The Canada Assembly and Dinner is the birthplace of the Women’s Energy Council (WEC) and Canada has been more active than anywhere else in the world for this platform. On May 29th, we welcomed 42 senior female executives for the WEC dinner and discussions in Escoba followed by a panel discussion the next day. The purpose of the panel was to implement specific practical solutions to make energy companies more diverse and equal.
- Moderator:Marnie Smith, Senior Client Partner, Korn Ferry International
- Susan Riddell Rose, President & CEO, Perpetual Energy
- Tracy Robinson, Executive Vice President, President Canadian Natural Gas Pipelines, TC Energy
- Celine Gerson, President, Schlumberger Canada Limited
- Kerry O’Reilly Wilks, Chief Legal & Compliance Officer, TransAlta Corporation
A personal highlight for me was the audience. For the first time in my career I was looking at a room in which I wasn’t one of the very few women. It was about 50/50 split – a clear sign that change is happening.
Some highlights of the panel:
- Women inspire women. Many studies show that female role models are what inspire women to join male dominated sectors. Creating huge pipelines of female talent alone won’t motivate them to progress if all their managers are men, but having at least one woman on the board or in senior management makes a huge difference. In order to help minorities to progress, a majority should always actively encourage minorities to speak and ask their opinion.
- Unconscious bias training is a simple but effective way to reduce inequality. The first step is acknowledging there is an issue and that all people hold some type of bias. Unconscious bias training is now compulsory in most companies and has proven to be effective. An easy free testing system designed by Harvard Institute can also help to identify biases before rolling our all company trainings https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/selectatouchtest.html
- Allocating time to mentorship and sponsorship of young rising stars should be part of leaders’ roles (male and female). Having a role model, a sponsor or a mentor is key to career progression and the confidence of younger professionals.
I hope this short summary is useful. If you are curious about the Women’s Energy Council, or would like to join, please get in touch.
About Women’s Energy Council
Women’s Energy Council is the most international diversity and equality network for energy executives in the world. It actively promotes and advises on tangible, positive and commercially beneficial changes in the energy industry through bias awareness, policy education and safety at work.
Download the brochure to find out how you or your company can get involved with the Women’s Energy Council.