Mediaplanet: Why is it such an exciting time for young women to consider a future in engineering?

Jane D. Allen: I always say that with great change comes great opportunity and right now the energy industry is changing dramatically. We’re experiencing the next generation of energy as we see huge developments in clean technology, renewable energy, and sustainability. With an increase in the numbers of technical positions available, there hasn’t been a better time for women to break barriers and create a path for themselves in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

At Hydro One, we’re always looking for motivated and talented engineering professionals who are seeking to develop their skills. Women working in organizations like ours will undoubtedly have the opportunity to realize their leadership potential.

MP: What is Hydro One doing to actively encourage female students to consider careers in technology and engineering?

JA: Hydro One has partnered with a number of universities including Ryerson University, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, the University of Waterloo, and Western University on an initiative to encourage and increase enrolment of women in STEM. We also reach out to students at the high school and post-secondary levels to encourage them to pursue a career in engineering. One of the ways we do this is by providing mentorship and networking for young women across Ontario.

We also offer scholarships to 10 deserving female undergraduate students in engineering every year. Winners receive a financial award along with a paid student placement at Hydro One. We believe that investing in young talent is critical to closing the gender gap.

MP: Why is promoting gender equality such an important issue for Hydro One?

JA: When you have greater diversity, you have a better, more productive workplace. Women bring different perspectives and approaches to problem-solving. It doesn’t make good business sense to not take advantage of all the talent in an organization and that’s why we want to nurture, develop, and promote talented women. Our female engineering workforce is about twice the size of the industry norm, and we would like to attract and retain even more young women into an exciting, dynamic, and rewarding career at Hydro One.