Skip to main content

About the Accord

The Leadership Accord on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is a public commitment by Canadian organizations to advance and prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion in their organization’s policies, processes, and culture to proactively create an inclusive and equitable workplace.

Multicultural business team smiling at the camera in an office
EHRC Leadership Accord Badge

Developed and launched by EHRC in 2017, the Accord proposes united action to:

  • Expand the breadth and depth of the skilled workforce;
  • Remove barriers to ensure that equity-deserving groups have access to the opportunities available in the sector of their choice;
  • And, once employed, equity-deserving groups are fully supported and provided with equitable opportunities to grow and develop to their full potential.

The Accord provides an opportunity for stakeholders to actively engage in building a workforce that is truly representative and supportive of Canada’s people.

Our Key Beliefs

Canada’s electricity workforce includes a staggeringly low representation of equity-deserving groups; those identifying as women, Indigenous peoples*, visible minorities*, persons with disabilities*, newcomers to Canada*, and those who are members of the 2SLGBTQI+* community.

The barriers they face, including discrimination in hiring, lack of support and mentorship once hired, or a negative workplace culture, can limit their careers. Including equity-deserving groups in the workplace requires more than just opening the doors to them: there must be a paradigm shift involving focused attention and intentional effort to foster a culture of belonging.

Few of us reach our goals without the support of others. Prioritizing equity-deserving groups takes leadership and commitment from industry, educators, and policymakers—as well as individual ownership to ensure our workforce becomes truly reflective of our society.

Visually diverse colleagues discussing business plan during meeting in creative office

*Indigenous peoples – a collective name for the original peoples of North America and their descendants, including First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

*Visible minorities – persons other than Indigenous peoples whose racial or ethnic identity is non-white.

*Persons with disabilities – individuals with a physical or mental condition that is permanent, episodic, ongoing, or of some persistence that is significant enough to limit a person’s ability to carry important life activities.

*Newcomers to Canada – landed immigrants, permanent residents, people with refugee protection and people with work permits who came to Canada in a given year.

*2SLGBTQI+ – Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and other sexually and gender diverse people.

The Accord Process

There are two ways to get involved as a catalyst for change: as an Accord Signatory or as an Accord Advocate. Both streams focus on the united action required to ensure equity-deserving groups are supported in their employment and provided with equitable opportunities to grow and develop to their full potential.

Signatory Process

Step 1: Declaration of Commitment
Signing a certificate of commitment and declaration, which sets a range of benchmarked initiatives to achieve commitments outlined in the Accord.

Step 2: Implementation & Action
Implementation of clearly benchmarked initiatives supporting commitments outlined in the Accord.

Step 3: Review
The signatory undertakes a review annually to determine the organization’s progress and provide feedback both internally and to EHRC. The yearly review provides organizations with an opportunity to analyze the effectiveness of their diversity, equity and inclusion practices, while re-aligning strategic plans as needed.

Business Women Collaborating

Tier 1:

For organizations that have recently started the process. Groundbreakers are those pursuing diversity, equity, and inclusion genuinely and intentionally as both the right and smart thing for their businesses and a better future for all employees. This is the starting point of awareness that leads to actionable change and measurement of progress.

Tier 2:

For organizations that have a more advanced and comprehensive approach to DEI – whether as an advocate of change, acting as a catalyst for change, and/or transforming their organizational culture by inspiring and influencing others. They are committed to their DEI journey and motivate employees by celebrating the wins.

Tier 3:

For organizations that demonstrate that these practices are embedded in their corporate culture and values. Their DEI efforts are best in class, and the organization continuously improves and evolves. They are willing to take risks and go on a new path that does not yet exist – they blaze a trail to leave a path for others to follow. Trailblazers build new things or take existing ideas to a whole new level. This means seeing patterns that others haven’t or being able to make a logical leap from current reality to a new one. Instead of just doing more with less, they find new and better ways to lead the industry in fostering change and upholding inclusive environments.

Advocate Process

Step 1: Declaration of Commitment
Signing a certificate of commitment and declaration that they will actively engage in outreach and promotion of the Accord and the principles for which it stands. Advocates should be striving to become signatories themselves.

Step 2: Implementation
Encouraging network members to become official Signatories of the Accord. This can be achieved through a variety of means including one-on-one discussions, events, newsletters, social media, presentations, email and other communications.

business people co-working

Join the Accord

Ready to make the commitment?

Start removing your organization’s barriers that limit the careers of equity-deserving groups today.

For more information: Contact our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program Manager via e-mail [email protected].

Business People Signing the Leadership Accord


The Leadership Accord on Gender Diversity was a great launching point on our diversity journey, and this public commitment has indeed begun to move the needle on gender diversity across Canada.

As we adjust to the nature of work that is shifting and continuously evolving, we recognize that this shift is dependent upon the diversity of perspectives and life experiences of our teams. EHRC has responded to this by relaunching our Accord as the Leadership Accord on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. The evolution of the Accord will expand the support for organizations so they can transform, and seek permanent change to ensure diverse teams are welcomed, supported and can thrive.

Kathy Lerette

Senior Vice President, Business Transformation at Alectra

As a sector that employs so many Canadians from coast to coast, we must take a leadership stance in changing our demographics. It’s critical to our business, and the right thing to do.

In order to address climate change, our industry will be called upon to lead the decarbonization of the broader economy. This requires attracting the best and the brightest minds by being the employer of choice and by providing a workplace where everyone belongs. As a CEO, I’m proud to stand by the expansion of the Leadership Accord and commit to goals as it drives the entire sector in the right direction to change for the better.

Ken Hartwick

CEO, Ontario Power Generation


Advancing Gender Diversity in Canada's Electricity Sector: A Compendium of Success Stories

Our Compendium documents diverse initiatives from our Accord signatories across the sector who’ve taken steps to supporting gender diversity in their workplaces. Take a look!

Advancing Gender Diversity in Canada’s Electricity Sector

Gender Equity

A Compilation of Success Stories on gender diversity in Canada’s Electricity Sector.

View Research

Accord Signatories

Thank you to these organizations for signing on to the Accord and championing diversity and inclusion in their workplaces. We would also like to recognize those industry associations who work to support the Canadian electricity industry and have committed to advocating for the representation of equity-deserving groups in the sector.

Accord Advocates


Women Leadership Nation

EHRC is proud to partner with Women Leadership Nation (WLN) to support signatory organizations who are committed to closing the gender gap. EHRC’s partnership with WLN was developed with the understanding that changing the gender landscape is not easy: it takes tactical and continued efforts to affect systemic change. EHRC’s vision in partnering with WLN is that those organizations who need support will be equipped with the knowledge and resources needed to identify and overcome barriers slowing down your organization’s progress. WLN are experts at delivering holistic training, measurement, and tailored support solutions to help employers become not just more diverse, but more agile and competitive.

EHRC members and Accord signatories will benefit from preferred pricing and access to valuable resources, created to help them succeed in achieving gender equity.

WLN is deeply committed to helping:

  • Employers understand their current level of unity, in setting goals, creating a more diverse work culture that is inclusive and collaborative, which will result in a more innovative, agile and competitive organization.
  • Participants go on a journey of self-discovery that will create a greater understanding of their strengths, identify opportunities for growth, learn new leadership skills and generate strategies for overcoming barriers.
  • Teams engage in a deeper dialogue about differences, identify commonalities, and increase the potential for greater understanding, acceptance, respect, and collaboration.

Learn more about Women Leadership Nation.

Women Leadership Nation Logo
Equal by 30 logo

Equal by 30

Equal by 30 is an initiative of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and a commitment by public and private sector organizations to work towards equal pay, leadership, and opportunities for equity-deserving groups in the clean energy sector by 2030. Equal by 30 asks companies and governments to endorse equity principles, then take concrete actions to help close the gender gap.

Through this campaign, NRCan is bringing together leadership from across the energy sector to galvanize action and help all players—from private sector companies to governments at all levels—take action together.

I’ve already signed the Leadership Accord, why should I sign onto Equal by 30 as well?

NRCan recognizes that certain sectors, such as the electricity sector, have already made significant progress towards the goal of equity. That is why this international campaign has been designed as an umbrella under which domestic, made-in-Canada frameworks, can continue to exist and evolve. Signatories of the Accord will continue to report progress directly to EHRC, based on the commitments outlined in the Accord.

EHRC encourages Accord signatories to also sign on to the Equal by 30 Campaign, as it broadens the visibility of an organization’s commitments to an international stage.


As an existing Leadership Accord signatory, will I need to report twice?

No. Accord participants face no undue duplication or burden.

In the case of the Accord, signatories report directly to Electricity Human Resources Canada, and progress is shared with NRCan at an aggregate level. EHRC will only share individual best practices or achievements with NRCan with the explicit approval of the individual organization, and established agreements around confidentiality, with respect to the disclosure of information, are strictly adhered to.

Learn more about Equal by 30.

Women’s Empowerment Principles

The Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) are a set of Principles offering guidance to business on how to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and community. Established by UN Global Compact and UN Women, the WEPs are informed by international labour and human rights standards and grounded in the recognition that businesses have a stake in, and a responsibility for, gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) are a primary vehicle for corporate delivery on gender equality dimensions of the 2030 agenda and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. By joining the WEPs community, the CEO signals commitment to this agenda at the highest levels of the company and to work collaboratively in multistakeholder networks to foster business practices that empower women. These include equal pay for work of equal value, gender-responsive supply chain practices and zero tolerance against sexual harassment in the workplace.

Women having a meeting in front of a white board