Even in 2020, the electricity sector is still seen by many as male dominated. The current edition of The Distributor magazine includes an article looking at this perception – and at current reality – based on interviews with women in a variety of leadership roles across EDA member companies. Each of them have long track records in electricity, and they reflect on the progress towards gender equity to date.

At one interviewee’s utility, for example, women represent more than a third of the management team and more than half the board. And our own president and CEO here at EDA is among the growing number of female senior executives in electricity.

When discussing the barriers that have been broken down, the interviewees credit the many women who came before them for clearing the path forward. As in other industries, one can imagine it was not always an easy task.

But even with the progress that has been made there is still some ways to go and some gaps to fill. We need to continue to build broader awareness of what working in the sector entails, of the specific opportunities on offer, and of why women should not only be interested in but can excel in the industry.

The Ontario government has sought to increase female representation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) roles generally. Utilities offers a many such opportunities, and it is up to our sector to continue to work to attract diverse and representative candidates, and to ensure fully even playing fields.

We have come a long way already, having made “immense improvement” in the utilities sector, in the words of one interviewee. But there is still a heavy gender skew on the operations side, for example. And with skills shortages, and mounting evidence that more diverse workplaces perform better than less diverse ones, the imperative is all the stronger.

Check out the full article for more insights. And be sure to attend the EDA’s upcoming Women Connected event, postponed from June to the fall. Watch the events section on our web site for date and location confirmation.