By Anthony Capkun
March 13, 2013 – Hydro One announced a new partnership with Ryerson University, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, University of Waterloo and Western University to increase enrolment and career opportunities for female students pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
The Hydro One Women in Engineering University Partnership program will target and support young females by:
• Developing new outreach activities for elementary and high school girls to increase awareness and understanding of engineering as a preferred career option.
• Enhancing the success of women undergraduate students by providing support through mentoring and other networking opportunities with female engineers.
• Creating supportive networks and support for female engineering graduates as they transition into the workforce through co-op and internship opportunities and workforce preparation development.
According to Hydro One, just over 10% of all electrical engineers in Ontario are women. By leveraging the expertise of each of the partner universities and Hydro One, the goal is to increase the number of female engineering students and graduates over the next four years.
“Businesses thrive on a diversity of thought and perspective, and that’s why Hydro One is committed to investing in educating and training our future workforce,” said Carmine Marcello, president and CEO of Hydro One. “We are proud that 20% of our engineers are women—more than double the national average for companies our size—but we want to see that number increase.”
“On behalf of the four partner institutions, we are thrilled to be part of the Hydro One Women in Engineering University Partnership program,” said Pearl Sullivan, dean of the University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Engineering. “For the past decade, there has been a slight decline in the number of women interested in studying engineering. Through this new initiative, we’ll be able to reverse this trend by drawing on the strengths and experiences of all the partners to promote exciting and diverse opportunities in engineering.”
Hydro One says this $1.4-million investment is the second major partnership it has created with educational institutions in Ontario. In 2007, the Hydro One College Consortium was created in partnership with Algonquin, Georgian, Mohawk and Northern colleges. The funding provided for this program supports scholarships, curriculum development, co-op placements and equipment to educate the next generation of energy professionals. With up to 36% of Hydro One’s workforce eligible to retire in the next five years, promoting careers in the utility sector is an important initiative.
Hydro One owns and operates Ontario’s 29,000-km high-voltage transmission network that delivers electricity to large industrial customers and municipal utilities, and a 121,000-km low-voltage distribution system that serves about 1.3 million end-use customers and smaller municipal utilities in the province. It is wholly owned by the Province of Ontario.
PHOTO (left to right): Andrew Hrymak, Dean of Engineering, Western University; Dr. Mohamed Lachemi, Dean of Engineering & Architectural Science, Ryerson University; Dr. Tarlochan Sidhu, Dean of Engineering, University of Ontario Institute of Technology; Pearl Sullivan, University Partnership Representative & Dean of Engineering, University of Waterloo; Carmine Marcello, President & CEO, Hydro One.