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Let's Talk Advancing Gender Equity: Moving the Agenda Forward

Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC) in partnership with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) recently hosted a webinar series on advancing gender equality in the workplace.

Building on and supporting EHRC’s Leadership Accord and NRCan’s Equal by 30 Campaign, the webinars equip organizations with best practices and tools to help their own organizations expedite the process of bridging the gender gap. They guide potential or existing signatories on the development of actionable commitments to advance gender equality.

Webinar 1 – Moving the Agenda Forward

Speaker: Kathy Lerette, SVP Business Transformation at Alectra Utilities

Learn how to build a strategy that will drive cultural change in your organization and hear first-hand the value of turning talk into concrete actions to advance gender equality.

  • Explore strategies that cultivate real business results
  • Understand the importance of Senior Executive buy-in
  • Develop an action-plan that will enforce commitments


this conference will now be recorded okay great so welcome and thank you for

joining us for the first of three webinars that will be focusing on advancing gender equality just before we

get started I’m just gonna have a few housekeeping notes first of all as I mentioned this webinar will be recorded

and a copy of the presentation will be available afterwards on the EHR si

website and there will also be a quick Q&A session after Kathy’s presentation

today so people will have the opportunity to ask questions okay I just

heard a quick thing that was probably made sorry so let me introduce myself my name is Marie mold and I am the manager

of stakeholder engagement here at 80 HRC we are delighted to do this today in

partnership with Natural Resources Canada and to support the equal by 30 campaign which you will hear more about

momentarily I want to give a warm welcome to Kim choong-soo who’s the senior policy advisor in the

environment and energy policy division at in our camp we are also very pleased

to welcome our speaker today Cathy Laurette senior vice president of business transformation at Elektra who

will talk about sorry okay I’m sorry I thought somebody was asking a question

Cathy Laurette senior vice president of business transformation at Elektra who will talk about her organization’s

experiences advancing gender equality and how they have utilized the signing of the leadership Accord for gender

diversity and equal by 30 to affect real measurable change okay so let’s get

started for anyone that’s new in the audience electricity Human Resources Canada is a

national not-for-profit organization that addresses the human resource and labor market challenges within the

Canadian electricity sector our vision is to build a highly skilled safety focused and diverse Canadian electricity

workforce for now and the future but while Canada has a strong and diverse

energy supply unfortunately the same not be said yet for our workforce as in

many technical sectors women working in energy represent a much smaller component of the workforce than they

should and in many instances they continue to face barriers that limit

their advancement or indeed their desire to remain in the industry we have been

working diligently over the last decade to support change and the leadership Accord was born out of that work it

provides a platform to create a culture of equality and inclusion throughout the workforce

it is a public commitment by employers labor and educational institutions to

promote the values of diversity equality and inclusion and increase the

representation of women in protect in particular in the skilled trades and

non-traditional positions it is the premise of the Accord that to effect systemic change a bold vision is

required by industry leaders that those at the top of the organization need to

set the standard for others to follow

studies show that diverse teams in the workplace lead to greater innovation a positive impact on an organization’s

bottom line a slew of recruitment and retention benefits an increased employee

commitment however as you can see on this slide the numbers tell a different story there are eight point six million

women working in Canada making up approximately 48% of the canadian workforce but still represent only 25

percent of the workforce in the electricity sector furthermore fewer than 13% of practicing licensed

engineers are women in the trades that number plummets to fewer than 5% despite

the rise in the proportion of women in the electricity industry and best efforts to tap in to develop and retain

this cohort the pace of improvement has been slow with the parity between men

and women in the industry remaining a long way off it is clear that we have more work to do I’d like to hand over to

Kim Chomsky who will provide an update on the equal by 30 campaign and then we will move to our keynote

presentation Kim over to you thank you so thank you so much Marie and right off

the bat huge thanks to e HRC for convening us today really phenomenal

example of a domestic initiative that we are so proud to have been able to partner with have really set the stage

and taught us a lot about how to move this work forward what I’d like to do

today very quickly is simply talk about equal by 30 what it is its relationship to HRC and why it might be something of

interest to people on the line today equal 9:30 is an international principles based campaign that looks a

lot like the leadership Accord it was launched under the banner of the clean energy ministerial which is an

international collection of about 26 nations who come together regularly to

discuss clean energy ring large within that body of work Canada is always led the charge on gender diversity since a

joint a couple of years ago this is important because Canada will be hosting

the clean energy ministerial this year and we see in that of opportunities to really present Canadian leadership

across a host of clean energy issues and most particularly on gender equality like the leadership record the campaign

ask for endorsement of very high-level principles and the areas of equal pay leadership and also turn opportunity the

second phase of that work was endorsed is to develop the commitments that help us demonstrate that we are moving the

dial the commitments are published identified by organizations they are

published online on our website and over time the intention is to show progress

against those original commitments we’ve been very delighted in their response

today we have over 50 private sector organizations signed on to equal by 30 on a glossary as of today and

internationally in for us that we tend to operate within there’s been strong

endorsement we were a centerpiece of the g7 ministerial and Halifax last year where

all g7 countries on to equal 5:30 that puts a lot of wind in our sails but the work is not yet

done one of the things that was very important to us was to respect that

domestic industries have done a lot of work on in inclusiveness and diversity already the HRC has proof of that so

ours was not to replicate or reproduce we wanted to find a way to make sure that what we were offering was an

internationalized platform to showcase the things that Canadian organizations were already doing that’s why we have

worked to find a way to make sure that sweeter stories to the leadership record can be signatories to equal by 30

without reproducing the reporting burden existing signatories under the

leadership record when the cheers have been principles thereof they aren’t completely transferable to equal by 30

we are very much in sync so as we approach the clean energy ministerial

that’s May I would like to encourage the organizations here with us today to consider both the leadership record is a

strong and domestic presence on developing commitments around gender equality but also to leverage the

platform that we can provide as a federal government and as conveners and that happens in the clean energy

ministerial that’s me so I will throw it back to the guest of honor here Cathy

Lirette so pleased to have her here and hear about her first-hand experiences I am available to anybody who would like

to reach out and learn a little bit more about equal by 30 and how they might become involved and once again Marie

thank you so much for bringing so many great people together today to focus on equality hello doll Thank You Kim

just before Cathy gets started I’d like to do a brief introduction to Cathy it

gives me great pleasure to introduce our speaker today which is Cathy Laurette Cathy is 35 year engineering and

operations professional of the energy industry and is currently serving as senior vice president of business

transformation as a senior VP Cathy ensures that successful delivery of any

merger integration plans and in previous roles oversaw all aspects of engineering

construction and maintenance and supply chain management divisions she provides leadership for the continuous

improvement culture and initiatives that drove increased levels of performance in horizon utilities operations Kathy is

also the vice chair of the EHR C Board of Directors and is an influential and well-regarded voice for removing

barriers that contribute to under representation of women in science technology engineering and mathematics

also known as stem she works tirelessly as an advocate for the transformation of

the energy sector ensuring opportunities are created for young women seeking a career that may have otherwise be seen

as an unattainable today Cathy Laurette will share Electra’s experience and with signing the Accord as well as the equal

by 30 commitment has meant in real times for their organization Cathy I will

switch it over to you

okay just I’m waiting for that share button to come up okay I am clicking on

your name and it’s not allowing me to do it

just a second oh I’m just trying to figure this out okay you should be you

should be okay minnow see my screen yes

I can see your screen I hope everybody can see everybody see her screen yes

thank you okay well thank you I’m happy to be here today to talk about our journey at

Electra but before I get started in case people don’t know who Electra utilities

is Electra is an energy company that serves customers all the way from

Penetanguishene in the north down to st. Catherine’s in Niagara where the second

largest municipal I owned energy solution company in North America our head office is located in Mississauga

Ontario and we have over 1,500 very talented employees who manage almost 4.5

billion dollars in assets and we serve 1 million customers and just January 1st

we were fortunate enough to welcome Guelph hydro into the electric family so we are just that much bigger as of

January 1st so Murray talked a little bit about these stats and their opening

remarks but I just wanted to reiterate that these statistics are pretty bleak and they are really the driving force

behind the programs to improve gender diversity and gender diversity in the electricity sector is improving and it

certainly has improved since I started 35 years ago but the plate the pace is

way too slow and the parity between men and women is still a long way off so we

have some work to do so the business case for diversity is quite clear talent

outcomes and engagement greatly improve in a diverse and inclusive organization gender diversity is good for business

because it adds skill creativity and diverse thinking to organizations it

strengthens Team Dynamics proves the whole decision-making process at the end of the day the addition of

women will also increase women’s economical power through increased earning potential in STEM related jobs

women represent a very small number and the inclusion of women will help alleviate the pending resource shortage

as a large number of people will retire in the next five to ten years if you

didn’t know this 40 percent of skilled trades in Ontario are ready to retire in

2020 so god help you if you need a plumber because there won’t be very many of them around so we need to we need to

do some work on this but this is a huge opportunity to introduce more women into

the trades so I want to share Electra’s journey with you today and it’s a great

story we’ve taken a very practical approach to tackling the very large

diversity and inclusion issue our journey began with the signing of the

leadership Accord on gender diversity on February 24th 2017 at that time we were

not even one month old as Electra and Electra was the creation through the

merger of inner source horizon power stream and Hydra when Brampton the

accordant was really a launching pad for us to move to a more broader diversity and inclusion initiative and when I’m

out in the industry promoting the Accord I always talk about starting with gender before moving to a broader DNI platform

it’s really easy to wrap your arms around the gender issue because the

diversity and inclusion platform is so big that I find that people just get paralyzed with they don’t know where to

start and this is such a huge initiative that they don’t have end up doing anything so you know in our industry

specifically gender is a great place to start and something you can really make

some progress on so I was so thrilled that Electra was the first company to

sign on to the leadership Accord and I have to say that we had overwhelming support from this initiative our board

of directors were very supportive but they did question at the time we signed it what about the larger issues of

diversity and inclusion while gender diversity is the main issue in the electricity sector and based on where we

were the merger was very new it was a great place to start to get our feet wet before we tackle a larger agenda we have

mass of integration underway so we didn’t want to tackle too much because our you know the majority of our

resources are focused on the integration of the four companies so I want to talk

a little bit about the process for those of you who don’t know about the Accord because it does kind of set you on the

right path right out of the gate so after you sign as a signatory as we did the process is quite easy and we felt

that this was a great way to kick-start the formation of our new culture at Elektra so our CEO signed the accord and

made a commitment on behalf of the organization and the signed Accord is actually posted in the lobby of our head

office so we completed a baseline assessment of our current practices so

since we were new and we still had you know a lot of new people I kind of

spearheaded I did the first cut of the baseline assessment and then I got an HR person from each of the four legacy

utilities and we sat down and we completed the baseline assessment so you don’t need IT systems to track this kind

of stuff as really as a conversation with the right people to do the baseline assessment and we looked at the three

areas policy and government governance practice education and workplace readiness and recruitment and retention

practices and as you go through this exercise you score yourself from zero to

three in each of the questions and as you go through the evaluation tool it has an action planning guide that really

prompts you to create an action plan for the top three areas that you really need

improvement in and then every two years you will reassess your practices and measure your improvement so this is

really all about just moving the needle on gender diversity and the beautiful thing about it is you can move at your

own pace because you’re just measuring yourself against yourself right so you just do as much or as little

you can handle so our initial self-assessment scored us a tattoo which

put elector in the achievement or intermediate level so I gotta say we’re

very competitive electorate so we immediately landed on a goal to achieve outstanding by 2019 so we’ve got our

revaluation coming up at the end of February in 2019

so for us moving to excellence means that practices are embedded into the corporate culture and values and that’s

really where we’re striving to get to so Elektra had strong diversity scores for

the following things so Elektra actively participates in Champions networking

events and opportunities to further promote the attraction of women to the sector Elector also has a very strong

pool of capable and talented female leaders that we commit to attracting and

retaining and developing for the future we scored high marks for 30% of women on

our Board of Directors and we have over 35% of women in senior leadership positions Electra’s new culture and

supporting values respect of our skills thinking and new ways of work working a

culture that we can continue to nourish and grow and we’re really excited about

that but we’ve got some work to do in some of the other areas so because we

are a new company ensuring policies are inclusive we had to review key HR

policies to ensure gender diversity but it was really good timing for us since

we are integrating companies and policies it was actually good timing for

that we needed to develop specific programs to better support women in the workplace and so our initial focus was

on networking and mentoring for women because we know those are two areas for women that holds them back we wanted to

strive to hire more women in non-traditional roles and that is easier said than done because if you don’t have

the candidates to begin with it’s a very difficult process so I’m going to talk a little bit more about that later but I’m

happy to say that we do have female line maintained errs in the field we have two female system operators and

many female engineering technicians and technologist so but it’s it’s still not

enough and we want to get those numbers up so I’m very proud of the work that we

do in the community my personal passion is to get more women into STEM careers and trades and I’ve been trying to get

that pipeline filled with more women for some time but here’s a list of some of the programs that we’ve been involved

with for some time and I often take our female technical and trades people to these events like

these women from Elector really do provide leadership and mentorship in the

hopes that we can really increase the future pipeline of women in the electricity sector and young women

cannot be what they can’t see so that is very important for all women in our

sector to get out there and show young women young women what’s really possible

so um so we first launched the idea of a

more robust diversity and inclusion initiative with the board of directors and you know they were waiting for it so

we got really good response then we introduced the concept to our employees at one of our town hall meetings in

November of 2017 we just kind of put out a little teaser out their CEO talked

about it briefly about what we were thinking about and I gotta say we had immediate response from the employees on

how to get involved in this initiative so that was a very positive step the

video I’m gonna show you was launched in July of 2018 and really demonstrates the commitment

from our CEO and got the momentum going for this initiative and employees were eager to sign up so have a look at this

since we became a lender we’ve been pulling together to truly become one company one tape one coach you want to

create a workplace that attracts the best penalty regardless of gender race sexual orientation or religion the gun

intentions aren’t always enough we need to act decisively we’re doing

just that I mentioned on a recent Town Hall’s that were working on a diversity

and inclusion strategy it’s essential to our success and it’s the right thing to

do we announced the plan to build a

stronger and more diverse workforce the new diversity and inclusion Council will

lead these efforts the details of which will be shared in the days and weeks to come members even council will be a

known short include an executive sponsorship and senior leadership they’ll be responsible for providing

governance over activities stemming from this initially employees will be invited

to join the effort to participation on committees while the council will eventually explore all aspects of

diversity and inclusion they’ll start with gender women are underrepresented

in their sector especially in careers connected to science technology

engineering and mathematics they’re particularly under represented in leadership roles including supervisors

managers and executive leadership we’re working to change this having a

workforce that reflects the diverse communities we serve well may have some heating employed and

a top choice for the best health let’s show our customers future employees in

our sector that diversity and inclusion and the excellent it brings is the key

to Electra success as an industry leader thank you

so our first step was to form a government structure that reports up to the CEO and the board because we want a

lot of visibility to this initiative so the CEO and board are really responsible for providing sponsorship governance on

the mandate and the structure etc and they actually appointed the DNI Council so the DNI counsel was appointed at the

end of July and I was appointed as the chair of the DNI Council five other council members were appointed and these

were cross-functional senior leaders appointed based on performance and potential to move the DNI agenda forward

Council was also supported by the learning and organizational development team these senior leaders are expected

to make a visible commitment and will be accountable for driving DNI best practices throughout elektra they will

also provide leadership and guidance for the ERG and work together to create a

multi-year diversity and inclusion strategy and plan the ERG slips the ER

G’s or employee resource groups our voluntary employee led groups organized

based on social identity shared characteristics or life experiences the

ERG will identify DNI opportunities and practical solutions these are really the culture

champions and ambassadors for diversity and inclusion in our organization so

energies are designed to develop a sense of community and strengthen employee connections with one another sponsored

by a member of the DNI counsel each approved ERG will be responsible for

promoting inclusion awareness specific in their areas of focus while enhancing

employee engagement and supporting Electra’s DNI strategy so there’s two

mandates for each employee resource group one identify the purpose of the

group and the reason for existing and provide a work plan of what you want to accomplish how and when you’re going to

execute so our original intention was to

have a women at Electra ERG due to the focus on our gender diversity and

applications outside of women Elector would be reviewed and additional energies would be formed if there was

enough interest well I got to tell you we had such a large interest in the women at electric ERG that we decided to

break this down further to allow for quicker decision making and implementation so we ended up having

four ERG focused on women we have mosaic stem networking and events and

mentorship and leadership the fifth ERG is mosaic and visible minorities and

that’s for all employees so this picture on the slide was app it was from our kickoff meeting where we all got

together for the first time and we had some initial diversity and inclusion training because we really wanted

everyone speaking the same language and we organized into our groups to start

reviewing our go forward plans and I gotta say we are so happy to see so many

men sign up for the women’s groups too it was very very refreshing so I want to

talk about some of the things we have done since signing the leadership accord and now with our more Folsom of DNI

program so the people team has completed a review of all the people policies to

ensure they are inclusive so that that is now complete we have focused our recruitment for female engineers and

trades and I gotta tell you that’s still a very tough go because there are a few candidates coming out of universities

and trade schools but we are working hard to get involved with these educational organizations to increase

the number of women we partnered with Conestoga College to create a pre trades

program for aboriginals and right you know early after signing the accord we

worked with our procurement documents so our our procurement documents and our master service agreements now include

language that we are a signatory to leadership Accord on gender diversity and really to promote our public

commitment to gender diversity and it brings awareness to other companies who don’t know about that as well we held

our first networking event in December that was sponsored by our women at Elektra networking and events ERG one of

our female board members spoke about work-life balance and it was such a great event attended by men and women

and this will be first of many events at Elektra we were an early adopter to enter Cannes

equal by 30 campaign we really wanted to participate in this because it promotes gender diversity on an international

stage we created the creation of the DNI Council in July last year followed by er

G’s in the fall and we’ve also written a diversity and inclusion policy for Electra now we just recently launched a

multicultural calendar and we thought this was a great tool that would bring awareness and education on all the

multicultural events that occur occur throughout the year when we acknowledge the observances that are celebrated by

our diverse workforce we create an environment that demonstrates respect and inclusion and that’s very important

as part of our program so it is still

early days for our DNI Council and ERG groups but the strategy and work plan is

really critical to our success and right now we’re at the final stages at this

point in time and we hope to roll out the strategy and plan and the next month or so but I’ll give you a flavor for

what we’ve been working on and what we have in mind so we’re developing this plan from the ground up we engaged the

er G’s to do some brainstorming and bring opportunities forward for our plan

we focus them on three areas on awareness and education develop programs

and engage employees and recruitment and retention and we also didn’t want to

lose sight about our obligations under the leadership Accord because we will be doing that rebase lining in the next two

months really our goal with the strategy and plan is to make sure that we align

what we do with our corporate values we want to create champions across the organisation for diversity and inclusion

we want to create general awareness for sure we want to set some very specific

goals and measure our progress and we want to communicate that to the organization so they know where we are

so some of the some of the the items in our plan of course we’re going to have a

training plan training as a big point part of the education and awareness we

need a robust communication plan because we have a lot of things that we want to get done and we want to make sure that

the organization is aware of all the great things happening we want to do

formal and informal mentorship programs we’re going to hold some surveys continue with our partnerships with

external organizations and we will do a number of HR practice reviews so there’s

a number of things on the HR front that we want to we want to look at going forward as well so we truly believe at

Elektra that diversity inclusion is critical to our business success and we’re using many different mediums to

communicate the DNI programs and initiatives at Elektra and I’m going to show you a second video because videos

have been very great for us and getting the momentum going on this initiative so

I want you to take a look at this this video of our employees who are giving

their unsolicited views of what diversity and inclusion means to them


companies open to bring anybody from any

part of the world and I cried when I

moved over to utility again I was maybe one of five people of color in the

building and now when I consider Elektra and where we are on our journey in terms

of diversity and inclusion it’s so fun coming so heartwarming a real diverse

community that’s come into the workplace from all different forms of life where they live back languages girls are just

as hard these guys and usually we have to work twice as hard to prove ourselves [Music]

the same way and I think as long as we both try to understand that there’s differences there’s a way we can both

kind of work together Loveridge both our strings to kind of talk about or you know the issues

responsible you have so many different people from different backgrounds different cultures who are all confusing

those ideas up and having experiences that they’ve had into that project or

that work that you’re doing and that’s me brings perfection to work especially

at the office I’m located it’s vastly diverse and when you bring that together

I think it makes it makes you more more effective as an organization and you

leverage that correctly and it makes you a better competitor against people that may not be as diverse you know the

lecturer I find it refreshing that there’s a lot of programs that versatile being one of them but even if I look at

the leadership there’s a lot of focus on women in the a big focus on keyboard different

ethnicities and I’m happy that I can

bring the organization towards a new way of thinking about out-of-the-box more

creative more innovative thinking we want to engage everyone in the organization inclusive that’s possible

do you want this to be a grassroots movement that’s gonna take our company and build a strong team so we understand

each other we celebrate our diversity and we move forward together and the end goal is

that we don’t need a diversity and inclusion program because well we call

that our Brady Bunch video it’s been it’s been very helpful to get employees

across in the organization engaged in what we’re doing so it’s been these videos have been very successful in the

launch and to gain some momentum for these programs so I think that’s that’s

for my presentation we want to open up to questions yes absolutely I do have a

couple of questions so Thank You Kathy for sharing Electress story I really agree I think the videos are really

wonderful so we know that all organizations that organizations are all

at different stages and their approach to this topic and are eager to hear from those who are leading the way great

segue into the questions so I’ll just start off with one that we got on the

web the first question here I have is I wonder if tracking the data and using IT

will help identify pain points and successes perhaps across the sector as opposed to each utility perhaps that

could and set the stage for a competitive mindset as Kathy you revealed and

mentioned is a good fit for the culture I mean I think it’d be great if we could

week attract stats across the province and even across Canada I think right now

I know that people who have signed the leadership Accord I don’t think we’re at the point where we’re actually sharing

specific data from companies I mean we may be able to share some consolidated data but I think that’s that’s is where

we need to go for sure and then if you can pinpoint people who are doing really great things and who have really good

spats they can start sharing you know how they got there but I think if you’re

going to start from a from a grassroot point you want to you want to compare

set some goals and compare what you’re doing internally and get yourself moving in the right organ rate direction before

we move maybe bite off too much mm-hmm great thank you

is there another question out in the audience

I think somebody is gonna be mentioning a question Nelson our dependent is is it

possible to get a copy of your presentation yep

well we’re going to make it available as well on the EHR C website okay thank you

you’re welcome Kathy I have a question can you let us

know what those organizations who are just starting on this journey do first is that getting executive buy-in or

should they be reviewing their current initiatives well I wouldn’t be doing a very good job as the vice chair of EHR

see if I didn’t tell people to sign the leadership record first that is actually

very practical advice to give to somebody because you do need something to get you started so obviously you need

the CEO support because these initiatives take resources time and

money and so you do need support from the top and that’s one thing the Accord really does it provides the CTO making a

public commitment on behalf of the organization so I think that’s a great that’s a great step but part of the tool

too and whether you do it through the equipment or through another way is you really should understand where you’re

starting from so unless you understand where you’re starting from and where the big gaps are on gender diversity or

diversity and inclusion it’s pretty difficult to start prioritizing what you do first you obviously want to do the

things that are going to give you a big biggest bang for the buck by taking a little bit of time to baseline your

organization and understand what you’re doing and what you’re not doing well I

think is an important starting point okay great I have a another question

from the audience what was your biggest learning and surprise when going through

the a this exercise during the assessment biggest warning um I don’t think I was

actually surprised by anything because we kind of had a good feel of where our

organization was right now I think the

biggest learning was just I think we probably didn’t educate the organization

broadly enough on the elements of the Accord and details of our action plan to

move forward we’ve kind of been doing it a little bit piecemeal and and we will be doing it more formally through the

DNI program but yeah so I wasn’t surprised at what we found but I you

know it does take a lot of effort to share details of that initiative with

the organization so they can never underestimate how much time it takes to communicate some of that stuff okay

thank you is there any other questions through the audience I wonder if I can offer one

please it’s Kim again Kathy would you be able to speak to why there would be an

advantage to being sort of a signatory to an international framework like equal

by 30 in addition to the domestic one sure so I think I briefly mentioned this

in my presentation but what we really liked about equal by 30 is that it provided an international platform so

electricty Human Resources Canada has a Canadian wide view but the the

international platform was very really interesting to us and we once we found

out that there wasn’t any additional burdens for reporting because we were a

signature of the Accord that was very very good for us too but it’s really the international record recognition and we

also know that the timing was great because Canada’s hosting the role of the

clean energy ministerial which happens next May and Canadians want to be on the

forefront of this stuff so we want to do we want to showcase all the great things we’re doing on our gender equality

great I am Thank You Kathy I have a few more questions from the audience as well

so the next question is has electric considered design tools such as role

playing or scenario building as a way to integrate diversity into specific departments are even across the company

no we haven’t but we haven’t specifically looked at that but that’s a

great idea that I can feed into our our multi-year plan do you know anyone that

has done that does anyone actually tackle that in their organizations

it doesn’t I don’t have a response to

that question but I do have another question for you if you’d like to continue on how are you measuring the

return on your investment in diversity and inclusion so right now we do measure

very basic statistics on men versus women in the organization so we do have

some percentage but the diversity and inclusion Council is will be building a

diversity and inclusion scorecard for the organization which is not not done

yet so I can’t share what we’re measuring but we do want to measure things on many fronts for diversity and

inclusion and share that with the organization on our progress against those KPIs okay great

I have another question could you provide a bit more detail on how you establish the various er G’s if it is

voluntary who initiates the purpose and reason sure so we went we went out to

the organization we’ve actually provided a little bit of a short form application to the

organization on how to apply for an Arg and it asked them questions about you

know we gave them a baseline that for sure we want to do an ERG for women on

Electra because that was our starting point but we asked them for suggestions on what other areas of energies that

they wanted and why and we had a short questionnaire and then we evaluated all

of the questionnaires that came back in and as I said the majority of them were

focused on women at Electra but we did have a number that were for visible

minorities that we call mosaic so those are the two that we really started from

but we just took feedback directly from the organization from everybody who

actually filled out an application ok great

another question we have here from the audience audience can you give us some more details on the conestoga protect

program well I don’t have a lot of of details so

we had a partnership with Conestoga we sit on their advisory committee so we

worked with them to create pre trades program so we wanted we wanted the Aboriginal community to get a feel for

what it’s like working for a utility so

a pre trades program would be introduction to you know having laborers working on on line crews and teaching

them a little bit about Electrical Safety it’s really an introductory course to get them involved but I mean

when they take a course like this they could work as a ground men in a utility and it just gives them a kind of an

entry point into the program so we provided some guidance we provided

trainers for the program the only disappointing thing about it was that we

didn’t have any women in the group when we were hoping for both men and women to

be in that course okay great but I I

could always connect somebody with Conestoga if they wanted to find out a

lot more details about that okay great thank you

the next question I have is does Elektra have targets not yet but when we

complete our scorecard we will be setting some targets okay I have another

question here how do you balance the increase promotions and onboarding of

women while not minimizing their skills in qualification we have heard from some women and other EE groups that sometimes

these visible commitments minimize their success ie creating backtalk but she

only got the job because of this initiative how do you minimize the feeling reverse discrimination and in

brackets I hate saying that oh well I think well it’ll be part of our people

practices review on how we how we kind of counteract that I understand where this part where the

question is coming from and I think it’s uh it’s about transparency and I think

understanding what we expect upfront through the whole job process posting

process and evaluation process so people think is a transparent unfair process

and I think you know as people get on board with the whole diversity and inclusion I think some of this back talk

is going to go away when they understand the process better okay lots of

questions here today which is wonderful the next question is is there any great ways you have to engage unions I don’t

we got a lot of buy-in for our right across the organization I mean I would if we did not get any Union

participation I would suggest that you go to the Union leads and start with

them with an introduction to our program we did give them a heads up that we were launching this program they were very

positive about it so we didn’t see that we are going to get any negative backlash or lack of participation but I

think it’s a good idea whenever you do anything across the organization is to give the union leadership a heads up

okay the next one I have is I’m not sure

if it’s a question it part of a question it looks almost like a comment but it could be a question suggested activities

for sitting under represented people in the energy sector on the path to careers in and energy starting at a middle

school level is there suggested

activities I guess so I so I did share one of my slides with the work that

we’re doing in communities I think it’s really important that we start engaging

young women in grade school so we’re involved in a program stem girls club through the YWCA that

encourages girls in grade five and six to work to get kind of acclimatized to

what stem means they introduced them to women leaders in stem in all areas so in

Hamilton for example the girls came here for a day and we did some activities with them they go to McMaster University

and they they meet doctors and scientists so it just gets their headspace and their awareness of what’s

possible in the in the area of stem and as we move into the high school we work

on a number of things with both the private and Catholic school board about

encouraging young women to go into the trades and do an apprenticeship program so all these things that you do in the

community whether it’s getting your your females in non-traditional jobs out there talking to them or working with

school school boards colleges and universities to promote the

opportunities that we have in the electricity sector those are all really great things but what we’ve found

through some of the work that I’ve done is that yes the numbers are still low for engineers for example in

universities but there is quite a leaky pipeline for when these women get into

the workforce so if you’re involved in the development of culture or dni

programs at your organization developing a culture that really welcomes women

into non-traditional jobs is very critical for your organization if you want to attract and retain women in stem

or non-traditional jobs like the trades so what I’ve heard that pretty loud and

clear that through a lack of programs or just a negative culture in the

organization it really drives women out of the electricity sector so that that’s that’s a maybe a take away if you’re

working on a any HR programs or a DNI program to keep that in the back your

mind it really is about a positive culture and welcoming women into the workforce

okay that’s awesome Thank You Kathy so much I have one more

question here and it’s actually a great segue to continue on with the presentation the question is does the

equal by 30 campaign or leadership Accord have any sites that have organizations who are progressing well

and what they are doing so I will continue on because we do have that that

ant a brief answer in that regard but before I get to that we did questions

the slide you see in front of you now is copy logos from our Accord signatories

and advocates so for those of you who are perhaps on the call and not sure if your company is part of equal by 30 or

has signed the accord we even included this slide and the next slide for you to review and if you’re not there you may

want to speak to your CEO about joining the best club in town so the next slide

will represent the signatories of the equal by 30 and Kim maybe you’d like to

speak a little bit about that absolutely first to draw the obvious

aside there is a lot of crossover between leadership record an equal by 30 again that’s by design we think it makes

sense what you’re going to see me provide there he is that we are international so we have international

signatories from from around the world really and some of our partners are explicitly those international

organizations we work with you’ll see also that we recruit public sector this

might be where we’re a little bit unique in that we have the power to sort of compel federal and provincial and

territorial governments to consider signing on as well but to the earlier question are there

people knocking it out of the park oh heck yeah I mean the challenge is is

rich in that regard there are a lot of organizations do tremendous work and and

often without the recognition of being attached to a campaign like this one so

you know that principally why there’s an opportunity here under equalized very under the

leadership of court we’re already doing the work the truth is my experience has

been that a lot of the clean energy sector are already looking at diversity

and inclusion they see the connection between the bottom line and more importantly I think we have come to a

time where this isn’t just this part I think is the right thing to do

great thank you so to answer another part of that

question as well as if you wanted to find out more information about both initiatives you can visit our website as

electricity HR CA and you can also visit the website equal by 30 org so Kim I’m

gonna hand it over to you for some final remarks before I conclude the webinar today yes absolutely once again making

everybody on the line who came to hear from Cathy Cathy that was tremendous you

you are a textbook in terms of how to approach this the advice that you’ve given I think will give a lot of

organizations some really good starting points but I would wonder to underscore something that you said and that’s you

know all roads can lead to Rome there is no right or wrong way to begin a discussion on increasing diversity and

organizations it is we are not looking for the Cadillac in all instances that’s

not realistic it’s not what we want to do we do want to move the needle incremental E and a pace with what we

know about our environments about our organizations of other cultures that’s going to be different for everybody but

insofar as we can bring together people who are invested in the work I think there’s an opportunity to learn from

each other and to grow so Marie thank you so much ERD HRC continues to be

really just the standard in terms of organizing the sector’s who look at this issue seriously we’re delighted to be

partners with you we are available to anybody who’d like to talk more about equal by 30 first thing

I’m gonna tell you to do is find the leadership of course and then equal by 30 by proxy thank you once again everybody I know

that we’ve about four minutes to the hour so it’s a well run session and really phenomenal thank you so much

thank you Kim and thank you Cathy it’s been a real pleasure for you to both

participate in this webinar today and I hope that it was a valuable session today for everybody else that was

listening in so if you have questions after today please do not hesitate to contact us directly and we’ll look

forward to a second of this series that will be happening on Wednesday February the 13th where we will look at taking a

new approach and providing you with tools to implement a strategic diversity and inclusion program thank you everyone

and enjoy the rest of your day bye for now