EmPOWERment Hub March Entry: The Downing Street Years

March 15, 2021

The Downing Street Years, Margaret Thatcher

“The most technically and politically difficult privatization – and the one which went furthest in combining transfer of a public utility to the private sector with radical restructuring – was that of the Electricity Supply Industry.”  True that.

If it wasn’t for The Crown, and a fortuitous trip through a second-hand store, this book probably wouldn’t have caught my eye. Once I cracked it, however, I learned about one of the most remarkable leaders of the last century. Of any field. Of any endeavor. 

The word leader is important here because what we mostly see in politics are managers. Margaret Thatcher was no manager. She was not for jumping in front of popular parades or for eschewing tough decisions. As she once famously stated, “The lady is not for turning.”

In 11 years as Britain’s first female Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher tried to shake off the burdens of a growing welfare state, weaned the coal, steel, auto and airline industries off subsidies, engaged in a controversial, but successful battle for the Falkland Islands, was bombed by the IRA, remained skeptical of the growing bureaucracy in the EU, goaded President Reagan and the U.S. to ramp up the nuclear deterrent against the Soviet Union until communism fell and, of course, began the world’s first steps towards deregulating a power market. She did so, often – as the only woman in the room.

While her policies and politics are not for everyone, she was true to her principles, pushed for and achieved great change, and thanks to restructuring the UK’s power market, is perhaps the original Women +Power. 

Author: Evan Bahry, Women+Power Board Member & Executive Director, IPPSA

Women+Power Welcomes New Sponsor: Hardline Engineering Ltd.

Hardline Engineering Ltd. is an employee-owned design and engineering firm located in Alberta. They specialize in low, medium, and high voltage electrical utility and industrial design and serve clients across North America. Hardline is passionate about delivering the highest quality products and innovative solutions for its’ customers and growing a company with the culture, resources, and values to improve the communities in which they operate.

Hardline was founded on principles of equality, diversity, and inclusion. They believe that the best teams are made up of individuals whose unique experiences and backgrounds bring different perspectives to the table. Hardline acknowledges the areas in which we can improve ourselves and our industry and that the road to improvement requires awareness, dialogue, and collaboration.

Hardline is an extremely proud supporter of Women+Power and is committed to being an industry leader as a truly equal opportunity employer.

Volunteers Needed!

Website & Social Media Coordinator
Women+Power’s Website & Social Media Coordinator helps to increase the exposure of the organization through the organization’s website and social media platforms to achieve the objectives of our brand. From designing, creating, and publishing content for the website and social media, to creating monthly content calendars and marketing strategies to deliver our brand’s message in creative ways, this key position is the link between our organization, website and social media platforms.

Experience working with both websites (WordPress) and social media platforms is necessary. If you are self-directed and creative, we’d love to hear from you! Please contact us at hello@womenpower.ca to learn more and to set up an interview. Please type “Website & Social Media Coordinator” in the subject line and we will be in touch.

Grant Coordinator
Women+Power’s Grant Coordinator is a volunteer position. The Grant Coordinator is responsible for researching and applying for grants to obtain funding from external sources on behalf of the organization. These grants may be used as funding for a variety of purposes such as projects, programs and initiatives. Responsibilities include the development of proposals, completing grant-specific reports, researching the availability of both public and private grants, and reporting on the grant funding process to ensure the organization’s compliance with all requirements for receiving the grant.

Experience with grant writing is an asset but not a requirement. If you are self-directed and accomplished at business writing we’d love to hear from you! Please contact us at hello@womenpower.ca to learn more and to set up an interview. Please type “Grant Coordinator” in the subject line and we will be in touch.

EmPOWERment Hub February Entry: Nice Girls Don’t Get The Corner Office

February 10, 2021

January’s EmPOWERment Hub entry about the McKinsey & LeanIn co-study on Women in the Workplace inspires this entry. As we now know, there is a steep increase in the number of women exiting the workplace during this pandemic. Studies will be done on the broader impact of the pandemic on society, the economy, and even on our health for years to come, but we already find ourselves alluding to a new normal.

In considering this new normal in a lot of workplaces, one particular book comes to mind: Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office: 101 Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers by Lois P. Frankel, PhD originally published in the year 2004. In summary, this book lists several “errors” women make in the workplace that may impede their growth, or negatively influence the way they are perceived. It also offers suggestions on how to correct these errors and therefore improve your chance of success as a woman maneuvering a career in a world where women are usually under-represented.

The basic tenet of the book is that women are raised to be nice, which in this case means women seek to please even when it is to their own detriment. Many of the topics discussed in this book would be considered controversial by today’s standards. For example, the author emphasizes the importance of a woman’s physical appearance at work – including comments on how to dress smart and how to wear your hair, and body language when talking to male peers.

An updated version of the book, titled Nice Girls Still Don’t Get the Corner Office: Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers, by the same author, was published in 2013, about 10 years after its predecessor. This version of the book updated some of the author’s coaching tips to be more in line with the times (2013). But thinking of this book in the light of the new normal we are living in, I find myself wondering what advice Lois P. Frankel will offer women in the workplace today who are under even more pressure than usual juggling their careers, their families, their own well-being and even their mental health.  In the post-pandemic world, what new expectations can women look forward to grappling with as we continue to maneuver our careers in a patriarchal society?

Black History Month

Every February, Canadians are invited to participate in Black History Month festivities and events that honour the legacy of Black Canadians and black communities.

Black History Month is an opportunity to learn about the many contributions that Black Canadians have made to this country. This year’s theme for Black History Month is “The Future is Now”, a call to action for us to build on the legacy of those who came before us and to recognize the transformative work that Black Canadians are doing now.

Black people and communities have been a part of shaping Canada’s heritage and identity since the arrival of Mathieu Da Costa, a navigator and interpreter, whose presence in Canada dates back to the early 1600s.

Black history in Canada has not always been celebrated or highlighted. There is little mention that some of the Loyalists who came here after the American Revolution and settled in the Maritimes were people of African descent, or of the many sacrifices made in wartime by soldiers of African descent as far back as the War of 1812.

Canadians are not always aware of the fact that Black people were once enslaved in the territory that is now Canada or how those who fought enslavement helped to lay the foundation for the diverse and inclusive Canadian society we have today.

Black History Month is about honouring the enormous contributions that Black people have made, and continue to make, in all sectors of society. It is about celebrating resilience, innovation, and determination to work towards a more inclusive and diverse Canada—a Canada in which everyone has every opportunity to flourish.

Each week of February, Women+Power will feature some stories of Black women from history that have inspired us. Look for these posts on our website and social media platforms. If you are a black woman carving out your own path in the power industry in Alberta, we would love to hear from you to learn more about how we can support you and share your story!

EmPOWERment Hub January Entry: Women in the Workplace Study

January 2021

McKinsey & Company, in partnership with LeanIn.Org, recently completed their 6th annual study of Women in the Workplace. Since its inception, this study has garnered information from almost 600 companies and a quarter-million people and has acted as a lens to shine a light on the challenges that women face in the workplace. This study took on new importance in 2020, as many women faced their largest challenge to date: managing their careers, families, and homes amid the COVID-19 global pandemic. 

The 2020 publication of Women in the Workplace addresses timely topics such as how COVID-19 is affecting women at work and how it is forcing some women – at all levels – to contemplate leaving their careers. It also looks at the impact that COVID-19 has had on women of different races, ethnicities, and women with disabilities. Finally, the report recaps progress that has occurred over the 6-year history of the study and cautions how the effects of COVID-19 could disrupt, halt, and potentially reverse the progress that women have worked so hard for. 

However, with every cloud, there is a silver lining. While COVID-19 has turned everyone’s worlds upside down, it has also created opportunities for corporations to step up and create a more flexible and empathetic workplace for all employees – now and into the future.

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
Shoes (sizes 3-13)
Baby Nail Clippers
Toddler Toys
Toddler socks
Baby Shampoo
Baby Body Wash
Baby Lotion
Baby Oil

Kids (Ages 4 – 12)
Winter/fall clothing
Shoes/Sneakers/ Runners/Winter Boots
Underwear all sizes

Teenagers (Ages 13 – 17)
Winter/fall clothing
Winter/fall Jackets
Shoes/Sneakers/ Runners/Winter Boots
Underwear all sizes

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
Hair Brushes/Combs
Body wash
Body lotion
Hands cream
Kleenex small packages and boxes
Small Boxes of Q Tips/Cotton balls

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

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!