Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2023):
Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 23, 2023)
Here are some of the reasons why Bruce Power LP was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2023):
- Bruce Power offers several student programs that provide young people with real work experience in various parts of the organization -- this includes an intern program (managed as part of an overarching Indigenous employment program) that provides a paid placement for up to two years, focusing on preparing young professionals for a permanent role within the organization
- Students at Bruce Power are invited to attend a mentoring session, sponsored by the Bruce chapter of North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NA-YGN), which focuses on highlighting careers and experiences of senior leaders across the organization -- attendees get two-on-one access to three different mentors through the event
- Bruce Power also offers internships specifically for Ontario Tech students who identify as women through the Women in Nuclear Engineering internship program, which consists of four-month internships over three consecutive summers and includes pairing with a local Women in Nuclear mentor
Opportunity knocks on many doors at Bruce Power
Jason Ng’s career at Kincardine, Ont.-based Bruce Power began when company representatives hosted an open house at Western University in London, Ont., where he was studying mechanical engineering and physics and doing research in nuclear materials. He soon enrolled in a 16-month internship, and has never looked back.
“I really enjoyed my time as a student there, I felt really engaged,” he says. “I got to see how diverse the work culture at Bruce is, and how many different sections there are. There are a lot of projects going on, and tons of room to move around and explore different roles.”
When Ng returned to Bruce Power – Canada’s only private-sector nuclear generator – as a full-time engineer, he had the opportunity to try out some of those roles.
“I got to switch between reactor design engineering and rapid response engineering, and always felt supported by the section and the manager,” he says. “We’d have performance reviews every six months and talk about our goals and our career and personal development. I was able to find out who I was as a leader and develop my leadership and teamwork skills.”
Ng also got involved with the Bruce chapter of a group called North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NAYGN), and tapped those leadership skills to join its board and eventually become its president.
“Our main focus is professional development, so we host lunch and learn events, day-in-the-life events where members shadow an executive for a day, and community outreach activities like food bank drives,” he says. “We engage anyone who’s young and new to nuclear to get them integrated into the community here.”
Cathy Sprague, who has been executive vice-president of human resources for 11 years, is proud of Bruce Power’s efforts to find, engage and train its young employees.
“We recruit through the schools in Ontario and across the country,” she says. “It’s an opportunity to go out and get the brightest and the best, which we do.”
The company offers high school and university co-op programs as well as internships. “Some will stay four months, some eight, some 12, and we try to bring as many as possible back as employees once they graduate,” Sprague says.
Employees can explore various opportunities through the company’s rotation programs. “We’ll take a person and put them in different roles over 12 or 24 months,” she says, “so they’re getting some wonderful experience in other parts of the business that they may not otherwise have got.”
Permanent employees go through extensive training programs at an on-site training centre. “We hire nuclear operators in training who work while they go through a significant amount of training over several years,” Sprague says. “We invest in them so they’re highly trained. We’re hiring the future talent that will be here potentially for the next 20 or 30 years.”
Sprague emphasizes the wide range of options available to Bruce employees. “People can come here very early in their careers and have their whole career here, whether they want to work in operations, projects, or one of our support functions,” she says. “It's a dynamic place with all kinds of opportunities.”
Recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2023):
By Kristina Leung and Stephanie Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Mar 6, 2023)
Here are some of the reasons why Bruce Power LP was selected as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2023):
- Bruce Power's Indigenous Network has multiple focus areas, including planning company and community events to increase Indigenous awareness, acting as advocates within local Indigenous communities and volunteering in support of those local communities
- Through a dedicated Indigenous Employment Program, Bruce Power aims to increase Indigenous employee presence at the organization and within supplier, contractor and union workforces -- Bruce Power also created an Indigenous Career Launch program, which provides sponsored tuition and paid work placements, supporting 19 students through this program so far
- Bruce Power develops diverse pipelines of talent through an integrated process in its talent management review programs, which ensures underrepresented groups are reviewed for development and promotional opportunities -- additionally, the leadership development program has set (and exceeded) diversity goals for all nominated training programs to ensure that participants include underrepresented employees
Bruce Power promotes diversity inside and out
It's one thing to achieve diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) goals in a large multicultural city, and quite another in a small town. But recognizing the many business benefits of DEI has led Bruce Power to step up its efforts to attract and retain a more diverse workforce for its nuclear power generation facility in Kincardine, Ont.
The organization provides DEI training for all its leaders and staff, encourages women at engineering schools to consider the nuclear sector, maintains employee support groups and committees for diverse populations and sponsors cultural events in the surrounding communities to make sure staff feel welcome outside the facility as well as inside it.
Aiman Khan started as a project manager four years ago, managing engineering contracts, and has since worked her way up to senior program manager in Major Projects, leading a team that’s refurbishing six of the plant’s eight units. She’s also working toward her executive MBA at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“I’ve gone to my leaders about opportunities many times, and I’ve always been supported,” she says. “They’re very much behind ensuring we have gender parity and investing in DEI initiatives, and the results are evident. Ten years ago you could count how many women of colour worked here, but no longer.”
Those opportunities are not just at the entry level, but in leadership roles, she says. “More and more I’m seeing women take on roles traditionally held by men, which is changing how we operate as a company because it’s giving us so many different perspectives. And we’re not looking at diversity from just a race or gender perspective – it’s also different mindsets.”
Khan also serves on the board of Women in Nuclear Canada and as a member of a women’s forum at Bruce whose leadership sponsor is actually male. “It’s interesting, because opening his eyes to what matters to the female workforce is moving mountains, and getting us the allyship we needed,” she says.
Jordan Marshall, who is plant manager at Bruce A, one of two four-unit plants at the site, also values the different perspectives a diverse workforce provides.
“DEI training is teaching us to value individual talents and skills, and recognize that everybody brings something unique to the table,” he says. “Recently we had a transgender awareness session with one of our employees who spoke to the staff about some of the challenges they face. We’re making their work station more friendly, changing washrooms to unisex – doing small things to raise awareness.”
But it’s about more than making employees feel comfortable, he says. “Diversity of approach and mindset are critical to keeping the plant operating safely, so there’s a lot to be gained by having different points of view building the way we make decisions.”
Marshall is also the leadership sponsor for the organization’s outward-facing DEI committee.
“We look at how we can promote and improve the local community to attract people,” he says. “Because it’s not just a matter of hiring diverse people – if they don’t feel wanted, either at work or in the community, they won’t stay. It’s been a focus for us, and we’re reaping the benefits.”