Powerful Perspectives: Women in Energy
This International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating the women that are working to make a difference for our customers and keeping electricity flowing to our communities.
The 2023 theme is Embracing Equity. It’s about not only supporting diversity and inclusion in our workforce but taking action to create real change. We need more women in energy—in the field, in our power plants, and in our boardrooms.
Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy is focused on driving change—attracting and retaining people, connecting with diverse communities, and continuing to build awareness of the value of diverse teams.
So, while we still have work to do, today, we’re taking a moment to celebrate women across our business, and to listen.
Meet Jill Searle: our Director of Control Centre Operations. Jill oversees a team that ensures our grid is delivering the right amount of electricity, exactly when our customers need it, every day.
Beth Locke is a fourth-year apprentice powerline technician. She works with and is learning from a team responsible for maintaining our distribution lines—the power lines that bring electricity to homes and businesses.
Cory Annett works in our Customer Care Centre. She started her career taking calls from our customers and has since explored a variety of roles in customer service. She’s inspired by a desire to help people.
Payton Lockhart is an electrical engineer-in-training, working with our Transmission & Distribution team. She contributes to projects that help strengthen our system and ensure we deliver reliable electricity to our customers.
From left to right: Beth Locke, Cory Annett, Jill Searle and Payton Lockhart
What does Embracing Equity mean to you?
Payton: To me, embracing equity gives people—in this case women—what they need to address inequities. This includes things like making women feel safe in all environments and creating opportunities for women.
Cory: Embracing Equity, to me, means a path forward into the future. The world is growing increasingly more partisan, and in these challenging times we must rise to the call and champion that which will ultimately make the world a better place for everyone.
Jill: Taking Diversity, Equity & Inclusion strategy and putting it into action. Acknowledging that people have different needs and circumstances. I’ve read that embracing equity is about providing what individuals need in order to thrive, and that resonates with me.
Beth: To me, embracing equity means acknowledging not everyone starts in the same place and providing resources to give everyone a fair chance to succeed. As an apprentice, I have had some great opportunities to really grow my skill set and succeed.
What advice do you have for young women beginning in their careers?
Payton: I’m only one year into the Engineer-In-Training program, but so far, I’m learning to speak up more and allowing my opinions, thoughts and questions to be heard. My advice would be, even though this is easier said than done, do not doubt yourself and embrace new opportunities.
Cory: To young women starting their careers, I would say: be bold! You are far more capable than even you may think you are. Believe in this, and you’ll go far.
Jill: Your career path will not likely be the straight path you see before you today. If you had told me as a fresh Environmental Engineer setting out to save the world, that I would end up leading a team who runs the power grid, I am not sure I would have believed you! Don’t be afraid to go in a different direction. Find something that interests you, inspires you, and challenges you. Also, find a mentor in whatever field you land in – they have lots of hard-won wisdom to share and can open doors for you.
Beth: To all women who are in the trade or considering this career path, it is possible for women to thrive and have a great long career. It requires a lot of hard work and dedication to get through the physical and mental challenges, but don’t be afraid to ask for help. I’m happy to be a mentor to anyone looking for some guidance!
At Nova Scotia Power, we value and promote diversity, equity and inclusion. For more information about our culture and careers at Nova Scotia Power, please visit nspower.ca/careers.
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