Women Reclaiming Leadership Toolkit

Sector growth and increasing retirements, means ensuring that environmental organizations have a sustainable, diverse, and qualified pool of talent is crucial. This toolkit offers useful resources on how 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. 

There is a strong financial business case for increasing diversity along with numerous non-financial benefits for organizations that diversify their workforce including increased collaboration, greater innovation, higher employee engagement and increased productivity.

The Importance and Need for Diversity in the Workplace

Women reclaiming leadership

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


Engage with peers and mentors through this mentorship program

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

Explore new ways of thinking.Explore new ways of thinking.

Explore new ideas and new ways of thinking

women reclaiming leadership eco canada (1) (1)women reclaiming leadership eco canada (1) (1)

Opportunity to grow network


Improve communication and leadership skills

Practical advice.Practical advice.

Real-life and applicable Advice


Learn to give and receive constructive feedback

Share challenges and concerns with a confidane.Share challenges and concerns with a confidane.

Share challenges and concerns with a confidant

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 LeanIn.org


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

This project has been funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada