrative of women and address the perception implement good practices and then measure and report on

the progress achieved and the benefits gained we have to realize that change forming you try to change for men so

with change comes the challenge of confronting we know that but long-standing behavior patterns of women

and men we also need to get to change toward could have an inclusive environment or on it is also intention

to ensure that your organization or organization culture supports work quite effectively and we have to be

intentional about it and you have to make it so early no one for example for a new dad to take a year’s parental

leave in women leading the refurbishment of our nuclear plant so it takes

commitment at the individual an organization level if we want to be part

of this transition into a more equitable industry so speaking of commitment I

like to bring something up to you just a reminder for anyone who is not aware to take a look at our leadership

record on gender diversity which encourages our leaders to commit fully in supporting women in your organization

in this leadership record provides the framework which enables organizations to assess their current situation and

improve we almost have 100 organizations that are leading the way and we have

they are championing it and if you want more information on how you can participate please reach out to us

HRC or myself there’s also more information on our website that is a

dinner for a conversation about the findings and I will hand it back to Cathy will be leading our panel



[Music] no there seems to be some distortion

coming through it’s possible its feedback from other funds c’mon Alex can

you do it so that everyone’s my office is off just for a moment instead and I just Cathy whoever speaking gets their

mic on

okay let’s try the Friday in today

the numbers or the perspectives and

sorry I think audio a little bit broken

I’ll encourage mature Michelle to share the questions if you could just

temporarily mute I’ll bring up all the speakers right now you

you and which of the report findings did you

find the most compelling or surprising and the numbers are their first their perspectives and and why

perfect Thank You Michelle but before I get to that Michelle I just I want to reiterate the importance of this of this

work for our sector and for our organizations on gender equality because

I strongly believe that we truly do need to make more space for for women to

ensure that we you know that we better reflect the communities that we serve that we can successfully navigate the

change in disruption in our industry with with balance and increased

collaboration and innovation and of course to help us continually improve our business there are two findings I

want to talk about and you and Murrow to have talked a bit about them already but

the first is the representation of women on boards and in the c-suite so for me

transformational change really starts at the top and more representation of women

on boards and in our c-suite is key so because the report says there’s general

consensus that a gender inclusive executive team and board of directors

can produce better results but as an industry we still have a lot of work to

do in in in this area so having 30 percent of board seats in our Spector

held by we and I thought was encouraging but then that some organizations don’t

have any women on their board or only have one woman on their board I found that discouraging at the same

time when you get to the c-suite level with almost half of the companies that

were researched having no women well then that was disappointing as well but

then then that means there’s at least 50% who do have women in their c-suite

and that’s encouraging I strongly believe and it always said this that seeing is believing and that young women

who start their careers in our sector or in our organizations must be able to see

it’s possible what’s attainable what’s a viable career path for them because if

they don’t see that they’ll leave so again you know women on boards women and

see sweets is important it’s important for young women to see to see what’s

possible the other area I want to talk about is culture and in speaking up so

the comments around culture really stood out for me in the report and I think

it’s so important that we’re talking about those divided perspectives between the between the genders so as Michelle

was saying you know women speaking about the barriers they face and believing

they’re at a disadvantage and then on the other hand you know we have men believing that the playing field is

equal and that in fact it might even be easier for women to to succeed so I

think it’s really important that that we speak more openly of these these

different perspectives not just in the report I do think we can use the report as an EM and just to doing that but but

we need to talk about this in in in our organizations and the other comment I

was particularly interested in is from women and non management employees

around leadership teams not being conscious of barriers faced by women so

I had to think about that because I think we are conscious I think

especially women leaders men as well but I think that we don’t speak openly about

it as much but I can assure folks that in private deliberations it’s spoken

about as well as what you know what are possible solutions or the different

approaches we can take so clearly what that said to me is as leaders we need to

do a better job of translating the understanding that we do have into

visible supports so that we can you know more openly remove barriers and create

successful invite parents for pro women and especially women in our traditionally

male-dominated roles and then lastly the the comment I want to end with is I

think we can learn so much from the report there’s this best practices

outline throughout the report and really at the end of the day there’s there’s not one solution right there’s we’re

gonna have to take a number of different approaches so that we can we can move forward and I’m I personally a big

believer in taking what’s worked in other organizations and and trying it

out in in in our organization so I think I would end by just encouraging everyone

to to do the same to learn from the

report to take out the best practices or the examples and to you know to apply

those in your organization’s and see if it works so on that thank you for for

the opportunity I’ll pass it back to Michelle or or Kathy tell you want me to

get another shot yeah you sound much better yeah that’s no reverb right now okay

so let’s move on for a question for Jeanette Southwood who’s an executive

what has helped you to become an influential executive and what advice

would you have for others who want to set off in a similar direction so Thank

You Kathy and thank you very much to the EHR C for the invitation to speak today I’m honored to be here with my fellow

panelists and with Kathy Michelle Amer – congratulations also to the HRC on the

launch of this report today when I was very young my parents immigrated from

Cape Town South Africa with almost nothing during the time of apartheid so that my sisters and I could have a safer

life after coming to Canada I was fortunate to have attended University and become an engineer but it was not

until my current role as a vice president and engineers Canada that I came to understand how fortunate I was

an engineers Canada my team’s portfolios include diversity equity

now inclusion globalization and sustainable development outreach member

services communications and government relations public affairs and public policy engineers Canada is the National

Organization of Canada’s twelve engineering regulators that license Canada’s more than 300,000 members of

the engineering profession and we are proud signatories to EHR C’s diversity

Accord one of our key focus areas and engineers Canada is 30 by 30 our goal to

have 30 percent of newly licensed engineers be women by 2030 our work

tackles barriers at all parts of the continuum kindergarten to grade 12 hosts

secondary early career and Industry you’ve seen the research that describes

some of the success factors for women for example encouragement from family the importance of peer support role

models Mena’s allies and the forging of bonds with social and professional and technical networks for myself at that

time a young black woman embarking on a STEM education and career who was a first generation Canadian

first-generation University student and first generation engineer if it was not

for these success factors I would not be in front of you today so what advice do

I have for others well develop a strong network of friends and colleagues people

who will be there for you during good times and in times of failure because everyone experiences failure and be

there for those friends and colleagues during their good times and bad times listen to advice and feedback and keep

an open heart and an open mind to opportunities both work opportunities and volunteer opportunities connect to

and participate in professional and technical networks I’m a long time volunteer with several organizations

find your allies and finally I believe that we all know that the challenges do

not get any easier as a career progresses and as positions progress from junior to senior unfortunately at

all stages of a career we can currently expect to see the recurrence of the same negative attitudes and behaviors the

difference for those of you early in your career will be that as your career progresses you will have the increasing resilience that you will

build through your friends your family your colleagues and your allies the difference for all of us will be the

difference that is made through the work a thr see the work of engineers Canada and the work of other organizations like

ours that we are fighting those negative attitudes and behaviors trying to reduce their occurrence challenging the status

quo so that they won’t be as prevalent for future generations as I mentioned

always in my career there have been challenges about some aspects of organizational culture and the assumptions about what a woman or a

member of a visible minority can or cannot do what is and is not an appropriate role and also the

assumptions and stereotypes about what a leader looks like sometimes I had to ignore it pretend that it didn’t exist

try to understand it better and find my allies champions and sponsors sometimes

I have to oppose it directly I needed sponsors senior people who believed that I could take on leadership positions I

fostered strong relationships with people who believed in me so what else did I do to blaze and build these

pathways to gender equity I’ve been a mentor and sponsor of women I’ve amplified voices I’ve shown a

spotlight and provided support to advance careers my teams have been diverse and inclusive we can all do

these things and we can give back by participating in supporting and leading the change that needs to be made in our

culture the leader shift report identifies behaviors that can be made to change workplace culture and make a

difference for women for example understanding and addressing unconscious bias creating a more welcoming workplace

for women advocating for others and doing your part to build the structures and the culture that will advance the

careers of others and cascading this message throughout your organization and beyond thank you so much for the

opportunity to participate today congratulations once again to the HRC and back to you Cathy

great Thank You Jeanette so turn it over to Elaina who is a senior manager at a

co and also an EHR C board member so Elaina in your perspective what is the

biggest challenge organizations and leaders are having at the moment to improve on women’s

patient at the leadership level great thanks Kathy can you hear me okay

yeah great so yes thank you for the opportunity to present today I have to

say that reading this report I do find it is one of the best reports I’ve read

around gender equity to date there’s so much real information in there around

the numbers the actions voices of real people in our industry so

congratulations on the report it’s excellent so for me this is a big question so I really had to sit back and

think about it and it couldn’t just boil it down to one I had to have two of the

biggest challenges and organizations for me number one is the numbers themselves

number two is the mindsets within our organizations so first talking about the

numbers we’ve heard it already and 26% of the people working in the electricity industry are women and we even see those

percentages drop further when we’re talking about the stem occupations which we know are the highly desired skill

sets to get to some of those more senior positions and companies so really the lack of the numbers overall and the even

smaller population within these stem occupations leaves a real problem in terms of a pool coming up the ranks to

actually get into those positions so if you suggestions to get started your

folks on the phone I think we’re all really accountable to know our numbers and know why they are like they are so

if you are I’ve been putting a ton of effort into diversity initiatives at your company and you find yourself in a

place where you are over have numbers of women over the benchmarks congratulations but I would say to you

do not stop or slow down rather find how you gain this momentum and pour gasoline

all over it light that fire the last thing you want to do is slow down and go

back to trying to put two sticks together to create it again for most of

us we will find in our organizations that we are at the benchmarks or below when it comes to women

leadership so like my colleagues have said take full advantage of the leadership’s report because there’s time

those specific actions and ideas for things you can try within your organization this has been mentioned as

well but ask lots of questions to everyone at all levels in all functions

to really find out what it would take to move the needle and also what have you

been trying that actually is not working and you need to fess up and move on

think about your recruitment and promotion practices are they helping or hindering the numbers you currently have

tons of research tells us that the hardest move for a women to make is from individual contributor to manager and

when I speak to my friends about us being in leadership we always get to the

place where we need to we feel like we need to be more do more being more seen

within our organizations to get these promotions so immediately where my head

goes to is do you have a culture and an acceptance for people to be courageous

within your organization step out be bold and really get to a place of

innovation but the other critical success factor there is having a high level of accountability within your

organization you can be courageous and put your ideas forward but if you’re not holding people accountable to deliver

those big results you won’t have the impact and therefore the promotion might not come so encouraging people to be

courageous but also having a high level of accountability it’s critical within organizations the other piece that I

would say is get involved outside your company so right now 56% of Canadian

institutions that have stem programs how specific initiatives to draw women in

which is awesome so how can we help them and how can we hire those women into our

companies second is really around mindsets and this is the big one mindset

can be defined as a person’s way or attitude about thinking about something for example if I believe that the

percentage of women in the electricity industry is pretty good considering its

industry traditionally filled with jobs by men I’m not likely to behave in a way that’s gonna put real effort into

increasing these numbers so for me the few mindsets in the report have been

mentioned but our key almost one in five men in the survey believe that it’s actually easier for women to succeed in

the workplace and in contrast three of every four women believe that it’s harder to succeed in the workplace the

other one that stuck out for me is many men feel that gender diversity measures are sometimes unfair and detrimental to

their own career opportunities and leaders male and female assume that the

DNI problem is nearly solved which is drastically misaligned with non

management staff who report that a person sex or ethnic background makes a big difference so the men on the call

right now probably feel like I’m calling you out in a way and I am but not in the

way you might think I think unleashing and talking about these mindset is critical and if some of

the first times have been hearing the real ones come out the ones I know because I am married to a white engineer

at home I know how they think and they’re finally coming out these mindsets are important so really four

mindsets what do you do dig into the mindsets that exist in your organization and they are literally driving the

behaviors that are helping or hindering your efforts changing mindsets is hard in the data around the business case for

why you would want to is very clear and available when company succeeds

everybody succeeds so really when you’re going out and learning about mindsets be

prepared to learn more and be thankful that you did by you asking for people’s

honest opinions about diversity is role modeling the courageous behaviors that

we know we need more of in organizations more courage equals more information and

more opportunities for everyone to step up and deliver high-impact results which

is critical to be seen and critical to have more people in leadership in our

organization thank you very much for the opportunity today and I’ll hand it back to Michelle

for Kathy how can you thanks Elena so we’ve got some questions from the

audience that we’d like to go through you may not be able to get to them all but let’s start and well well probably

you can issue answers to some of the questions we can’t get to later so let’s do the first one and I’m going to send

this one over to you Jeannette so how have organizations engaged men in

supporting equity initiatives when they don’t believe this to be an issue thanks

for that question at engineers Canada one of the areas that we have put a

strong focus on with respect to 30 by 30 is the player and the industry part of

the continuum and I’m going to step back

for a moment and provide just a little bit of context when we look at our goal I’m going to use 3030 sorry can you hear

me can you hear me Gabby okay great I’m going to use and I’m going to go quickly because I know that there are lots of

questions and we’re close to the end here we know about reaching 30 by 30

reaching 30 percent of newly licensed engineers being women by 2030 is not something that can be tackled by only

approaching women that are on the road to licensure we know that the context for women in the workplace in workplace

culture needs to improve we know that we need to have women in the continuum for

our universities we know that women who are in high school need to feel more comfortable about the prospect of

engineering as a career or a stem career in general with respect to men in the

workplace what we are tackling with our employer initiative is the workplace culture piece we found that and I think

this very much echoes what is in the leadership report that if the culture if

the attitudes if the actions aren’t set from the top in that case then those men

who are not comfortable with the way that the organization is going forward they’re not going to change they are not

going to see that there is a need for themselves to change so long story short

it’s the need for the message and the action to change and to improve and to

be there from the top hope that helps thank you great Thank You Jeanette okay I’m gonna send the

next question over to Lynn so Lynn what do leaders need to recognize to achieve

and sustain a culture change in their organization or what makes culture

change possible Wow that’s a big question so I think I

think you first need to start with what is your culture right you need to understand what your cultural strengths

are and what your cultural weaknesses are and then you need to use your

strengths to build upon the the cultural

attributes that that you need to strengthen or that or that you need more

of and so once you’ve identified the cultural attributes that you need more

of then you need to put together action plans that you know look at every aspect

of how you do business that look at your entire employee lifecycle and how you

can support and and draw attention to you know to the cultural attributes that

that even want that you want more of and so in short that that’s what I would say

you’ve got to understand what your culture is you have to understand and

turn your mind to what do you want your culture to be and ideally you want a

culture that’s able to help you deliver on your strategic plan or your strategic

direction and then you need to you need to do the heavy lift of you know of

trying to to change the culture and draw attention to to those to those

attributes and I think the last thing I want to say is it’s a long road to

change sure it takes time some would say it takes a generational change but I

would I think I wouldn’t I would say just keep at it right and and and over

time but the culture will change to – to the culture that that you want that’s

good yes it certainly is a journey not a sprint mm-hmm I’m just looking at

do we have probably don’t have time for any more questions I think we’ll capture

them and we’ll send them out it will we’ll do a response Kathy and respond to folks along with the with the

communication that we send to them and following that following the launch ok

so I’m going to turn it over to you for the closing remarks I want to thank you the panel very much for answering those

questions ok thanks Kathy again I will echo Kathy’s that remark thank you so much

Lynn Jeannette and Elena you’ve offered great insight today and of course to our moderator and chair of the EHR sea board

at Kathy loreno I think most people in the industry know Kathy why don’t we

really do miss holding these discussions in person I hopefully you’re all coming away today with inspiration from from

what we’ve heard and I really do believe that the insights from this research drive home that the need to accelerate

progress to begin it appears that we’re still falling short on creating a shared

understanding of our sectors at gender reality many of the organizations have

instances of long-standing gaps and practices and in women’s representation

and they need to be addressed but there are good stories we have good momentum

we have pockets of great practices and we’ve got some really inspiring success stories to build upon you know the

current dramatic shifts in our industry right now it presents an opportunity for change we must and we can move

resolutely now to more fully leverage the leadership talent of women we want

to continue the momentum so our doors are always open even if only virtually right now so reach out and contact us if

you want to be part of that journey with us as Lynn and Kathy I said it’s going

to be a marathon but what we can do it and we have the tools and resources to get you started or to support your

organization in any stage of that journey including with our leadership record and so with that we will close

and thank you all so much for your participation today and please enjoy reading the report

Taking Action

Leadership Accord on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The Leadership Accord on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is a public commitment by Canadian employers, educators, unions and governments to promote DEI within their organizations. Sign up today and join a national network of industry leaders, colleges and corporate partners.

Join the Accord


Bridging the Gap

The Bridging the Gap program includes a report examining the issues and barriers around the recruitment and retention of women in the electricity industry, as well as a video series profiling women in a diverse range of jobs in the sector, a case study series and a list of resources for further reading.


Professional colleagues welcoming a female contributor to their meeting.


EHRC would like to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to the following individuals and organizations who participated on the Leadershift: Pathways to Gender Equity national advisory committee:

  • Lyne Parent-Garvey
    Chair of the Advisory Committee
    Hydro Ottawa
  • Indy Butany-DeSouza
    Alectra Utilities
  • Paul Dabrowski
    Ontario Power Generation
  • Lindsay Miller-Branovacki
    University of Windsor
  • Lisa Nadeau
    Alberta Electric System Operator
  • Joanna Osawe
    Women in Renewable Energy


  • Jessica Parsons
  • Jeanette M. Southwood
    Engineers Canada
  • Michelle Branigan
    Electricity Human Resources Canada
  • Mark Chapeskie
    Electricity Human Resources Canada
  • Merertu Mogga Frissa
    Electricity Human Resources Canada

We would also like to thank research partners and the many interview respondents who participated in this study.