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Building a stronger, more diverse workforce

Social performance case studies from the 2014 Sustainable Electricity Annual Report, Engaged for a Sustainable Future.


CEA members across Canada are continuing to make significant investments in employee diversity, wellness and training.

BC Hydro focuses on screening and prevention

BC Hydro and Power Authority’s Health and Recovery Services is committed to the health and well-being of its workforce. In 2013, it delivered more than 600 health screens to employees, measuring blood pressure and cholesterol and identifying risks for heart disease and diabetes. It also partnered with the BC Cancer Agency to deliver three days of mammography screening at two different work locations. In addition, 45 workshops were delivered across the province educating employees on how to manage stress, eat healthier and reduce back pain.

ENMAX named one of Canada’s best diversity employers

For the third year in a row, ENMAX Corporation was recognizedas one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers. It also received the 2013 Alberta Business Award of Distinction for Employer of Persons with Disabilities. Both awards reaffirm the company’s continued commitment to building a diverse, respectful and inclusive culture, which includes work experience programs to help immigrants, persons with disabilities, visible minorities and Aboriginal Peoples gain entry to the workforce; an employee-led women’s network; and diversity awareness training for employees.

Hydro One is working to attract more women to the trades

Hydro One Inc. has partnered with Algonquin College to develop the Women into Electrical Engineering Technology program, a unique venture aimed at increasing the number of women in the skilled trades. Not only is Hydro One contributing financial support to the 22 women enrolled in the College’s Electrical Engineering Technical/Technologist program, it is also providing work-related co-op terms in its facilities so the students can gain a deeper practical application of the qualifications they are working toward.


Left: Posing on behalf of female employees at Hydro One is Amy Pavao.
Right: Kim Trimble is one of many skilled women working at Hydro One.
Photos courtesy of Hydro One Inc.

Hydro Ottawa develops new diversity plan

Hydro Ottawa published its 2014–2016 Diversity Plan last year, which aims to create and support a workforce that is reflective of the diversity in the communities it serves. Stemming from this plan, Hydro Ottawa engaged in three targeted initiatives to lay a stronger foundation of diversity and inclusion within the company: it participated in the Capital Pride Parade and a flag-raising ceremony; piloted cultural competency training for managers; and established co-op partnerships with local high schools.

Butting out at Nalcor Energy

Nalcor Energy’s Wellness Works program offers a variety of health education, awareness and promotions to help employees achieve their personal wellness goals. Because research shows that quitting smoking is more successful when smoking cessation aids are coupled with support services, in 2013 Nalcor partnered with Smokers’ Helpline to create the Smoke-Free Living Program. In addition, Nalcor reimburses employees for 100 per cent of the cost of smoking cessation products purchased when enrolled in the program. NalcorSmokeFree

Nalcor Energy’s Wellness Works program offers an incentive to encourage employees to be smoke free. Photo courtesy of Nalcor Energy.

Newfoundland Power makes a health connection with its employees

As part of its 2013 Health Connection Program, Newfoundland Power Inc. issued a comprehensive health and wellness survey to its employees. The survey found that employees are ready and interested in improving their health and well-being. Its results will help prioritize the health and wellness concerns that need to be addressed, enhance existing programs and services, and inform the development of a new three-year action plan that will focus on employee fitness and mental health.

Ontario Power Generation: A national leader in diversity

In 2013, Ontario Power Generation Inc. (OPG) was honoured with the Workplace Diversity Champion Award from Electricity Human Resources Canada. In addition, the company was selected as one of the Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada by Corporate Knights magazine. Also, its Senior Vice President of People and Culture was named a Canadian Diversity Champion by the Women of Influence organization, and it was recognized by the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council for its commitment to reconnecting skilled immigrants to their career paths through mentorship and internship opportunities.

Cloud-based learning opens up new possibilities at SaskPower

In 2013, SaskPower replaced nine legacy systems with a new learning management module that leverages the latest advances in cloud-based software. Instructional designers can greatly improve the learning experience for both employees and contractors, as the new system allows for more interactive content as well as more innovative course design and delivery options (including access from mobile devices).

Toronto Hydro is building up the workers of tomorrow

Toronto Hydro Corporation has worked with Georgian College since 2010 to help shape its Engineering Technician/Technologist program curricula, a collaboration that ensures students graduate with the necessary proficiencies to fulfill positions at the utility and minimizes the amount of on-the-job training required as graduates enter the workforce. Toronto Hydro also provides scholarships to Ryerson University and Georgian College students in the fields of engineering, business, information technology and health sciences.

Nova Scotia Power is helping power engineers obtain first-class certification

Nova Scotia Power Inc.’s new First-Class Power Engineer Program is designed to encourage second-class power engineers to continue their training and education, and to support employees in obtaining their first-class certification. Those accepted into the program receive financial support for exam fees and training-related materials, as well as regular guidance and support from their operations superintendent. Once an employee has been successful in obtaining first-class certification, Nova Scotia Power offers him or her a two-phase retention bonus.

Use the menu at the right to read more member success stories and case studies from the 2014 Sustainable Electricity Annual Report, Engaged for a Sustainable Future, or get the PDF here.