Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC) launches a national project to address systemic barriers in the recruitment, hiring, onboarding and retention of women in Canada’s electricity sector

June 28, 2022, OTTAWA – EHRC (Electricity Human Resources Canada) has launched a new national project to address systemic barriers in the recruiting, hiring, onboarding, and retention of women in Canada’s electricity sector, in partnership with the Department of Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE).

The electricity sector has traditionally been a male dominated space. “Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, only 26% of this sector’s workforce was women, including 14% in management/supervisory positions, 20% in engineering occupations and 7% in trades roles,” states Michelle Branigan, CEO, EHRC. “Women in this industry face specific barriers while entering or participating in the workforce, including discrimination, lack of mentorship, and a non-inclusive work culture. Pandemic impacts have further exposed gaps in our systems and amplified existing inequalities for women across the country. This project will address barriers that impede women’s access to the economic opportunity, prosperity, and security in our industry, and will help address the significant workforce shortages that are a critical concern.”

An organization’s performance is strengthened by the unique work values that women bring—including different perspectives that spark creativity and innovation to help identify and seize new opportunities, strong listening skills and reading non-verbal cues to boost team collaboration, and improvements to team processes. This initiative will advance inclusion and gender diversity by strengthening the voices, authority and decision-making required to empower gender equity, while addressing persistent and harmful gender norms.

At its core, this project will be guided by an intersectional approach as developed by the Government of Canada in its Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) framework, an analytical process used to assess how different women, men and gender diverse people may experience policies, programs and initiatives.

EHRC will leverage its ever-expanding network of members, partners and stakeholders from organizations championing the inclusion of women in this industry, and will build upon existing work such as its Leadership Accord on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion—a public commitment with actionable steps by Canadian employers, educators, unions, and governments to promote gender diversity within their organizations.

“Everyone plays a role in advancing gender equality in STEM. Organizations such as EHRC are at the forefront of this work by ensuring that people of all genders have the opportunity to strengthen Canada’s economic, social and political life,” says The Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth. “This important initiative will help create jobs for women and gender diverse people while building a stronger economic future for all Canadians.”

EHRC will develop new resources for employers to implement practical changes to advance inclusion and gender diversity in their organizations by increasing women’s labour market participation and opportunities.

This program is funded by the Department of Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE).

About EHRC
EHRC (Electricity Human Resources Canada) is Canada’s most trusted source of objective human resources information and tools to help the Canadian electricity industry match workforce supply and demand. Canada’s electricity industry is comprised of the organizations that lead the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. 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.

About EHRC’s Leadership Accord on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Currently in its fifth year, our Leadership Accord on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is a public commitment by Canadian employers—including and beyond electricity industry employers, educators, unions, associations and governments to advance, integrate and prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion in their organization’s policies, processes, culture, and workplace environment. Its goal is to proactively create a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace. This work speaks to the depth of experience, expertise and commitment that EHRC brings to the gender equality mandate and will inform the resources and activities that will be built into this new project in partnership with the Department of Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE).

Media Contact:
Karen Tremblay Marketing and Communications Manager 613-235-5540 ext. 242 tremblay@electricityhr.ca