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EFC takes pride in supporting and recognizing March 8 as International Women’s Day.

Envision a world where gender equality thrives. A world devoid of prejudice, stereotypes, and unfair treatment. A world that embraces diversity, fairness, and inclusivity. A world where the unique qualities of individuals are cherished and honoured. Together, we can spearhead the movement for women’s equal rights. Collectively, we have the power to inspire and foster inclusion.

In this spirit, we asked members to share their stories, events, and initiatives around diversity, equity, and inclusion and how their organization supports and encourages inclusion in the workplace. We are proud to share the stories of some of these inspiring women leaders.

Let us celebrate the accomplishments of women. Let us raise awareness about the presence of discrimination. Let us take decisive action to drive gender parity.

International Women’s Day belongs to everyone, regardless of location. Inclusion means that all efforts made on this day are meaningful and important.

Let’s #InspireInclusion, together.


When women aren’t present, we must ask: “If not, why not?”

When women are discriminated against, we must call out poor practice.

When the treatment of women is not equitable, we must take action.

And we must do this each time, every time.

Industry Stories


Submitted by Simon Leger, Rittal

Being in the industrial electric field, women are usually a rarity. This said, our Eastern Sales Team is mainly made up of women. Our inside sales team is comprised of four women: Chantal Paquette, Christina Maniatis, Gabriela Escobar Gorriti, and Tannaz Janatian, who are all incredible at their roles in their own specific ways! Our outside sales force is made up of Rob and and myself, but more importantly, Lynda Thibault and Anastasia Vassios, who both take care of some of the largest customers in Canada.

All this is done under the direction of our Eastern Sales Director, a woman named Ashley Peluso. I think the success, respect and support this team has garnered through the years really shows that women have their place in this field.


Submitted by Hiba Farrukh, Schneider Electric

At Schneider Electric, inclusion isn’t just a buzzword, it’s a fundamental value that drives our actions. As the first female production supervisor, I am proud to be a part of a company that actively promotes diversity, inclusion, and equality at workplace.

Since the inception of my career journey with Schneider Electric, I have experienced a culture that embraces differences and motivates everyone to bring different perspectives to the table. As a female production supervisor, I strive to lead by example,  breaking down barriers and inspiring other women to pursue leadership roles in traditionally male-dominated industries. By championship inclusion at every level, Schneider Electric not only creates a vibrant and innovative work environment but also sets the standard for equality in industry. Together, we are building an impactful future where everyone feels valued, empowered, and included.


Submitted by Yasotha Anandarajah, MyWAVE Lead*, Eaton Canada

This year for International Women’s Day we are taking on a few local initiatives:

  1. We are hosting a watch party with a light breakfast to accompany a keynote speaker’s talk. This year’s speaker will be Manuela Nicolosi who is an international sports referee who has been a part of many major competitions including the Men’s 2019 SuperCup Final in Istanbul. Having worked in a sport traditionally dominated by men, Manuela Nicolosi has overcome adversity, challenged the norm and we trust that she will have several stories to share that prove this fact.
  2. We also continue to conduct AllyCircles which are open roundtable discussions that are hosted throughout the year by several Eaton leaders to foster open communication and raise awareness toward barriers faced by women in the workplace as well as brainstorm how we can help support them as allies
  3. We will be creating a local video with employees sharing the various ways in which they hope to be able to inspire inclusion this IWD
  4. Additionally we are posting Women in Stem posters around the head office to raise awareness toward the numerous contributions made by women in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

*MyWAVE stands for Women Adding Value at Eaton


Submitted by Haly Baran, AD Canada

AD is proud to support the advancement and achievement of women and all genders, all year round. In our continued efforts to cultivate inclusive and diverse environments, the AD Women’s Community is pleased to hold quarterly webinars, open to members and suppliers within AD. With each session focusing on how to break down barriers and empower attendees to thrive within their professional and personal lives, the series aims to promote the success of all individuals through the lens of nurturing inclusivity, diversity, and equality. The series’ next session, featuring renowned executive coach and consultant, Julie Schuster, is set to occur on March 14. With a wealth of experience, Julie will share invaluable insights on how to communicate with influence, providing a unique opportunity for professional and personal development.

If you’re a part of the AD community and are interested in tuning into this engaging session, please reach out to


Submitted by Jessica Smith, WESCO

WESCO’s Women’s Impact Network (WIN) began their month-long celebration of IWD and Women’s History Month on Friday, March 1. The weekly events will include speakers, networking sessions, and courageous conversations as we look to celebrate women and their achievements at WESCO and raise awareness around women in the workplace.

Here is a glimpse of what is happening throughout the month of March:

  • March 1 – Kick off Women’s History Month with WIN
  • March 8 – Join WIN for our signature IWD event
  • March 15 – WIN virtual game show
  • March 22 – WIN and Mader Supply: Navigating Success in a Male-Dominated Industy
  • March 29 – Wrap up Women’s History Month with WIN
WESCO Quebec Region Women’s Day Group Photo

Submitted by Aditi Sen, Shawflex

In Shawflex, the essence of inclusion is not merely a concept but the cornerstone of our success. Our women workforce, with their diverse talents and perspectives, play an integral role across various facets of the organization. We recognize their contributions not just on one day but every day. We can proudly say that our women workforce is spread across all divisions of the organization. With their representation and continued contribution, be it in the leadership role or fostering individual contributions within their teams, they all go above and beyond.

In Sales, her empathy and intuition foster genuine connections with clients, steering transactions toward meaningful partnerships rather than mere exchanges. In Engineering, her innovation fuels technological advancements, breaking barriers and driving innovation forward. In Operations, she harnesses the power of technology to drive organizational efficiency and effectiveness with our ERP systems. In Accounting, her precision and attention to detail ensures financial integrity and transparency. In Production, Inventory & Logistics she brings her organizational prowess streamlining operations and optimizing supply chains for maximum efficiency. These are just some of the roles the women of Shawflex champion on a daily basis.

Each woman, irrespective of her designation, is a beacon of inspiration. Collectively, women’s contributions form the backbone of Shawflex, creating an environment where diversity is not just celebrated but embraced as a catalyst for innovation and growth. As our women workforce continues to excel across these varied roles, they inspire inclusion and set a powerful example for all manufacturing organizations, shaping a workplace where all voices are heard and valued.


Submitted by Natalia Storr, Graybar Canada

For several years running, Graybar Canada has been dedicated to fostering an inclusive workplace where the strength, talent, and diversity of our workforce are celebrated every day.

Our International Women’s Day celebrations at Graybar Canada have included various initiatives aimed at highlighting women’s contributions. We’ve invited women to share their stories, spotlight their achievements, promote gender diversity, collaborated with the EFC network on inclusion, and participate in women’s networks for knowledge and support. The International Women’s Day activities have spanned several years, each one motivated by a desire to give our amazing women the spotlight they deserve. By sharing their stories and experiences, we’ve created opportunities for others to relate, learn, and celebrate the achievements of their valued coworkers. Together, we’re building a more inclusive and equitable workplace where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.


Submitted by Tim Fisher and Christina Peikert, ABB

Jennifer’s Story

Jennifer Almeida’s love affair with manufacturing started when she was just a kid, tinkering with gearboxes after school at her mom’s workplace. Her mom, a real trailblazer in the industry, taught her everything she knows and sparked her passion for making things work.

But Jennifer wasn’t content with just sticking to the status quo. She wanted to dive into sales, a world mostly dominated by men. Her boss wasn’t exactly thrilled, warning her there’d be no safety net if she failed. But Jennifer wasn’t about to let that stop her. She dove in headfirst, determined to prove herself, and kick-started a powerful career in manufacturing, distribution and robotics. She is particularly passionate about robotics because of the powerful impact it can have on the world.

When the pandemic hit, Jennifer took a step back from an established career and realized she needed a change. She wanted a workplace whose culture was built on respecting, valuing and supporting its employees. That’s when she found ABB.

“At ABB, I finally felt like people saw me for me,” Jennifer says with a smile. “They didn’t care about my gender; they cared about what I had to say.” It was the first place where she felt free to be herself, without worrying about toning down her personality or style.

A huge advocate for women believing in themselves, Jennifer’s advice is to stay true to yourself and not be afraid to respectfully push boundaries. And find yourself some mentors – of both genders – who you can really connect with, ones who’ll have your back no matter what.

Leila’s Story

Driven by a fervent desire for a world where women stand shoulder to shoulder with men, Leila embarked alone on a transformative journey from her home country of Iran to Canada. Her quest was not just for equality, but for a society that cherishes the inherent worth and unique contributions of every individual, regardless of gender. In her eyes, gender equality is not about conformity, but about embracing the richness of diversity and the profound value that women bring to every sphere of life.

Through perseverance and dedication, she pursued her education, earning her engineering Master’s degree as a testament to her commitment to personal and professional growth.

Joining ABB 16 years ago marked a new chapter in Leila’s story, where the company’s commitment to social impact aligned with her own sense of purpose. Immersing herself in sales, product management, and marketing, she became a global traveler, blending her technical proficiency with a passion for customer-centric solutions. As she navigated through rooms where she often found herself as the sole woman, Leila didn’t see these distinctions as barriers but as stepping stones to personal growth and empowerment.

This journey of exploration and cultural immersion served as a catalyst for Leila’s personal growth and transformation, shaping her into the inspirational leader she is today.

Leila’s message is a soul-stirring call to action, urging us all to embrace our voices, stand tall in our authenticity, and harness our collective power to create a world where diversity thrives, and every individual is celebrated for who they are.

Odira’s Story

Odira Ofordueme embodies a fearless spirit, always ready to seize an opportunity.

Despite having to relinquish her childhood dream of becoming a doctor in Nigeria, Odira pivoted and jumped on a scholarship opportunity to study electronic engineering in India. This marked the beginning of a trajectory where she consistently distinguished herself – earning scholarships at prestigious institutions and securing a coveted position in ABB’s Discovery Program.

As she approaches the culmination of her tenure in the program, Odira is enthusiastic about charting her career within the company she regards highly for its culture of valuing and empowering its employees. From day one, she has been impressed by the respect accorded to her and the attentive ear given to her voice.

Odira encourages others to trust in their abilities, advocate for themselves, and seek out mentors. She firmly believes in pushing beyond one’s comfort zone, emphasizing that growth and progress lie outside familiar territories. She reminds everyone of their uniqueness and importance, urging them not to let fear hinder their pursuit of advancement. “If you don’t push yourself, you will remain where you are,” she says.

Ysimer’s Story

For Ysimer Gonzalez, every day presents an opportunity.

Whether it be taking on a new challenge, improving processes or inspiring her 2 daughters to reach further, Ysimer is energized by making things better. Keen to follow in her father’s engineering footsteps, she was drawn to the versatility of industrial engineering. Having earned her degree in the Dominic Republic, where 60-70% of her cohort were male, she applied her knowledge and skills to a variety of industries such as Telecommunications, Aerospace and other areas of Manufacturing before coming to ABB.

Having built a strong career, it wasn’t until she joined ABB where she truly felt that her gender was not an issue. “Within weeks of joining the company, I found out I was pregnant,” she recalls with a smile. Much to her pleasant surprise, her manager did not bat an eyelash, entrusting her with a meaty project to accomplish before she went off on maternity leave, and then welcoming her back with a new challenge upon her return.

Ysimer’s biggest piece of advice is to find a way to have an impact. “In some cases, it means speaking up; in others, it is about finding other ways to get your point across. Either way, it is about ensuring your voice is heard.”


Submitted by Sabrina Pinard, Westburne Quebec

On the Westburne Quebec side, we will issue a newsletter with testimony from women at Westburne on these topics:

  1. How does Westburne’s efforts stand out from others in supporting women in the electrical field?

  2. Who is the woman who inspired you the most in your life and why?

  3. What is the most prominent/significant lesson or quality you have gained as a woman? For example, a lesson in resilience or leadership.

We will also make a video with the collected answers that we will share on our social networks.


Submitted by the Electro-Federation Canada team

Missing from photo: Gurvinder Chopra, Lorance De Carvahlo, Ekaterina Lutovinova, Dennis Potharst

Upcoming Industry Women’s Network Events

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.

IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.

For more information on IWD, visit:

#IWD2024 #InspireInclusion