HR body launches diverse initiative to lure women into this sector

Employers are set to receive new resources to champion women's inclusion in the workplace

HR body launches diverse initiative to lure women into this sector

The Electric Human Resources Canada (EHRC) has announced a new nationwide initiative aimed at addressing the barriers preventing women from joining the electricity sector workforce.

"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," said EHRC chief executive officer Michelle Branigan.

The project, which will be funded by the Department of Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE), will be guided by an "intersectional approach" developed by the Canadian government.

"Everyone plays a role in advancing gender equality in STEM. Organisations 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," said Gender Equality Minister Marci Ien.

"This important initiative will help create jobs for women and gender diverse people while building a stronger economic future for all Canadians."

Read more: Workplace DEI as a collective effort: How to supercharge your diversity in 2022

In addition, the EHRC will also be developing new resources for employers, which can serve as guides in implementing "practical changes" to advance inclusion and gender diversity in their workplaces.

It will also be utilising the existing Leadership Accord on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - public commitment enjoined by employers, unions, and governments to champion the inclusion of women in the industry.

Barriers preventing women from joining the electricity workforce include discrimination, lack of mentorship, as well as non-inclusive work culture, according to Branigan.

In fact, prior to the pandemic, Branigan said only 26% of the electricity sector's workforce was women. Among them, only 14% are in management/supervisory positions, 20% in engineering occupations, and seven per cent in trades roles.

"Pandemic impacts have further exposed gaps in our systems and amplified existing inequalities for women across the country," she said in a statement.

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