The Women in Nuclear community of Canada came together last week for its 16th Annual National Conference at Port Elgin, Ontario, not far from the Bruce A and B nuclear power plants. I was glad to be there to support WiN Canada’s diversity and inclusion mission and to continue building relationships in Canada, where Thomas Thor established an office in August 2018.
There is a big sense of community in the nuclear industry, which is something I wanted to highlight when addressing the theme of the conference, ‘Why I love nuclear’, at the start of my Ted Talk. A community is made up of individuals and I love how the supportive attitude of people of the nuclear industry has made it a welcoming and healthy place to work. It means that people are supportive towards each other’s goals, personal growth and progression in their careers and keeping the world SAFE. For Thomas Thor that means they make a lot of great referrals and personal recommendations, which are among the main ways we find the right people for the right jobs.
The main topic of my talk was what the nuclear industry can learn from other male-dominated sectors regarding diversity and inclusion, and in particular the inclusion of women.
The first goal is to attract more women to the industry. This means targeted actions around schools and colleges to generate more interest in STEM subjects and to develop role models in that area. The second objective is to create a working environment to retain the women that enter the industry or are already there. Everybody is different, but in general women need a clear plan for career progression, support via internal networking and organisations such as WiN, and a positive work-life balance. I feel passionate about influencing employers, hiring managers and HR directors to make strong changes in the right direction.
I’m proud to have been involved with Women in Nuclear since 2012 when I joined the industry in France. My involvement continued while I worked in the UK, where I was a team manager for the South West region. Canada is the third country where I’ve become an active member of WiN and I’m glad to have the chance to do so.
WiN is focused on gender balance, which is one crucial part of the overall need for diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Everyone, no matter what their level, can make improvements to their mindset and other people’s so as to change practices in the workplace.