Leadership Accord on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The Leadership Accord on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is a public commitment by Canadian 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 to proactively create a diverse, inclusive and equitable workplace. Developed and launched by EHRC in 2017, the Accord proposes united action to:

  • expand the breadth and depth of the skilled workforce;
  • ensure that under-represented groups are informed of the opportunities available in the sector of their choice;
  • and, once employed, are fully supported and provided with equal opportunities to grow and develop to their full potential.

The Accord provides a real opportunity for all stakeholders to actively engage in building a workforce that is truly representative of Canada’s people.


Our Key Beliefs

Canada’s electricity workforce includes a much lower representation of women, Indigenous people, racialized people, persons with disabilities, LGBQ+, gender diverse people and newcomers to Canada than is present in our overall population.* The barriers they face, including discrimination in hiring, lack of support and mentorship once hired, or a non-inclusive behaviour and workplace culture, can limit advancement within their careers. Integrating under-represented groups into the workplace requires more than just opening the doors to them: there must be a paradigm shift involving focused attention and intentional effort.

Few of us reach our goals without the support of others. Prioritizing under-represented groups takes leadership and commitment from industry, educators, and policymakers—as well as individual ownership to ensure our workforce becomes truly reflective of the society we live in.

As a sector that employs so many Canadians from coast to coast, we must take a leadership stance in changing our demographics. It’s critical to our business, and the right thing to do. In order to address climate change, our industry will be called upon to lead the decarbonization of the broader economy. This requires attracting the best and the brightest minds by being the employer of choice and by providing a workplace where everyone belongs. As a CEO, I’m proud to stand by the expansion of the Leadership Accord and commit to goals as it drives the entire sector in the right direction to change for the better.
Ken Hartwick, CEO, Ontario Power Generation

The Accord Process

There are two ways to get involved and act towards change: as an Accord Signatory or as an Accord Advocate. Both streams focus on the united action required to ensure under-represented groups are supported in their employment and provided with equal opportunities to grow and develop to their full potential.

Signatory Process

Step 1: Declaration of Commitment

Signing a certificate of commitment and declaration, which sets a range of benchmarked initiatives to achieve commitments outlined in the Accord.

Step 2: Implementation & Action

Implementation of clearly benchmarked initiatives supporting commitments outlined in the Accord.

Step 3: Review

At the two-year mark from signing, the signatory undertakes a review to determine the organization’s progress and provide feedback both internally and to EHRC. The two-year review provides organizations with an opportunity to analyze the effectiveness of their diversity, equity and inclusion practices, while re-aligning strategic plans as needed.


Advocate Process

Step 1: Declaration of Commitment

Signing a certificate of commitment and declaration that they will actively engage in outreach and promotion of the Accord and the principles for which it stands.

Step 2: Implementation

Encouraging network members to become official Signatories of the Accord. This can be achieved through a variety of means including one-on-one discussions, events, newsletters, social media, presentations, email and other communications.


Join the Accord

Ready to make the commitment? Start today to remove barriers that limit the advancement of under-represented groups or their desire to remain in the occupation of their choice.

For more information: Contact our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program Manager via e-mail dei@electricityhr.ca.

Register Now

Agents of Change 2022: The Power of Change

EHRC proudly presents Agents of Change 2022 – October 12th and 13th in Toronto. Registration is now open for our annual flagship event on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

Join us for this must-attend national forum to connect in-person with Canada’s electricity sector leaders, HR directors and our sector’s DEI champions.

This year’s incredible roster of national and international speakers will motivate, inform and inspire – to deliver the latest and best practices to your leadership approaches, and drive hiring and retention for your HR strategies.

Call for Nominations – Agent of Change Award

Do you know an electricity industry professional who demonstrates commitment and efforts to advance the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace?

Nominations are now open!

Submission deadline September 12th at midnight (EST)

Submit a Nomination

To submit a nomination for the 2022 Agent of Change Award, please fill out and submit the completed PDF along with any related files that would support your nomination, and send by email to Marie Mould, at mould@electricityhr.ca with the subject “Agent of Change Award Nomination”.

Register for Agents of Change 2022 Now!

Advancing Gender Diversity in Canada's Electricity Sector: A Compendium of Success Stories

Our Compendium documents diverse initiatives from our Accord signatories across the sector who’ve taken steps to supporting gender diversity in their workplaces. Take a look!

View the Resource


Women Leadership Nation

EHRC is proud to partner with Women Leadership Nation (WLN) to support signatory organizations who are committed to closing the gender gap. EHRC’s partnership with WLN was developed with the understanding that changing the gender landscape is not easy: it takes tactical and continued efforts to effect systemic change. EHRC’s vision in partnering with WLN is that those organizations who need support will be equipped with the knowledge and resources needed to identify and overcome barriers slowing down your organization’s progress. WLN are experts at delivering holistic training, measurement, and tailored support solutions to help employers become not just more diverse, but more agile and competitive.

EHRC members and Accord signatories will benefit from preferred pricing and access to valuable resources, created to help them succeed in achieving gender equity.

WLN is deeply committed to helping:

  • Employers understand their current level of unity, in setting goals, creating a more diverse work culture that is inclusive and collaborative, which will result in a more innovative, agile and competitive organization.
  • Participants go on a journey of self-discovery that will create a greater understanding of their strengths, identify opportunities for growth, learn new leadership skills and generate strategies for overcoming barriers.
  • Teams engage in a deeper dialogue about differences, identify commonalities, and increase the potential for greater understanding, acceptance, respect, and collaboration.

Learn more about Women Leadership Nation.

Equal by 30

Equal by 30 is an initiative of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and a commitment by public and private sector organizations to work towards equal pay, leadership, and opportunities for women in the clean energy sector by 2030. Equal by 30 asks companies and governments to endorse equity principles, then take concrete actions to help close the gender gap.

Through this campaign, NRCan is bringing together leadership from across the energy sector to galvanize action and help all players—from private sector companies to governments at all levels—take action together.

I’ve already signed the Leadership Accord, why should I sign onto Equal by 30 as well?

NRCan recognizes that certain sectors, such as the electricity sector, have already made significant progress towards the goal of gender equality.  That is why this international campaign has been designed as an umbrella under which domestic, made-in-Canada frameworks can continue to exist and evolve. Signatories of the Accord will continue to report progress directly to EHRC, based on the commitments outlined in the Accord.

EHRC encourages Accord signatories to also sign on to the Equal by 30 Campaign, since it broadens the visibility of an organization’s commitments to an international stage.

As an existing Leadership Accord signatory, will I need to report twice?

No. Accord participants face no undue duplication or burden.

In the case of the Accord, signatories report directly to Electricity Human Resources Canada, and progress is shared with NRCan at an aggregate level.  EHRC will only share individual best practices or achievements with NRCan with the explicit approval of the individual organization, and established agreements around confidentiality, with respect to the disclosure of information, are strictly adhered to.

Learn more about Equal by 30.

Women's Empowerment Principles

The Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) are a set of Principles offering guidance to business on how to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and community. Established by UN Global Compact and UN Women, the WEPs are informed by international labour and human rights standards and grounded in the recognition that businesses have a stake in, and a responsibility for, gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) are a primary vehicle for corporate delivery on gender equality dimensions of the 2030 agenda and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. By joining the WEPs community, the CEO signals commitment to this agenda at the highest levels of the company and to work collaboratively in multistakeholder networks to foster business practices that empower women. These include equal pay for work of equal value, gender-responsive supply chain practices and zero tolerance against sexual harassment in the workplace.

The Leadership Accord on Gender Diversity was a great launching point on our diversity journey, and this public commitment has indeed begun to move the needle on gender diversity across Canada. As we adjust to the nature of work that is shifting and continuously evolving, we recognize that this shift is dependent upon the diversity of perspectives and life experiences of our teams. EHRC has responded to this by relaunching our Accord as the Leadership Accord on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. The evolution of the Accord will expand the support for organizations so they can transform, and seek permanent change to ensure diverse teams are welcomed, supported and can thrive.
Kathy Lerette, Senior Vice President, Business Transformation at Alectra

Accord Advocates & Signatories

Thank you to all these organizations who are championing diversity and have signed on to the Accord. In addition, we would like to recognize those industry associations who work to support the Canadian electricity industry and have committed to advocating for the role of under-represented groups in the sector.


Elexicon Energy
Hydro Ottawa
Alectra Utilities
Bruce Power
Ontario Power Generation
Halton Hills Hydro
Algonquin College
Power Workers Union
IBEW Canada
hydro one
K-Line Group
Welland Hydro
Kenora Hydro (merged with Thunder Bay Hydro)
Essex Power Corporation
Orangeville Hydro
Burman Energy
Grimsby Power
London Hydro
Burlington Hydro
Electrical Safety Authority
Composite Power Group
Toronto Hydro
G&W Canada
Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro
Nova Scotia Power
Northern College
Borealis GeoPower
Gowling WLG
S&C Electric Company
City of Vaughan
Georgian College
TOC Logistics
Engineers Canada
BC Hydro
La Prairie (merged with WESCO)
Ontario Society of Professional Engineers
Schneider Electric
St. Catharines
Nuclear Waste Management Organization
Mohawk College
City of Ottawa
Ontario Energy Board
Electricity Distributors Association
Energy Storage Canada
Town of Antigonish
Oshawa Power
Westario Power
Solvest Inc.
Metergy Solutions


Ontario Waterpower Association
Efficiency Canada
Women of PLT
Energy Council of Canada
Ontario Energy Network
Women in Nuclear Canada
Plug 'n Drive
Women of Influence
Waterpower Canada
Women Leadership Nation
Women's Energy Network
Ontario WRISE
New Boots
White Ribbon
Electro-Federation Canada
Live Your Potential
Get Energy
Society of Women Engineers Toronto
Women + Power
SkyFire Energy
Hire Immigrants Ottawa
North American Young Generation in Nuclear
African Women in Energy Development Initiative
Society of United Professionals
Company Logo
MWG Apparel

Definitions (from above)

  • Indigenous people (a collective name for the original peoples of North America and their descendants, including First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples)
  • Racialized people (persons other than Indigenous peoples whose racial or ethnic identity is non-white)
  • Persons with disabilities (including those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments).
  • LGBQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer and other non-heterosexual orientation)
  • Gender diverse people (two-spirit, transgender, gender non-conforming or self-identify along the gender spectrum)
  • Newcomers to Canada (landed immigrants, permanent residents, refugees and people with work permits who came to Canada up to five years prior to a given census year)