August 17, 2021New Program Tackles Workplace Gender Balance to Strengthen Ontario’s Electricity Workforce

EHRC is collaborating with electricity-industry organizations to create career opportunities for women who left professional jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic

17 August, 2021, Ottawa—Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC) today announced the launch of a program to create innovative employment opportunities for women looking to return to the workforce following the global COVID-19 pandemic. Working with industry partners, including S&C Electric Canada Ltd., the program aims to provide up to 30 individuals having relevant job experience in the electricity sector with the appropriate support necessary to address their unique circumstances.

The program will also culminate in the development of a best-practices guide and human resources standard other organizations in the electricity industry can use to create pathways for women seeking to reenter the workforce. This guide, developed over the course of the program, will serve as a tool to address the systemic lack of workplace gender diversity and provide companies with actionable ways to support women’s career development.

The electricity sector has long been a male-dominated space. Women, overall, are under-represented in the electricity industry workforce. While there is modest representation in managerial (14%), engineering (20%) and IT (24%) occupations, women are especially under-represented in the trades (7%) and renewable (7%) occupations. The present global health crisis has amplified the challenges women face in the workplace and exacerbated this gender imbalance in all sectors.

“COVID-19 has disproportionally affected women’s ability to participate in the workforce. This program charts a pathway for engaging with an often-overlooked demographic—those who have taken an absence from the workforce, whether it be for child, elder care, or something else,” said Michelle Branigan, CEO of EHRC.

“Having a diverse workforce and an inclusive workplace helps drive our innovation and success by utilizing our team members’ knowledge and unique experience,” said Aurelie Richard, S&C’s chief human development and strategy officer. “We are excited to collaborate with EHRC in creating a more gender-balanced industry and to support participants by providing professional-development opportunities to help them build a long-term career.”

“Every unfilled job in the trades is a bigger paycheque for a family left uncollected.  We need to spread opportunity more widely and fairly by giving more workers the hand up they need to begin these rewarding, well-paying and life-changing careers.” Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

This program is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training, and Skills Development.

About EHRC

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.

Contact for EHRC

Jenna Moore
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
613-235-5540 ext. 228
moore@electricityhr.ca