Women Reclaiming Leadership

In light of the growing sector and increasing retirements, it is crucial that environmental organizations have a broad, diverse, and qualified talent pool. This toolkit offers resources to support diversity in your organization.


47% of the Canadian workforce are female yet only 36% are in management positions as of 2021.

Data on the demographic composition of workers in environmental careers show that women and immigrants are underrepresented compared to the overall Canadian labour force. This underrepresentation is much higher when considering industries such as mining and quarrying and construction.

With 30 per cent of the workforce expected to retire in the next 10 years, developing a pool of diverse and qualified talent is crucial for the sustainability of environmental careers. The increasing demand for environmental workers is compounding this labour shortage.

To cope with this demand, organizations must look to strengthen their ability to attract, recruit and retain workers through numerous initiatives including engaging and supporting diverse workforces. 

This toolkit looks to support organizations with useful resources and case studies highlighting the importance, and benefits, of a diverse workplace. 

The Importance of Diversity in the Workplace

Diversifying your workforce has strong financial and non-financial benefits, including increased collaboration and innovation, higher employee engagement, and increased productivity.

learn more

Toward a Business Case for Inclusive and Diverse Environmental Workplaces

Learn more about the need for a diverse workforce and the benefits for organizations of diversifying their business.  

Promising Practices Organizations are Implementing

Suncor & Catalyst’s MARC Program: Male Allies in Advancing DEI

Ontario Power Generation and Indigenous Opportunities Network

SAP and Maturn: Helping Moms Thrive at Work

Nature Canada: Empowering Women through Mentorship

Webinars and Online Tools to Support Diversity in Your Workplace

Online courses are a great way to learn about diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Courses cover a wide range of topics from understanding bias to cultural competence in the workplace, and are available through multiple online organizations including:

Free Online Courses from Catalyst

Catalyst is the leading nonprofit organization with a mission to accelerate progress for women through workplace inclusion. Several free training courses can be accessed through their website.

LinkedIn Learning 

LinkedIn Learning offers thousands of courses, with many focused on increasing diversity in the workplace. There is a free one-month trial subscription, or it can be accessed for free through most public libraries in Canada.


Coursera is an online training website that offers several free online courses related to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

A list of various diversity-focused research papers and reports.

Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+). Government of Canada.

The Power of Parity: Advancing Gender Equality in Canada. (2017). McKinsey Global Institute. 

Key Insights on Diversity and Inclusion. (2020). HRPA and Diversio Report.

How employers can advance equality and diversity. (2019). Report from the Symposium on Women and the Workplace. Government of Canada.

When Gender Diversity Makes Firms More Productive. (2019). Harvard Business Review Research.

How to Identify – and Fix – Pay Inequality at Your Company. (2020) Harvard Business Review Research.

Diversity Wins. How Inclusion Matters. (2020). McKinsey and Company.

Promoting equity: Gender-neutral job evaluation for equal pay. A step-by-step guide. (2009). International Labour Organization. 

Women in the Workplace Study. (2020). McKinsey and


Mentorship Program

Engage with peers and mentors

The Mentorship program is designed for professionals in Environmental and Engineering sectors to connect and engage with peers and mentors on topics of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Through the Mentorship program, professionals will have the opportunity to make new connections, discuss barriers women and underrepresented professionals face to advance to leadership positions, and get support and guidance to overcome those barriers.

Mentorship Process:

  • Mentorship Session duration 6 months: 1 session per month. 6 sessions total per year
  • Matching criteria: Speciality, location, personal traits, goals

Benefits of the Mentorship Program

Benefits of the Mentorship Program

Want to be a Mentor or Mentee? Sign Up Now!

Meet the Advisory Committee

Olivier Joyal​

Olivier Joyal is the Executive Vice President, Strategy...

Rhonda Smith

Rhonda Smith is Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer (COO)...

Alison Proctor

Alison is a Mechanical Engineer with internationally recognized...


Maureen Reed is a distinguished professor and shares a UNESCO Chair...

Stephanie Hurlburt

Stephanie Hurlburt is a proud Sapotaweyak (sap-o-ta-wey-ak) Cree Nation...

Jocelyn Peltier-Huntley

Jocelyn Peltier-Huntley is an experienced facilitator, EDI researcher, public speaker...

Sandro Perruzza

Sandro Perruzza is the Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Society of...

Watch Our DEI Webinar

This project has been funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada

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