The Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) is a leader in the conversation about gender equality in the electricity sector. As a way to continuously re-emphasize our commitment to NRCan’s Equal by 30 campaign, and to shedding a light on the importance of inspiring and educating other women in this sector, we have produced a short series of conversations with CEA’s Women in Leadership.
Janice Garcia, Corporate Secretary and Director of Membership and Sustainability at CEA, talked to us about what it means to be a woman in the electricity sector, the opportunities it presents and the importance of mentorship. Working in the electricity sector for 15 years, Janice offers a unique perspective on this topic.
- What initially drew you to the electricity sector?
I’ve been working in the electricity sector for almost 15 years now. I started my career working at BC Hydro—which happens to be a long-term CEA member—in an Indigenous Relations and Negotiations role. I was always aware of BC Hydro’s reputation as a top employer in the Province. The time I spent working at this company was incredibly rewarding and I learned a tremendous amount of lessons from the people on my team and from the Indigenous leaders we consulted with, about the electricity sector, the way it operates, the opportunities and the challenges it presents.
- What is the greatest opportunity that exist for women in this sector?
This sector offers a tremendous opportunity for women in many paths such as EITs, power workers, skilled trades and executive management roles. The industry as a whole is continuously focusing on providing workplaces that represent the diversity of the communities they operate in and serve.
- What has been the most rewarding aspect about working in the sector?
Some of the most rewarding aspects of my experience in this sector would be the relationships I have built, the diverse opportunities available to contribute to strategic discussions, to voice my opinion and provide my input, all within the common good of Canadians. For instance, witnessing the way that many industry initiatives and projects can transform Indigenous communities through training and development has been exceedingly inspiring.
- What is something young women should look for in a mentor?
I strongly believe in the power of mentorship and that every young person should seek a mentor. A mentor should be someone who takes the time to get to know and understand you, someone who is honest, trustworthy and can help you see the best in yourself. It’s also crucial that your chosen mentor understands your personal and professional goals and help you establish a plan to achieve them. Most people would be extremely flattered if asked to be a mentor, so if you have someone in mind, I would strongly encourage you to approach them.