“Please do more to hire, support, and encourage talented women who want to work. Women don’t look or talk like Perry Mason, and you don’t want us to. We often are more creative, smarter, more persistent, and harder-working than men, and we actually win cases. So call me a Lady Lawyer. Just don’t underestimate me in Court.”
Katrina is a litigation lawyer who supports clients in the power industry. As part of her role, she learns in an in-depth way about her clients’ business and goals to help them through challenging times and achieve their desired outcomes. Katrina is an extremely committed pro bono diversity advocate, particularly in the areas of equity and diversity in traditionally male-dominated industries. She feels privileged to be involved in such an important initiative in the power industry.
“Leadership is causing something to happen that otherwise wouldn’t. Women+Power is leading a positive shift in the power industry that customers, stakeholders, and shareholders will benefit from for years to come.”
Jana is responsible for ENMAX’s transmission and distribution business. With over two decades of industry experience, Jana has worked for various utilities, industrial consumers, generators, and the Alberta Electric System Operator. Prior to joining ENMAX in 2015, Jana served as President for Similan Consulting Inc. and advised companies across North America on electricity policy application, connection to the transmission grid, utility processes and project management. She works with a team of talented people who are dedicated to keeping the lights on for Calgarians while looking for innovative ways to meet customer needs in our rapidly evolving industry and give back to many Alberta communities. Jana is passionate about diversity and was named a Calgary Women in Business 2022 award winner, sits on the board of Women in Communication and Technology Alberta Chapter, and is and advisor for the University Calgary’s Women in Science and Engineering fellowship.
CIP Senior Manager and Manager, Operations Compliance, Document Control and Asset Information TransAlta
“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.”
Georgina manages a team of multi-disciplinary professionals who oversee compliance risk, regulatory policy, growth projects, engineering and asset information management across TransAlta’s North America portfolio. She has spent 20 years of her career working in power distribution, generation, transmission and regulatory compliance. Currently, she chairs an industry group for the implementation of reliability standards and the associated best practices. Also, she sits on a sub-committee run by the Idaho National lab for the advancement of careers in Operational Technology. She loves the people and the challenges of working in power generation. Georgina is passionate about helping women in the industry and would like to give back by providing utility knowledge to young women just starting out in their careers. Now is her chance to make an impact!
Vice President, Development Aypa Power, a Blackstone Portfolio Company
“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made … It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.”
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Cherise is responsible for the development of energy storage and renewable hybrid projects, utilizing the latest technologies that improve the way we generate, store, and use power. She enjoys working on projects from conception to completion and loved being part of a development team that successfully built, commissioned, and operates one of the largest lithium-ion battery storage projects in North America. Having lived and worked in both Canada and the United States, Cherise has had the opportunity to witness the positive effects of diversity in many markets across the power industry. She looks forward to bringing those learnings to Women+Power and believes that together women can create a more inclusive and diverse power industry.
You can tell who the strong women are, they’re the ones building each other up instead of tearing each other down.
Sharleen is a motivated high-energy individual and dynamic strategic leader as well as a passionate advocate for women. She is a skilled energy professional with over 25 years of diverse experience in the energy industry in Alberta. In late 2021 Sharleen started her own consulting business to share her expertise with various clients in the energy sector.
Sharleen created Women+Power because she envisioned a power industry that is more inclusive and diverse than what currently exists. Her goal is for Women+Power is to be involved in the conversations that will shape change, and to create opportunities for women to overcome the challenges that result from, and in, prevalent under-representation at all organizational levels. The world needs more strong female leaders.
Author:Jana Mosley, Board Vice-Chair and Sponsorship Committee Chair, Women+Power
I’ve had the privilege of formally leading people for the last 15 years, and I have to say they have been the most rewarding years of my career. Leadership is a journey, and I must admit I’ve hit some bumps in the road, maybe even a few potholes. (I just went back and forth on whether not to use the word “few” or “a couple”, not wanting to be too imperfect – such a female thing to think!)
I’m grateful to the people along my path who have been patient with me when I’ve started a new role, to those who cut me some slack when I didn’t take the time to understand their perspective, and to the many who have been kind enough to give me feedback so I could improve. You know who you are – keep it comin’!
As I’ve progressed in my career, it became clear that the strengths that got me the latest promotion were not necessarily the same strengths I needed to leverage to be successful leading at the next level, or at least how those strengths needed to change in order to bring out the best in those around me. It was less about what I had accomplished and more about what the team had accomplished.
I recently read a book called “Unleashed: The Unapologetic Leader’s Guide to Empowering Everyone Around You” by Frances Frei & Anne Morris. I was intrigued, as we often talk as leaders about empowering others, but find we get stuck in our comfort zones and hierarchical society. The book starts by stating clearly “It’s not about you”. Leadership is about empowering other people as a result of your presence and making sure that impact continues in your absence. If you are all about unleashing the potential in others, check out this book!
Here are the main principles the authors cover, taken from the contents summary:
Trust – Trust is the foundation for empowering leadership. You build trust when you reveal empathy, logic, and authenticity
Love – You empower other people when you simultaneously set high standards and reveal deep devotion to them
Belonging – You empower teams when you champion difference and ensure that everyone can contribute their unique capacities and perspectives
Strategy – You empower organizations when you show people how to create and capture value on their own
Culture – You empower communities – organizations and beyond – when you change the way people think and act
They say there is no “I” in TEAM, and throughout my leadership journey, I can tell you the times when I’ve felt the most fulfilled and proud have been when I have seen those around me in my team nail a presentation they were nervous about, have a difficult conversation they thoughtfully prepared for, rally others to achieve great results, or create a solution to a problem without being told what to do. When, through coaching, mentoring, learning, and trying, people in my organization move the needle on their path to reach their full potential, I get to sit back and smile knowing that in some small way, I made a difference. And that’s what it’s all about.
Post Author: Stefania Cerisano, Board Member – Events & Programs Committee, Women+Power
The words we choose in both casual and formal communications can have a significant impact on the perpetuation of gender stereotypes and inequality. Impacts are not just reserved for blatantly derogatory phrasing, but also extend to more subtle language choices and pairings.
Imagine receiving a group email from a male co-worker which begins, “Good morning, Kevin, David, Larry and ladies”. Even if you are not bothered by the term “ladies”, seeing this term used in a greeting that acknowledges male peers by name and female peers only generally can leave a bad taste and negatively impact a culture of inclusiveness far more than you may think. While some may choose to downplay wording implications as an over-reaction or unintentional ‘slip’, according to recent studies conducted by Stanford University, these kinds of ‘slips’ are often highly correlated to views held by the writer or speaker and if left unaddressed, bias wording will continue to encourage a culture ripe with obstacles for inclusion. According to leading research and advisory company, Gartner, “Any behaviour, habit or routine, will continue to persist as long as there is something in the environment that rewards and reinforces that continued action”. Reinforcement can take the form of inaction and result in missed opportunities to evolve mindsets.
This is not to suggest that every person who makes a statement with a bias undertone should be explicitly called out, but rather that there is a range of reactions that could serve to change the narrative, including leading by example. A reply such as, “Good morning, Team” or “Good morning, Lisa, Karen, Kevin, David and Larry” may just be enough. Regardless of how one chooses to reply, the point is simply that by ignoring less than ideal wording, we forgo an opportunity to reduce counterproductive behaviour.
It is interesting to note that some wording biases may be inherently linked to the specific language spoken. A study by Carnegie Mellon, which investigated the male-career bias in 25 languages, found that “languages that heavily associate men with careers and women with family also have speakers who live out those biases”. English was found to be the 6th most biased language of the 25 reviewed in the study. The research results showed a positive correlation between biased language and high male-career gender bias and further demonstrated that the more biased the language, the lower the percentages of women in STEM fields and STEM higher education. According to the study’s lead author, Molly Lewis, those who speak a language filled with bias are more likely to hold gender stereotypes.
This is certainly something to consider the next time you find yourself wondering if it’s worth the effort to promote more inclusive language in the workplace. Collectively, we have the potential to shift mindsets towards a more inclusive environment by simply choosing our words more carefully and calling on others in our workplace to do the same.
This holiday season, Women+Power is once again partnering with the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter to collect essential items for families in need. In addition to the dropoff locations listed below, Women+Power we are hosting a festive drop off location on December 12, 2021, from 5-8pm at 175 Aspen Stone Terrace SW, where you can drop off your donation items, have a picture taken of your family in front of an amazing display of Christmas lights, enjoy a cup of hot cocoa and meet fellow Women+Power members.
The Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter supports individuals, families, and communities to live free from family violence and abuse. In the last year, the Calgary Women’s Emergency 24-Hour Family Violence Helpline received more than 10,450 calls and the total number of clients served at the shelter was more than 15,000.
At Women+Power, we believe in the power of community. That we can work together to not only address challenges that women experience in the workplace, but that collectively, we can help to support the families in our communities that need it the most. This year, we will be helping to raise funds and gather essential goods for families in our communities that turn to the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter for assistance and safe refuge.
The statistics are staggering. 74% of Albertans report that they personally know at least one woman who has been sexually or physically assaulted and 1 in 2 women will experience one incident of physical or sexualized violence in their life. COVID-19 has only exacerbated the situation and has created additional barriers and isolation for people living in unhealthy and dangerous situations. Stress and anxiety remain high as there are still so many unknowns.
This holiday season, we ask that you reflect on the resilience of these families and help in any small way that you can, whether it be financial donations or collecting and dropping off essential items (view the list here). Your support and generosity will help keep local individuals that are impacted by family violence safe during this critical time.
View & Download the List of Essential Items here. View & Download the List of Drop Off Locations here.
*Due to health and safety concerns, the Shelter cannot accept used clothing and toys. *They cannot accept new or used furniture, small appliances and household items. *They do not take hotel/travel size due to the length of stay that clients are at the Shelter.
And if you or anyone you know needs the support of the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter, please contact them via one of the methods below:
Phone their 24-Hour Family Violence Helpline: 403-234-7233 (SAFE) Email: email@example.com Text: 403-604-6689
Post Author: Sharleen Gatcha, Founder & CEO, Women+Power Book Author: Simon Sinek
How three letters can change everything: “WHY”. “Why” is not just a word. It’s a powerful concept.
“People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.” – Simon Sinek
If you aren’t familiar with Simon Sinek, he is a speaker, and best-selling author, who gave one of the most-watched TED talks ever about his renowned book “Start with Why”. Check out this video to gain an understanding of what the book is about.
In his book, Sinek discusses the principle behind every successful person and business and demonstrates why leaders guided by this concept will succeed more often than those that don’t. It is a simple but influential model for how leaders inspire action by starting with the question “Why?”.
Sinek calls this phenomenon “The Golden Circle”, which is a communication and leadership framework. The Golden Circle instructs leaders to start by clearly defining and communicating their WHY, followed by recruiting those who can strategize the HOW, and then using WHAT they do as proof of their why.
Most people naturally communicate from the outside in. We tell people WHAT we do, HOW we are different or special, and then we expect behaviours like consideration, support or even a job offer to be the result. The problem is that WHAT and HOW do not inspire action. Facts and figures make rational sense, but most people don’t make decisions based on facts and figures. Starting with WHY is what leaders do. Leaders inspire. What inspires you? What values and principles drive your beliefs? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? And why should anyone care?
Sinek cites Martin Luther King as a powerful example of how King’s clarity of WHY, along with his sense of purpose, gave him the strength and energy to continue to fight against seemingly insurmountable odds. King knew what had to change to bring about civil rights in America, and he was absolute in his conviction. It was not just Martin Luther King’s unflappable conviction that was able to stir a population, but his ability to put his WHY into words. Dr. King had a gift. He talked about what he believed. And his words had the power to inspire:
People heard his beliefs and his words touched them deeply. Those who believed what he believed took that cause and made it their own. They told people what they believed, and those people told others what they believed. Some organized to get that belief out more efficiently. In the summer of 1963, a quarter of a million people showed up to hear Dr. King deliver his “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. But how many people showed up for Dr. King? Zero.
They showed up for themselves. It was what they believed. They saw an opportunity to help America become a better version of itself. Being in Washington was simply one of the things they did to prove what they believed. Showing up that day was one of the WHATs to their own WHY. This was a cause and it became their cause.
According to Sinek, the “Why” does not come from looking ahead at what you want to achieve and then figuring out an appropriate strategy to get there. It comes from looking in the completely opposite direction from where you are right now. Finding the “Why” is a process of discovery, not invention.
The “Why” is within you. And once you find and know your “Why”, the hardest part is to remain true to it.
October is Women’s History Month in Canada, a time to celebrate the women and girls from our past, and our present, who are contributing to a better, more inclusive Canada. In 1992, the Government of Canada designated October as Women’s History Month, marking the beginning of an annual month-long celebration of the outstanding achievements of women and girls throughout Canada’s history.
This year’s theme, Women Making History Now, recognizes the amazing women who are making a lasting impact in our country, especially in the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to advance reconciliation, through their work and commitment to make our country a better place.
Visit the Women of Impact in Canada gallery, which recognizes the contributions and achievements of 100 exceptional Canadian women and girls who have made an impact in politics, the arts and sciences, and countless other fields.
Post Author: Elaina Eifler, Women+Power Board Member & Chair, Events and Programs Book Author: Wab Kinew
Wab Kinew was named by the National Post as “an Aboriginal leader seeking to engage with Canadians at large”. The Reason You Walk is a moving father-son reconciliation told by a charismatic First Nations broadcaster, musician, and activist. Wab opens up in this book and shares personal details about his life, struggles and successes.
I committed to reading books by Indigenous authors to educate myself and to create common ground in an effort to address my biases. I connected with this book because our family also struggles and fails – these are human experiences. The more we can connect as human beings the more we move towards reconciliation.
Learning more about the Sundance was a highlight. Wab explains, “If you were to enter the centre of the Sundance circle, then you would understand the beauty of what happens there. The shake of the cottonwood trees in the breeze, the swing and sway of prayer flags of every colour tied to the branches, the chorus of cicadas singing a perfect soundtrack for the sweltering heat, and the feeling of hundreds of supporters standing on the edge of the circle watching you”. This sacred tradition is so deeply moving and important. I am inspired to reflect on my own cultural traditions to determine which ones have this kind of deep meaning and significance in my life. I expect this gift will bring me closer to my truth, my family and myself.
I encourage everyone to read this book. You will laugh, cry, reflect, connect and be given the gift of curiosity to learn more about yourself and where you come from.
At Women+Power we plan to continue offering member events to deepen the conversation and action towards reconciliation in Canada. Join Us as a member today to be invited to future events!
Elaina Eifler Chair, Events and Programs | Women+Power
Today marks the 1st National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a day that honours the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families, and communities. Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process.
Orange Shirt Day, an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day that honours the children who survived Indian Residential Schools and remembers those who did not, is also recognized today. Canadians are encouraged to wear orange (a shirt or even a ribbon) to raise awareness of the very tragic legacy of residential schools and to honour the thousands of Survivors. This day relates to the experience of Phyllis Webstad, a Northern Secwpemc (Shuswap) from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation. On her first day of school, she arrived dressed in a new orange shirt, which was taken from her. It is now a symbol of the stripping away of culture, freedom and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations.
Women+Power acknowledges this monumental day in the spirit of reconciliation and the hope for a brighter future for our Indigenous Peoples. We must do more to deepen our understanding. We must come together to pause, lament and reflect – to embrace our shared humanity. We must commit to doing better.
We invite you to take the opportunity to reflect on Canada’s dark past and explore the rich and diverse cultures, voices, experiences and stories of the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. Whether you want to read, listen, or watch, click this link to start your learning journey today.