According to the dictionary – the word “empowered” means - to promote self-actualization, to influence and to inspire.
There is no doubt in my mind that Ontario Power Generation’s initiative EmPOWERed Women is doing exactly what the dictionary identifies.
I was fortunate to be a keynote speaker at the graduation for women at OPG who were divided into 5 groups identified as Alpha, Beta, Delta, Charlie and Echo. While it might sound like “pilot” talk – and these women were definitely flying high – it is how people in the energy world communicate.
OPG is the province’s publicly owned and largest electricity generator. The EmPOWERed Women program was founded in 2008 to help women across the company maximize their individual and organization potential. It is a leadership development and mentoring program, that really works, and that is speaking from my personal experience at the graduation!
EmPOWERed Women was created to demonstrate a commitment to gender diversity and the advancement of women to encourage and prepare them for leadership.
4 key values are fulfilled within this program:
- Increased career opportunities
- Commitment to gender diversity and equality
- Heightened engagement among all women
- Leveraged leadership capabilities of women
The program is open to all female OPG employees and requires a ½ day commitment each month for 4 months. There are classes in leadership, networking, career development and mentoring. Participants graduate with increased poise, grace and confidence, both in their speech and in their demeanor.
For the graduation ceremony, all Managers of program participants as well as the President and CEO Tom Mitchell, attend.
I sat in the front row after delivering my speech and I listened as the Valedictorian for each group from Alpha to Echo shared their experience as a participant in EmPOWERed Women. They were inspiring, and will be a positive influence on all women within the OPG family.
CEO, Tom Mitchell encouraged all graduates to “Aim High, Diversity and Take Risks.’’ He set the stage by giving his support to the program, now, he stated, it was their turn to have the confidence to “take the stage” and share their experience.
Since OPG is owned by the province, it’s possible that the EmPOWERed Women program can be implemented in other corporations within the Ontario Government.
I was incredibly proud to be part of the celebration and to see and hear just how much each woman was emPOWERed. I offer my congratulations to all – it made me want to join the OPG family!