May 13, Ottawa—Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC) with support of its members and partners continues to lead the promotion of diversity, equity and inclusion in Canada’s electricity industry. Today EHRC announced the evolution of the Leadership Accord on Gender Diversity to be more inclusive of the society we live in and take into consideration the unique needs facing under-represented groups in Canada wishing to enter and be included in the labour market. Starting now, this program has expanded to be the Leadership Accord on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
The Leadership Accord on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion retains the previous Accord structure, but now includes strategies for supporting a broader range of groups who are under-represented in Canada’s electricity sector, including Indigenous people, racialized people, people with disabilities, LGBQ+, gender diverse people and newcomers to Canada. The Accord is a public commitment made by the most senior level of organizational leadership to take meaningful steps to foster an inclusive workplace culture. Signing the Accord means a focus on removing barriers to entry to diverse employees in all areas from recruitment to retention. And it commits organizations to measuring change over two-year timeframes.
The Leadership Accord on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion responds in part to the momentum of recent social movements demanding social justice and mechanisms for inclusion across Canadian society. These movements affirm the need to evaluate the processes and practices that exclude and disadvantage under-represented groups. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated disparities for many communities who were already facing barriers. The Accord helps companies evaluate the changes they can make to be more inclusive–starting now.
“The decision to broaden the scope of the Accord allows employers of all kinds to apply proven techniques and strategies to their specific diversity challenges. The Leadership Accord can meet them where they’re at and work with them to enact meaningful change” said Michelle Branigan, CEO of EHRC. “We’ve had exceptional uptake with the Accord in its original form, and we’re looking forward to building on that momentum to encourage a truly comprehensive understanding of diversity in every facet of the electricity sector.”
Elexicon Energy is the first organization signing on to the updated Accord. Interim President and CEO Norm Fraser said, “We’re thrilled to be the first signatory of the newly-expanded Leadership Accord on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Our region is home to a vibrant, diverse population that comprises our team members and our customers. Elexicon is already a leader in providing reliable and affordable energy, and we celebrate this commitment to ensuring our organization is as diverse as the communities we serve.”
“Integrating women into the electricity sector, especially into traditionally male dominated professions, has been a challenge for our employers and members,” said John Ives, Power Workers Union Staff Officer Reporting to the President. “The Leadership Accord on Gender Diversity has changed the workplace culture and raised awareness for employers and workers to actively engage women. Expanding to the Leadership Accord on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will only help in the goal in building a more truly representative workforce.”
Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC) is Canada’s most trusted source of objective human resources information and tools to help the Canadian electricity industry match workforce supply and demand. EHRC is a not-for-profit organization helping to keep the lights on in Canada by enabling a world-class workforce for the entire electricity industry.
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About Elexicon Energy Inc.
Elexicon Energy provides more than 169,000 residential and business customers in parts of Durham Region and beyond with reliable and affordable energy services. The company is the fourth largest municipally owned electricity distributor in Ontario. Elexicon Energy is owned by five municipalities: the Town of Whitby, the City of Pickering, the Town of Ajax, the City of Belleville and the Municipality of Clarington.
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