Minding the Gap: Barriers and Key Themes in Equality and Inclusion (Online)

November 24, 2021 – November 24, 2021
06:00 pm – 07:15 pm
The Women In Energy Transformation Series (the Pembina Institute and GLOBE Series)

Building on the outcomes from the first dialogue, the second dialogue of the Women in Energy Transformation series will focus on key themes surrounding gender equity and inclusion emerging at COP26 and take a deeper dive into barriers for women in the energy sector as identified from the Pembina Institute’s recent report. Don’t miss this highly interactive session where we will explore these barriers as peers and begin to discuss ways to overcome them in our collective path towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in Canada by 2050.

This session will take place as part of Destination Net Zero: Nature and Bioeconomy Days and feature an opening plenary interview with Canada’s Ambassador for Climate Change, Patricia Fuller, moderated by GLOBE Series’ Managing Director, Elizabeth Shirt.

Opening Plenary Interview:

  • Patricia Fuller, Ambassador for Climate Change, Government of Canada

Featured speakers include: 

  • Bipasha Baruah, Professor & Canada Research Chair in Global Women’s Issues, University of Western Ontario 
  • Luisa Da Silva, Executive Director, Iron & Earth 
  • Maryam Monsef, Canada’s Former Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development
  • Anna Stukas, VP Business Development, Carbon Engineering Ltd
  • (Moderator) Elizabeth Shirt, Managing Director, GLOBE Series

Additional speakers to be confirmed.

For registeration, please click here.

Ahead of registration, please see below for the Five Barriers in Equality and Inclusion and select two themes you’d like to focus on in the breakout rooms taking place as part of this event.

Five Barriers in Equality and Inclusion

Breakout Topics

Lack of access to opportunity 

There are many ways in which women do not have the same access to information and opportunities as men do in the energy industry. Women and girls are less likely to enroll in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education programs than men, often due to discouraging social norms and stereotypes – but STEM education degrees are required for many jobs in energy. As another example, women often do not have access to informal and predominantly male networks (e.g., email chains, clubs, happy hour networking) where opportunities are offered and exchanged. 

Lack of good jobs 

What defines a good job for a man and a woman are different.  Due to cultural norms and expectations, women often have domestic and social responsibilities that they balance with work, so many women prefer jobs that have flexible hours and a consistent location (i.e., part-time positions without travel requirements). However, these positions often lack important aspects that characterize a “good” job for anyone: opportunities for advancement, health benefits, and job security (during tight financial times, part-time employees are more likely to be laid off than full-time ones). 

Inability to advance 

Women struggle to work their way up the career ladder in the energy industry: as seniority level increases, the number of women decreases. Due to domestic and social responsibilities, women often have gaps in employment and occupy part-time positions, and these characteristics are often perceived negatively when individuals are considered for advancement (e.g., women can be perceived as not dedicated to their jobs). Women also have less access to informal networks and mentorship, where opportunities for advancement are often presented. 

Income gap 

Resource extraction industries like the oil and gas sector are among the greatest drivers of income inequality between men and women in Canada. The roles that women often occupy, in departments such as human resources, finance, and administration, are paid less than the technical and leadership roles men often occupy. These “feminized” jobs are under-valued, contributing to a big gap in pay between men and women in energy. There is also evidence that women are compensated less even when they occupy similar roles to men in the industry. 

Industry culture 

The fossil-fuels based energy industry in Canada was built during an era of a masculine, “frontier” culture that still persists today. Women, and especially Indigenous women, are more likely to be harassed and experience violence in the energy industry. There is evidence that these workplace cultures are spilling over not only into the communities around remote worksites, but also into the renewable energy industry as workers (and therefore norms) transition over from the fossil fuels industry.