Women of ATCO Networking to Break Barriers
At ATCO, we strive to create a diverse and inclusive environment that values the contributions and perspectives of everyone. In support of inclusivity, the Employment Equity Advisory Committee (EEAC), an employee-led group focused on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), recently hosted a series of Speed Networking events in Calgary, Edmonton and online.
Jocelyn Venechuk, Communications Lead for the EEAC and Proposal Specialist at ATCO Frontec, brought the idea for a Women’s Speed Networking event to the EEAC after receiving suggestions through employee focus groups.
“Feedback indicated women wanted an opportunity to network and create relationships with other employees outside of their own circles, including leaders in the organization,” explains Venechuk.
“The ability to create meaningful connections can be a barrier within underrepresented groups (Indigenous, persons with disabilities, visible minorities, women, and LGBTQ2S+). By creating opportunities to network, the EEAC and ATCO are encouraging greater inclusion.”
CONNECTING WITH ATCO INFLUENCERS
And thus, the concept for the Women’s Speed Networking events was born. A professional twist on speed dating, the events supported women at ATCO by giving them the opportunity to connect with ATCO influencers - regardless of gender, from various levels and roles across the organization - including the Chair and CEO of ATCO, Nancy Southern.
“Having the Chair and CEO attend a DEI event speaks volumes,” says Kate Grant, EEAC’s Women’s Subcommittee Lead and Pricing & Financial Services Analyst at ATCO Frontec. Ms. Southern participated in the event as an influencer, and for Grant, who is passionate about DEI, this was the best-case scenario.
“When I took on the Subcommittee Lead role this year, I wanted to make an impact and host an event that could make a difference,” says Grant. “The Speed Networking event series was above and beyond my expectations, and I am very proud of our team.”
The networking kicked off in Calgary during Gender Equality Week and encouraged women to find their voice, advocate for themselves, and build professional networks across the company. With almost 60 participants in total, the vision came to life with a lot of hard work, planning, and coordination.
For Grant, this event would not have been possible without a great team of people behind the scenes. “We are lucky to have a solid group of volunteers that put in a lot of work outside of their regular job duties to help make these events successful.”
Following on the great success of these events, the EEAC is looking forward to expanding into a larger, organization wide initiative.
About the EEAC
The Employment Equity Advisory Committee (EEAC) is an employee-led group, that recognizes people feel their best – and perform their best – when they’re empowered to bring their whole selves to work. That’s why the EEAC is committed to being the “voice” of all employees, advocating for a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace.