Midhula De Gannes has made it her career goal to make positive change in peoples’ lives.

As a network management specialist at Hydro One, she is focused on finding innovative ways to modernize the grid and meet the energy needs of Ontarians. 

Having seen firsthand how electricity can empower people in rural areas of our province, the young electrical engineer recently took a volunteer position in Kenya to help provide off-the-grid communities with low-cost and sustainable solar-power kits.

“The kits made a huge difference in their lives - more than I could ever imagine,” says Midhula. “Many people in these areas had been relying on Kerosene lamps, which are both toxic and a fire hazard. With solar light that’s renewable, clean and cost-effective, children in the community can now do their homework and education really has an opportunity to flourish.”

Being a first-generation Canadian, Midhula says she feels a strong sense of responsibility to the community.

“You don’t get to choose where you’re born or the circumstances,” she explains. “I recognize that in my life I’ve had privilege because my family decided to immigrate from India, so I want to make sure that my education and skills can be paid forward to people who weren’t afforded the same opportunity as myself.”

Coming from a progressive household, Midhula feels driven to advocate for gender equality. In 2016, she and a colleague started “Lean In,” a group that empowers women to take on new career opportunities.

“We noticed an opportunity to help women reach their full potential and Hydro One has been very supportive in helping the group flourish within the business,” she says.

Midhula adds that she’s incredibly grateful to work for a company that not only empowers her to bring ideas to the table, but also provides her with the means to carry them out. After spending the better part of three years in her current role, she’s proud to see many of her projects in the execution phase.

“In terms of making a positive difference in the community, I can’t think of a better position to be in,” says Midhula. “I’m working on investments to provide rural Ontario with more reliable power in ways that are innovative and have never done before. That’s incredibly exciting.”