Women+Power Launches EmPOWERment Hub

Exciting news! We are launching our EmPOWERment Hub.

Each month starting in January, the EmPOWERment Hub will feature an empowering and thought-provoking issue that will be accompanied by an article, video, ted talk, book, etc. Women+Power will provide a short review and link directly to any accompanying media. To stay up to date with our entries, we encourage you to keep a close eye on our LinkedIn page. The intention of this Hub is to start conversations, so we hope that you will take a few minutes out of your busy schedule to learn and grow from the information presented. After all, knowledge is POWER!

We would love to hear your thoughts and feedback on this new feature, so please comment on social media or drop us a line at hello@womenpower.ca.

Women+Power Welcomes New Sponsor: ATCO

ATCO serves more than two million customers around the world, providing innovative, sustainable solutions in the sectors that are essential to global growth and prosperity: residential and commercial housing, energy, water, transportation and agriculture. From the delivery of efficient and reliable energy for homes, businesses and communities, to affordable temporary and permanent buildings, to the transportation of products and services, ATCO builds communities, energizes industries, and delivers customer-focused solutions like no other company in the world.

ATCO is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and is committed to promoting and maintaining a workplace culture of inclusion and respect. ATCO values our individual differences – our unique perspectives and backgrounds, and the variety of contributions each member of the ATCO family brings to work. Aligning with its’ core values of caring, collaboration, and integrity, ATCO fosters constructive relationships and creates a positive and professional work environment that is safe for everyone. ATCO is proud of the many grassroots inclusion and diversity initiatives that thrive within their organization, and the unified commitment of senior executives and Board of Directors to improving diversity across all facets of the business.

ATCO is honoured to be a financial sponsor of Women+Power and believes our partnership will foster stronger insights and surface greater opportunity for a more diverse future across all industries. Nancy Southern, Chair & Chief Executive Officer, ATCO Ltd., shared the following: “I believe that our people are our greatest asset, and much like our business operations, our strength lies in our diversity. By leveraging our different experiences, perspectives, and ways of thinking, we deliver stronger insights to better serve our customers and the diverse populations where we have the privilege to live and work”.

“We are very pleased to have ATCO as a sponsor given the prominent role they play in Alberta’s power industry and the important work the organization is already doing to promote diversity and inclusion within their own organization,” says Sharleen Gatcha, Founder & CEO of Women+Power.

To learn more about ATCO, visit their website, and stay tuned for future blog posts, LinkedIn, and social media posts for updates on upcoming Women+Power sponsorship events.

Women+Power Welcomes Non-Financial Sponsor: The MSA

The Market Surveillance Administrator (MSA) is a public agency that protects and promotes the fair, efficient, and openly competitive operation of Alberta’s electricity and retail natural gas markets. The MSA monitors the performance of Alberta’s electricity and natural gas markets to ensure that market participants comply with all applicable electricity and natural gas legislation, the Alberta Reliability Standards, and the Independent System Operator’s rules.

As a proud supporter of Women+Power, the MSA believes that an inclusive and diverse power industry is critical to the industry’s future and its ability to serve all Albertans. “The MSA is pleased to support Women+Power and its objectives. Working actively toward a more inclusive and diverse industry is an objective I share for the industry and the MSA itself”, says Derek Olmstead, CEO of MSA.

“Women+Power is excited to collaborate with the MSA and we are thrilled with their commitment to recognize and empower women to achieve their full potential both professionally and personally,” says Sharleen Gatcha, Founder & CEO.

Women+Power Welcomes New Sponsor: Black & Veatch

Black & Veatch is an employee-owned engineering, procurement, consulting, and construction company with a 100-year track record of innovation in sustainable infrastructure. Since 1915, they have helped their clients improve the lives of people in over 100 countries by addressing the resilience and reliability of our world’s most important infrastructure assets. Check out their website and follow them on social media to learn more.

Black & Veatch’s culture and values transcend differences in age, gender, race, religion, and sexual orientation. As a global company having performed projects in more than 100 countries, Black & Veatch values Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and joining Women+Power advances these efforts.

Community Giving Campaign

December 1, 2020

The Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter is focused on ending family violence and abuse in the lives of women, children, youth, and men. They serve over 15,000 Calgarians each year.

At Women+Power, we believe that we can work together to not only help, support, and empower women in the power industry, but also the women and vulnerable individuals in our community who need it the most. It was with this in mind that we decided to embark on a ‘Giving Campaign’ to help raise funds and gather goods for families that look to the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter for assistance. Often, these women and children arrive with only the clothes on their backs. 

COVID-19 has only exacerbated the situation for Calgarian families that are living through and suffering from abuse. As Kim Ruse, Executive Director at the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter, stated “the level of danger that women are living in is exponentially higher right now than it was prior to the pandemic.”

This holiday season, we ask you to please think of these women and children and do what you can to help by collecting and dropping off essential items (please see list below). Your support will help keep local individuals that are impacted by family violence safe during this critical time. 

We are all in this together. 

Essential Items Needed*

Babies (Newborn – 3)
Regular and Soy Formula
Teething toys
Pacifiers
Shoes (sizes 3-13)
Clothing
Baby Nail Clippers
Toddler Toys
Toddler socks
Baby Shampoo
Baby Body Wash
Baby Lotion
Baby Oil

Kids (Ages 4 – 12)
Winter/fall clothing
Jeans/pants
T-shirts
Shoes/Sneakers/ Runners/Winter Boots
Hoodies
Pajamas
Underwear all sizes

Teenagers (Ages 13 – 17)
Winter/fall clothing
Winter/fall Jackets
Shoes/Sneakers/ Runners/Winter Boots
Jeans/pants
T-shirts
Hoodies
Pajamas
Underwear all sizes

Moms
Winter/fall Clothing
Winter/fall Jackets (S, M, L, XL)
Tops (S, M, L, XL)
Leggings (S, M, L, XL)
Pants/Jeans (4 up to 12)
Shoes/Sneakers/Winter Boots (Sizes 7-10)
Bras/Underwear (Regular and Sports Sizes M, L, XL)
Pajamas (S, M, L, XL)
Hoodies (S, M, L XL)

Miscellaneous Items
PPE (masks, shields, gowns)
Gift Cards
Grocery Cards (Walmart/Superstore)
Transit Passes
Journals, pens
New Strollers
Earbuds /Headphones
Backpacks and travel bags

Toiletry Bags (care packages) – Family/Single
Shampoo
Conditioner
Deodorant
Hair Brushes/Combs
Body wash
Body lotion
Toothpaste/brushes
Hands cream
Kleenex small packages and boxes
Small Boxes of Q Tips/Cotton balls
Floss
Razors

Donation Drop-off Locations:

Items can be dropped off at the Alberta Electric System Operator’s office located at 2500, 330 – 5 Avenue SW or at any of the below CTV Toy Mountain drop-off locations. Financial donations can be made online by visiting: https://www.calgarywomensshelter.com/index.php/give/individual

NameQuadrantAddress
MCG Career CollegeNE4774 Westwinds Dr NE, Calgary, AB T3J 0L7
Heninger ToyotaS3640 Macleod Trail, Calgary, AB T2G 2P9
Sentinel StorageNW7725 112 Ave NW, Calgary, AB T3R 1R8
Sentinel StorageSpringbank130 Commercial Ct, Calgary, AB T3Z 2A5
Sentinel StorageNW36 Bowridge Dr NW, Calgary, AB T3B 2T9
Sentinel StorageNW2 Bowridge Dr NW, Calgary, AB T3B 2T9
Sentinel StorageNE2135 Pegasus Rd NE, Calgary, AB T2E 8C3
Sentinel StorageNE410 Manning Rd NE, Calgary, AB T2E 8K4
Sentinel StorageSE5950 12 St SE, Calgary, AB T2H 2X2
Sentinel StorageSE4810 80 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2C 2Z1
Sentinel StorageSE4205 116 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2Z 3Z4
Sentinel StorageSE1800 194 Ave SE #3000, Calgary, AB T2X 0R3
Sentinel StorageBlack Diamond560 1st Ave NE, Black Diamond, AB T0L 0H0
Bankers HallSW855 2nd St SW T2P 4J8
Firth Avenue PlaceSW420 2 St SW T2P 4K3
Suncor Energy CentreSW150 6 Ave SW T2P 3E3
Brookfield PlaceSW225 6 Ave SW T2P 3S9
AMJ Campbell WarehouseNE1881 120 Ave NE T3K 0S5
Trail Appliances – Deerfoot MeadowsSE6880 11 St SE T2H 2T9
Trail Appliances – SunridgeNE2745 29 St NE T1Y 7B5
Trail Appliances – CrowfootNW650 Crowfoot Cres NW T3G 4S3

*Due to health and safety concerns, the shelter cannot accept used clothing and toys.
*The shelter cannot accept new or used furniture, small appliances, and household items.
*The shelter does not accept hotel/travel sized items due to the length of stay of clients

2020 Coffee Connections Challenge

November 12, 2020

What is a Coffee Challenge?

It’s simple — approach 3 new industry connections for a virtual coffee chat!

A key goal of the Women+Power community is to encourage informal connections.

What if my connection isn’t a Women+Power member?

That is totally OK! The purpose of coffee connections is to build out your personal and professional support network. So go ahead and reach out to someone new!

Do I need to track my coffee connections?

Nope, it is all on the honour system. This is about helping our members build up a strong informal community of support.

What should I say?

It’s totally up to you. You could try something like this: “Hi, I’m a new member of the Women+Power community and I’m participating in the 2020 Coffee Connection Challenge to build up my network. I’d love to connect sometime? Consider inviting your connection to join Women+Power if they haven’t already!

Tell us about your experiences!

Finally, we would love to hear about your Coffee Connections so we can share your experiences with our members. Please email hello@womenpower.ca for a chance to win a $25 coffee card!

Women+Power Partners With WiRE

October 23, 2020

Women+Power is proud to announce that we have partnered with Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE)!

“Women+Power is excited to collaborate with WiRE. WiRE’s mission to advance the role and recognition of women working in the energy sector is at the heart of why Women+Power was created – to provide opportunities for members to connect with, support, inspire and recognize women to empower them to achieve their full potential both professionally and personally,” says Sharleen Gatcha, Founder & CEO.

Launched in 2013, WiRE forges partnerships with government agencies and a spectrum of renewable energy industry associations, other related networking groups for professional women from across the energy sector, and academic providers.

WiRE’s mission is to advance the role and recognition of women working in the energy sector. Inclusive of all renewable energy and clean technologies, WiRE’s programming includes capacity-building field trips, networking meet-ups, an awards recognition program, student bursaries, speed mentoring and more.

In a statement provided by Joanna Osawe, President & CEO of WiRE she stated, “We look forward to partnering with Women+Power to develop opportunities to further support women working in the power sector in Alberta.”

Pathways to Gender Equity: Why Male Allies are so Important

In May 2020, Women+Power Board member and Events & Programs Committee Chair, Elaina Eifler, spoke on a panel to launch Leadershift: Pathways to Gender Equity Reportwhich summarizes research conducted by Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC). EHRC works to strengthen the ability of the Canadian electricity industry to meet the current and future needs of its workforce. To help the sector do this, EHRC completes in-depth labour market intelligence research specifically about the industry and the Leadershift Report is the latest piece of research.

The Leadershift Report confirms what many women in Alberta’s electricity sector already know: despite good intentions and investments in programs to increase women’s representation, the pace of change has been slow. The report is full of excellent examples and suggestions for specific actions that can be taken to advance diversity in organizations. 

To bring the data and insights to life, seven senior male leaders in the electricity sector were profiled to explore the influences and impacts of men’s direct participation in diversity strategies and initiatives for the empowerment of women. They demonstrate the impact of active, day-by-day, persistent involvement of male leaders as allies and advocates. Each of them describes the experiences that helped them become personally more aware of the challenges women face in the workplace. They have translated that awareness into behaviours that make a difference, such as: addressing unconscious bias, creating a more welcoming workplace for women, using equity and meritocracy to advance women’s careers, cascading the messaging throughout the organization, building the trust required for flexible work arrangements, navigating style differences between women and men, and sponsoring women for growth opportunities. 

The Leadershift Report provides evidence of the importance of male allies to drive change across the industry. “A commonly highlighted strategy for driving change…is to encourage senior leaders and managers to be champions of diversity. While it is important to have both men and women leaders committed to diversity, in male-dominated industries, male participation and commitment to gender equality is essential.”

So how do organizations get started? The Leadershift Report provides several thought-provoking and actionable recommendations aimed at creating gender equity in Canada’s electricity sector. To learn more, you can access the report and a recording of the launch (and Elaina’s presentation) right here!

In the panel discussion, Elaina outlined two main challenges in response to a question about the challenges organizations and leaders are having at the moment to improve on women’s representation at the leadership level: the number of women and mindsets and beliefs that limit actions to improve gender equity. 

The number of women in the electricity industry is low: just 26% of the workforce compared to a pool of 46% in the Canadian workforce. This lack of representation overall results in fewer women in the pipeline for senior leadership positions.

The mindsets discussed in the Leadershift Report were the most profound part of the study. Key findings revealed that men and women are not on the same page when it comes to how each gender views their ability to be successful in the workplace, the impact of gender and diversity measures in relation to their own career opportunities, and whether or not the diversity and inclusion problem is nearly solved. 

The findings have wide-ranging implications with courses of action for individuals and organizations across the sector. Build awareness and support by communicating on a personal level, with candor and openness to difficult discussions. Spread the discussions across the organization—everywhere and every day, if needed. Implement best practices, and then measure and report on the progress achieved and the benefits gained. Realize that change for women implies changes for men. With those changes come the challenges of confronting longstanding behaviour patterns of women and men but also the benefits of a more equitable and inclusive environment for all. 

The insights from this research drive home the need to accelerate progress. To begin, it appears that we are still falling short on creating a shared understanding of our sector’s gender reality. Many of our organizations have instances of longstanding gaps in practices and in women’s representation that must be addressed. Nonetheless, we also have good momentum, pockets of great practices, and inspiring success stories to build upon. The current dramatic shifts in our industry increase the need for change and present an opportunity for change. We must, and can, move resolutely now to more fully leverage the leadership talent of women.

Advocating for EHRC’s Leadership Accord on Gender Diversity

Developed by Electricity Human Resources Canada, the Leadership Accord on Gender Diversity (the Accord) is a public commitment by employers, educators, unions, and governments to promote the values of diversity, equality, and inclusion throughout their work. Through recruitment, retention, career progression, and training and development, all Accord signatories are committed to improving opportunities for women in the Canadian workplace. The signatories to the Accord recognize and confirm united action to expand the breadth and depth of the skilled workforce by ensuring that women are informed of the opportunities available to them. Once employed, these women are fully supported and provided with equal opportunities to grow and develop to their full potential.

Employers, unions, and educational institutions agree to make the commitment to increase the representation of women in their programs and organizations. Signing the Accord is the first step in a long-term process. The commitments outlined in the Accord guide companies through the process of instituting new practices by involving all of their employees and partners in these actions. This will be achieved through a range of initiatives that organizations will approach or develop based on their individual circumstances and strategic HR plans.

It is the premise of the Accord that to effect systemic change, a bold vision is required by industry leaders.

“As an advocate for this Accord, our organization fully supports EHRC’s initiative,” says Sharleen Gatcha, Founder and CEO of Women+Power. “In becoming an advocate, we are dedicated to advancing the role of women in Canadian workplaces by engaging in outreach, promotion, and communications with our constituencies about the Accord and its key commitments. At the same time, we will encourage them to become official signatories. We are thrilled to stand alongside nearly 100 advocates and signatories across Canada that are committed to making a difference!”

Our Commitment to Equal by 30 Principles

September 30, 2020

Women+Power is proud to announce that we have formally made our commitment to upholding the principles of the Equal by 30 Campaign designed to encourage public and private sector organizations to work towards equal pay, equal leadership, and equal opportunities for women in the clean energy sector by 2030. The Equal by 30 Campaign asks companies and governments to endorse principles and take concrete actions to help close the gender gap.

Through this campaign, leadership from across the energy sector is being brought together to galvanize action and help all players – from private sector companies to governments at all levels. We are taking action together.

As a non-profit organization, Women+Power agrees to uphold the Public Sector high-level principles.

  1. We aim to lead by example by taking concrete steps to promote gender equality so that our lessons can serve as an example for others to follow.
  2. We aim to integrate a gender lens into all levels of our work, mainstreaming gender equality into our organizational culture and processes.
  3. We will set high standards for the recruitment, promotion, and participation of women, adopting more rigorous requirements where necessary.
  4. We will report regularly within our organizations and to the public so that progress is measured, visible, well-communicated, and we are fully accountable to our citizens.

“Our decision to commit to the Equal by 30 Campaign was an easy one since the underlying principles so closely align with Women+Power’s core objective to create a more diverse and inclusive power industry,” says Sharleen Gatcha, Founder & CEO. “We look forward to partnering with Equal by 30 to promote gender equality and will share information regarding the campaign.”

EHRC Partners with Women+Power

A Partnership to Support Women Working in Alberta’s Electricity Sector

July 30, 2020

As part of our commitment to promoting transformational change in Alberta’s power industry by increasing representation of women at all organizational levels, Women+Power has partnered with Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC). EHRC is a non-profit organization supporting the human resources needs of the Canadian electricity and renewable energy sector and is committed to supporting women and gender equity across the electricity sector.

EHRC has resources to support gender equity in electricity, including the Leadership Accord for Gender Diversity, Leadershift: Pathways to Gender Equity and Illuminate Opportunity: Equity in the Workplace. Partnering with Women+Power provides EHRC an opportunity to help deliver these resources locally in Alberta, with the in-person support from a community of women.

Creating pathways to success for women in electricity is something that EHRC’s CEO, Michelle Branigan, is very familiar with. “Bringing more women into electricity takes work at all levels, from the boardroom down to the front line. We’re all in this together; working with organizations like Women+Power and their community is a way to directly support women in the sector.”

“Women represent just a quarter of Alberta’s power industry. Through the power of community we believe we can work together to address the challenges that result in and from the under-representation of women in the power industry so we can begin to develop opportunities to promote increased diversity and inclusion.” Sharleen Gatcha, Founder & CEO of Women+Power said. “I’ve worked in electricity for most of my career during which I have personally experienced many gender-based challenges. At Women+Power we know first-hand that having a community of support can make all the difference in succeeding. EHRC’s support is going to make a meaningful difference, providing Women+Power with the capability to provide opportunities to connect and develop resources and programs that will enable transformational change.”

This partnership will provide a way for both organizations to make a larger impact on women working in electricity, both in Alberta and beyond. Look for collaborative work and events between EHRC and Women+Power in the months to come.

It’s about time!

Sharleen Gatcha
Founder, Women+Power

June 1, 2020

We waste time. We kill time. We save time. Time can be on our side or we can have bad timing. We rob and get robbed of time, and we lose time. Time can be our enemy or our friend. We are told to manage our time wisely. Time flies. Sometimes, it may seem as though time stands still and yet other times, we have all the time in the world. But no one of us is powerful enough to stop the march of time or slow it down: time waits for no (wo)man.

And so, it seems this is where we stand; in week ten of the COVID-19 pandemic and still uncertainty remains over how much longer we will have to maintain continued restrictions on social distancing and remote working conditions. We are encouraged to wait and see what time will tell. Does time heal everything? I am sure many of you have experienced days when time seemed to pass so slowly and yet it is hard to believe that we have been in this situation for more than 2 months.

It was the result of unfortunate circumstances that the networking event planned for Women+Power at the IPPSA Conference in Banff on March 16 had to be cancelled just days before it was scheduled to take place when the Government of Alberta announced restrictions on the number of individuals allowed in gatherings and soon after COVID-19 was deemed a global pandemic. One could say time was not on our side and, in our case, time changes everything!

Given how quickly the pandemic escalated, Women+Power decided to put our plans to launch our website on hold and determine when it would be appropriate to proceed. We wanted to recognize and respect that the environment for many of us had fundamentally changed and that it would take time for everyone to adjust and adapt to a ‘new normal’ (as we have heard so many times over the past several weeks). We hope that everyone has had the opportunity to do just that and you are staying safe and healthy.

We are very excited to share our vision for Women+Power and start communicating our plans, and we feel that now is the time. To this end, we are launching our new brand and website. For now, you can find us on LinkedIn and at www.womenpower.ca. Soon we hope to add other social media channels.

At this time would like to invite women and men working in and with the power industry in Alberta to join our community and become a member by visiting the ‘Join Us!’ page on our website and completing the registration form. In addition, we would appreciate your help spreading the word by sharing our news about Women+Power with your network.

Me and the dedicated Board at Women+Power are hopeful this will kickstart the beginning of transformational change in the electricity industry, and for that we say ‘It’s about time!’