This week, from September 20 to 26, is Gender Equality Week across Canada. Like everything else in 2020, this year presents unique challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has had unprecedented economic and social impact. Since last March, experts and researchers have noted that the pandemic deeply exacerbates gender inequality. The uphill battle for gender equality is at risk of being set back unless we make efforts at an economic, professional and personal level to ensure women and gender-diverse people are supported.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion is an important focus at Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC). We know that the sector is better when everyone can participate. To this end, we have many resources and supports for gender equality:
- The Leadership Accord on Gender Diversityis a public commitment by Canadian employers, educators, unions and governments to promote values of diversity and inclusion within their organizations.
- Illuminate Opportunityis a comprehensive, first-of-its-kind toolkit to support developing diversity, equity, and inclusion practices for employers. It guides employers to apply a diversity and inclusion lens to attract a full range of qualified individuals.
- Let’s Talk: Advancing Gender Equalityis a webinar series on advancing gender equality in the workplace.
- Bridging the Gapis a report that highlights the barriers for women in electricity and identifies opportunities to overcome them and increase the attraction, recruitment, and retention of women.
- Connected Womenis a national mentorship program that supports women in electricity who are either already working in technical or trades occupations or are preparing to enter the sector.
Even with these tools and programs, no one organization can solve gender inequality on its own. EHRC is very grateful to have an exceptional network of partners that collaborate to make our sector and economy a more even playing field. These include: Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE), Women Leadership Nation, Equal by 30, UN Women & Women’s Empowerment Principles, Women in Nuclear, Women’s Energy Network, Women of Powerline Technicians, Women + Power, New Boots, Kick Ass Careers, Global Women’s Network for Energy Transition (GWNET), Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE), Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Diversio, DIFEST, and more passionate champions than we could count.
We’d also like to recognize the nearly 100 signatories and advocates who have supported the Leadership Accord on Gender Diversity, transforming their workplaces, and the sector as a whole, through measurable actions. You can read more about specific successes in our Compendium, where we’ve collected stories and testimonials from leading organizations across the sector.
There are many paths to fostering a gender-equal workplace, and it must be done with your unique culture and organization in mind. Committing to doing better with the the Accord and exploring ways to make meaningful gains with Illuminate Opportunity are great starting points.
Wherever you’re at in your journey towards gender equality, EHRC is here to support you. You can reach out to Merertu Mogga Frissa, our Program Manager of Diversity and Inclusion, at email@example.com to talk about how EHRC can help.