Putting people, equity and inclusion at the centre of climate action

Pembina Institute Thought Leaders’ Forum

At the Pembina Institute, we acknowledge that the changes required to reach net-zero by 2050 can also be a powerful opportunity to address systemic exclusion of equity-seeking groups, such as women and gender-diverse people.

On March 22, 2023, the Pembina Institute hosted Putting people, equity and inclusion at the centre of climate action, the second Women in Energy Transition Thought Leaders’ Forum in Calgary, Alberta. This full-day workshop built upon a forum in September 2022, which focused on recommendations published in a recent Pembina Institute report to advance an equitable net-zero transition.

At this forum, participants were asked to dive more deeply into two recommendations:

  1. Supporting intersectional gender-diverse leadership, including mentorship, sponsorship or funding opportunities that support that goal. 
  2. Creating flexible and safe workplaces that are both physically safe but also psychologically and culturally safe.

The Pembina Institute welcomed experts from the province’s environmental, social and governance sectors, including representatives from major oil and gas corporations, government, gender equity and clean energy advocates. The format for the day included speaker sessions combined with small group discussions to highlight emerging trends for equity and clean energy in Canada. This document provides a summary of the speaker sessions and discussions, including direct feedback from attendees and considerations for future development.

Women in Alberta's Energy Transition: A review of barriers to participation and leadershipIn this report, we have summarized the plenary sessions and annotated the direct feedback we received from our participants. We recognize Pembina Institute’s position as one voice in a sea of many. We have utilized this event and the knowledge incurred from past engagements to summarize and identify specific opportunities for growth. We found that barriers to a thriving energy economy are linked to the inclusion of women at every stage of their career in the energy industry. Further, the effects of these barriers are often compounded and tend to discourage women and gender-diverse individuals from entering or staying in their existing positions — ultimately affecting the health and vitality of Alberta’s economy.