Leadership Accord on Gender Diversity:
Committing to increase the representation of women in programs, organizations and the Canadian workplace
Today, leadership from the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) and the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT) made a public commitment to promote the values of diversity, equality and inclusion by signing the Leadership Accord on Gender Diversity. Developed by Electricity Human Resources Canada, signatories commit to improving opportunities for women in the Canadian workplace through recruitment, retention, career progression, and training and development.
Photo 1 – Left to right: Sandro Perruzza, CEO of OSPE; Kathy Lerette, C.E.T., Senior Vice-President, Alectra; David Thomson, CEO of OACETT
Photo 2 – Left to right: Kim Pickett, C.E.T., President elect of OACETT; Jonathan Hack, P.Eng., President of OSPE; Kathy Lerette, C.E.T.; Greg Miller, C.E.T., CBCO, President of OACETT
“Equity, diversity and inclusion are at the core of everything we do at OSPE,” said Jonathan Hack, P.Eng., President of the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers. “These are our fundamental values as an organization, from the staff we hire to the volunteers we engage. We’ve achieved gender parity on our Board of Directors, and we have always had a majority of women on staff at OSPE.”
By signing the Accord, OSPE and OACETT agree to a range of initiatives under policy and governance practice, education and workplace readiness and recruitment and retention practices, some of which include:
- Striving to ensure women represent between 10 and 30 per cent of Board of Director and Senior Management positions and promote the business case that diverse leadership teams makes good business sense
- Investigating and researching potential factors that are limiting the successful transition from educational and training programs into the workforce
- Match new hires with women already working through mentoring programs
- Working to promote occupations and career opportunities where women are under-represented in a way that attracts more women
OSPE will be promoting the Gender Leadership Accord to other companies through its Breaking Barriers for Women in STEM project, which aims to increase the number of women in STEM careers by developing tools and promoting policy recommendations for the workplace.
“OACETT is pleased to sign the Leadership Accord for Gender Diversity. We believe that equal opportunities for women are critical to the future success of not just the technology profession, but the economy and society,” said David Thomson, CEO of OACETT. “We look forward to advancing our existing policies and women in technology initiatives.”
According to Statistics Canada, there are 7.6 million women working in Canada – making up approximately 47 per cent of the Canadian workforce. Women, however, still represent only 25 per cent of the workforce in the electricity sector. Furthermore, fewer than 13 per cent of practicing licensed engineers are women. In the trades, that number plummets to fewer than 5 per cent. Despite the rise in the proportion of women in these technical areas and best efforts to tap into, develop and retain this cohort, the pace of improvement has been slow, with the parity between men and women in the industry remaining a long way off.
This highlights the importance of attracting women to critical occupations such as engineers, engineering technicians, technologists and other skilled trades. These efforts must be tackled together by industry, government, unions and educational institutions.“ – Leadership Accord for Gender Diversity
For more information on the Gender Leadership Accord, visit www.electricityhr.ca.