Day One – Wednesday, October 12th

12:00 pm: Registration & Networking

1:00 pm: Special Conference Opening and Welcome

1:15 pm: Keynote Speaker Colin Druhan, Executive Director, Pride at Work

Colin Druhan is a business strategist with more than fifteen years of experience working with 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. He has served as Executive Director of Pride at Work Canada since 2014. Pride at Work Canada empowers employers to build workplaces that celebrate all employees regardless of gender expression, gender identity, and sexual orientation through dialogue, education and thought leadership. In 2021 he was elected Chair of the Board of Directors of Volunteer Toronto, Canada’s largest volunteer centre, where he has served as a Director since 2018.

2:00 pm: Panel #1 – The Power of Indigenous Talent

Supporting reconciliation and strengthening relationships with Indigenous peoples is key to creating an engaged and inclusive workforce that reflects the broad diversity of Indigenous communities and people across Canada. Our panelists will share their perspectives and experiences in removing barriers to economic and labour market participation through collaboration and mutual respect. 

Charlene McQuaid – Moderator – Vice President, HR, Nova Scotia Power (EHRC Board Member)

Tabatha Bull, President & CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

Valerie Vanderwyk, Senior Advisor, Labour Relations and Mentorship, Workforce Warriors

Kathleen Wood, Director, Community Engagement and Social Performance, Hatch

Simmer Anand, Senior Manager, Indigenous Relations, Hydro One


3:00 pm: Networking Break


3:20 pm: Panel #2 – Interactive Session – Everything You Thought You Knew About DEI!

How much do you think you know about DEI? We know that anyone attending Agents of Change has a passion for creating, making, and fostering that change. Here is where we test what you think you already know to better inform you of any unconscious bias, misunderstandings, or unknown weaknesses you may have. In an interactive Q&A style game, we will shed light on areas for improvement that you can utilize to yours and your organizations benefit – plus, prizes!

Facilitated by:

Patricia Butt, I&D Leader/HR Professional, Emera

Emily Griffiths, Junior Project Manager, EHRC


4:00 pm: Keynote Speaker Dr. Ryan Todd, CEO, headversity – Workplace Wellness

Dr. Todd’s award-winning work, TEDx Talks and podcast series are redefining new standards for workplace mental health. His keynote presentation will demonstrate innovative, disruptive approaches to inspire new thinking to strengthen leadership that cultivates workforce well-being.


4:50 pm: Closing Remarks


5:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Cocktail Reception

Join fellow change agents in sharing unique perspectives on day one’s topics and connecting lived experiences to our discussions; enjoy drink and conversation in a comfortable setting to wind down day one. 


Day Two – Thursday, October 13th

8:00 am: Continental Breakfast

8:45 am: Opening Remarks

9:00 am: Panel #3 – Being an Agent of Change – Leadership That Makes a Difference

Leadership from the top is critical to driving culture change. The best leaders let others know where they stand on complex issues and make it a business priority to create a company culture that supports the creation of equitable and inclusive workplaces.  This includes clear communications, setting accountabilities, and leading by example. Join our panelists to hear about their personal experiences in becoming DEI allies and champions, their goals, and be inspired by how they have influenced, initiated, and impacted culture change from the top.

Kathy Lerette – Moderator – Chair, EHRC Board of Directors

Indrani J. Butany-Desouza, President & CEO, Elexicon Energy

Darryl Castellano, Vice President, Inclusion, Diversity, & Engagement, WESCO International

Karen Lai, President & Founder, KPM Power


10:00 am: Keynote Speaker Karen Jensen, Federal Pay Equity Commissioner, Canadian Human Rights Commission 

Karen Jensen is an experienced lawyer who is widely recognized as an expert in human rights, labour and employment law. Having represented unions, employers and the Canadian Human Rights Commission in pay equity disputes at different points in her career, Ms. Jensen has developed a deep appreciation for all perspectives on this important issue


10:40 am: Coffee Break


11:00 am: Panel #4 – From Talk to Action – Allies in Action and in the Making

This session will hear from allies who share a common commitment to creating safe, equitable and inclusive workplaces. They will share their personal insights as to how organizations can support efforts to achieve success, the role individuals play, and provide insight as to how organizations can create allies in the workplace.

Humberto Carolo – Moderator – Executive Director, White Ribbon Campaign

Carol Calvert, Vice-President, People & Culture, Electrical Safety Authority

Carol Dayment, Senior Advisor, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, Nova Scotia Power

Dan Quigley, Federal Adjudicator


11:45 pm: Lunch


12:30 pm: Keynote Speaker Darrell Bricker, Chief Executive Officer, Ipsos Public Affairs

While the world around us changes many Canadians are wondering what lies ahead. As the population ages, trends around automation, immigration and urbanization will have a significant impact on the availability of a skilled and diverse workforce. Demographic trends speaker Darrell Bricker, CEO of Global Public Affairs and co author of “Empty planet: The Shock of Aging Population Decline”, will give the audience an invaluable peek into the future, how demographics will reshape the social and economic landscape, and the impact this will have on the workplace.


1:15 pm: Panel #5 – Speaking From Lived Experiences 

Without actually understanding the lived experience of others we risk misunderstanding or underappreciating the real barriers faced by colleagues or employees. This panel will speak to those challenges and explore how we can all play a role in building inclusive workplaces.

Michelle Johnston – ModeratorPresident, Society of United Professionals

Sanjida Moury, Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering, Lakehead University

Angela Vacchino, Forester, Hydro One

Javier Viloria, Senior Director, Hydropower and Dams Ontario, CIMA+


2:00 pm: Networking Break


2:15 pm: Panel #6 – Getting it Done – Making DEI an Enterprise Priority

Everyone wants to know what works – and what doesn’t. Mistakes can be damaging, costing time, dollars and credibility. Successful policies and procedures must be implemented with  commitment and consistent leadership, and must have demonstrable impact. This panel will share best practices in prioritizing DEI and effecting real change. 

Lyne Parent-Garvey – Moderator – Chief Human Resources Officer, Hydro Ottawa

Beth Buckmaster, Director of Client and Stakeholder Relations, Hatch

Aamer Esmail, Senior Manager, Ethics & Equity, Ontario Power Generation

Danielle Short, Director, Talent Management, Bruce Power


3:00 pm: Presentation – Award, Agent of Change


3:05 pm: Keynote Speaker Marco Pasqua, Accessibility Consultant, Entrepreneur – Accessible Workplaces: Supporting People with Disabilities

This presentation will provide team members, managers and senior executives with a better understanding of how to communicate, support and ultimately work with people with various types of disabilities. Marco will share some of his personal lived experiences as a person with a disability in the workforce and include specific tips on how to navigate some of the barriers that have been introduced; particularly when it comes to some of the protocols that have been implemented, both in-person and online.

Marco Pasqua is an award-winning Entrepreneur, Accessibility Consultant and Inspirational Speaker with Cerebral Palsy. Throughout his life, Marco has been involved with a number of organizations as a spokesperson, helping to spread advocacy for persons with disabilities across Canada. As an Accessibility and Inclusion Consultant, he has worked with some of BC’s biggest change-driven business leaders who are champions for more accessible, inclusive workplaces. It’s through these experiences that he is helping to pave the way for all Canadians to have universal access to the programs, services and places that they live, work and play.  

3:50 pm: Closing Remarks

4:00 pm: Adjourn

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