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Bruce Power employees of the business development team reviewing a project plan at its head office.Provided

When Weina Chong returned to Bruce Power from her second maternity leave after having twins, she approached leaders in the company to discuss how she could pursue a different role within the organization.

“I talked to them and we established a strategy to help me get into a new role. I really appreciated that opportunity. I feel like they recognize me for my hard work and not the mental burden my family situation might bring,” says Chong, director of business development, next gen, who has three children. “I am really grateful to the company for giving me new leadership opportunities that helped me in developing my career.”

Chong is also on the lead team of the Women’s Forum, one of Bruce Power’s employee resource groups, which also include the Indigenous Alliance and the Gender and Sexuality Alliance. The forum has advocated for initiatives within the company and regularly meets with leaders to discuss issues and ideas. One challenge the forum identified for women is finding local child care. They wanted to help ease this impediment to women working in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

To work toward this, the forum created an internal portal where employees can share and search for child-care opportunities. Bruce Power also provided $65,000 in scholarships to 13 students studying early childhood education at two local colleges, with the goal of creating more child-care spaces in the future, and has announced it will continue this into 2024 with additional scholarships.

“I am really appreciative to have a company that enables women to excel in the industry and that listens to us,” Chong says. “It helps confirm my loyalty to the company. I have been here 14 years, and I’ve benefited greatly from a number of supportive programs and initiatives that it has provided.”

The Women’s Forum also plans events, such as a celebration for International Women’s Day and white ribbon sales to raise awareness regarding prevention of violence against women.

Karen Smith, vice-president and chief human resources officer, is proud of how far Bruce Power has come on its diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) journey, while acknowledging it is a continuous one. A key piece is building for the future, which includes partnering with schools and organizations, such as Ontario Tech University, Skills Ontario and Build a Dream, to build awareness of STEM opportunities with a focus on increasing diversity within engineering and trades. Steps like guaranteeing co-op opportunities for women in nuclear engineering are making an impact.

“It has shown great results for us and it is great for students,” Smith says. “When you register for the Women in Nuclear Engineering program at Ontario Tech, you know you have an opportunity for co-op with Bruce Power to build the skills for your future. So it is about shifting the dynamic and shifting the composition. These are the steps we need to take to build a diverse pipeline.”

Chong agrees that Bruce Power’s diversity and inclusion efforts are having an impact. “It makes employees want to be committed and want to put in effort to help the company succeed,” she says. “It creates good team morale too. For example, we have almost 100 women on the Women’s Forum and it is wonderful to have an environment where we can connect and rely on each other and also give back to the company.

“It’s good for the company too,” adds Chong. “Having diversity ensures we come up with innovative ideas and are more productive.”

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Advertising feature produced by Canada’s Top 100 Employers, a division of Mediacorp Canada Inc. The Globe and Mail’s editorial department was not involved.

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