When I first started in the industry in the mid 80’s, not only were women underrepresented in the industry, in many areas such as the trades, operational roles, senior leadership and on company boards, women were not represented at all! Even in some of the industry associations and clubs, women were often explicitly excluded from participating.
While there has been significant improvement since I started in the industry, even with more women in leadership, trades and business, women are still underrepresented. The energy industry remains a challenging environment, and many women continue to have stories of inappropriate remarks, harassment and career limitations. Some of these situations I have heard of and have had to deal with directly, so I can assure you that our own company is not immune from these issues.
It is a disappointing reality that we do not live in a world where girls have access to the same opportunities as boys, and where women have the same paths to success as men. We are yet to reach a point where women feel welcome and able to thrive in every setting, whether it’s a work site or a boardroom.
This awareness drives our desire to be better at Suncor. We’re on a journey to make sure the percentage of women in our organization reflects the available workforce in our communities. We are committed to providing more leadership opportunities for women in our organization, with women currently filling 35% of management positions and making up 36% of our board. And we partner with organizations that are working to include more women in the energy industry, providing girls with STEM education opportunities and helping unemployed and underemployed women get training and jobs in the trades.
Women bring so much value to the workplace. I am very thankful to the women in every part of Suncor, whose expertise and contributions shape our success and evolution. I am encouraged by and support the employee networks that women have built to care for each other and promote ongoing education around the issues they face. As our values state, we are Stronger Together!
This International Women’s Day, our commitment at Suncor is to choose to challenge ideas, stereotypes, norms and behaviours that limit women and prevent them from achieving their full potential. We will continue to play our part in the global effort to push culture and society forward for the women of today and for future generations.
President & CEO