Gender and Energy Efficiency

We must make energy efficiency workplaces inclusive, create opportunities, and expand the promotion of women in energy efficiency, so that others can see role models, encouraging more women to join.

Natalie Irwin

Director of Stakeholder Engagement at Efficiency Canada

At Efficiency Canada, we have made a number of commitments to advance gender parity in the energy efficiency sector.

But, there is much more to be done.

While the energy efficiency sector was projected to grow by 8.3% this year, it is generally less diverse than the national workforce: just under one-fifth or 18% of workers were reported to be female.

ECO Canada’s 2019 ‘Energy Efficiency Employment in Canada’  report

Our challenge to the sector

Learn about women across Canada rocking energy efficiency careers





Meet the women driving energy efficiency
policy change at Efficiency Canada

Natalie Irwin

Director of Stakeholder Engagement

Natalie Irwin is Director of Stakeholder Engagement at Efficiency Canada. Prior to joining us, Natalie managed the successful trade-ally program for EfficiencyOne, the franchise holder that operates Efficiency Nova Scotia for the province. As a Professional Business Relationship Manager®, her role encompasses stakeholder engagement with North American energy efficiency organizations, partners, and associations.

Natalie is also active volunteer and in 2019 was awarded the national Chapter Volunteer Leadership Award from the Atlantic Chapter, Canada Green Building Council and in 2016 received the Best Super-Connector Award by Halifax Partnership for her work with their Connector Program.

Natalie is currently completing an MA, Sustainable Energy Policy part-time at Carleton University and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Acadia University.

Madeleine Chauvin

Policy Intern

Madeleine is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Resource and Environmental Management (MREM) at Dalhousie University. She has previously completed a Bachelor’s degree at the University of Guelph in International Development, with an emphasis on human environment and development.

She has professional experience developing and maintaining sustainability initiatives on her university campus, working in provincial parks, and most recently, working with an agri-food consulting firm, focusing on local food systems and their sustainability. She is very interested in climate change policy development and implementation, particularly in sustainable energy transitions, as well as investigating the challenges and opportunities for a
sustainable agri-food sector in Canada.

Madeleine has a very interdisciplinary background, which allows her to understand and synthesize a variety of perspectives when researching and writing. She is especially interested in examining the social dimensions of environmental issues and likes to focus on educating people and companies about the changes they can make. In her spare time, Madeleine loves to read, to go for long walks with her dog, and to go camping and canoeing all over Ontario.

Lynsey Grosfield

Communications and Media Lead

Lynsey Grosfield is the Communications and Media Lead at Efficiency Canada. A Canadian Merit (Loran) Scholar, she graduated from McGill University in Montreal with a degree in Anthropology and Social Studies of Science, and is currently completing her dissertation for a Master’s in Science Communication and Public Engagement at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. 

Previously, she worked at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in Bogor, Indonesia, the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, and the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Montreal, Canada.

An avid gardener, orchardist, and landscaper, Lynsey has built two edible forest gardens and written for magazines such as Horticulture, American Gardener, Modern Farmer, Acres USA, Hobby Farms, and others. Don’t hike with her unless you want to know the Latin names of all your local trees.

She has one very good dog, and two very bad cats.

Ive Velikova

Communications Intern

Ive Velikova is the Communications Intern at Efficiency Canada. She graduated from McMaster University with a degree in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour. After years of studying the human brain, Ive dove into science communication. She shares science everywhere, from summer camps to bars to festivals across Toronto.

In addition to working as a freelance science communicator, Ive is currently wrapping up her Masters Candidate in Science Communication at Laurentian University. Her research looks at SciComm training opportunities for Canadian graduate students.

Ive an enthusiastic storyteller seeking to build trust and excitement for science. Through her “Science Sucks” podcast, she invites guests to discuss the ups and downs of scientific research and how it impacts our lives. As an enthusiastic public speaker, Ive has spoken at the Ontario Science Centre, Story Collider, Spark After Dark, and Science Is A Drag.

When she’s not gushing about science, you can find her hiking and spotting birds in parks across Northern Ontario. 


Kirsten Pulles

Community Organizer

Kirstin began her organizing career at the age of 18 when she traveled the United States for three months, living out of a van and advocating for North Korean human rights.

Since then, she has completed a bachelor’s degree in Global and International Studies at Carleton University, focusing in Global Development and Economics. During her studies, Kirstin completed four research projects on subjects at the nexus of economic growth, policy and sustainability.

With the World University Service of Canada she undertook a mapping project of gender lens investors, identifying entrepreneurial leaders. The following year, as lead researcher, she analysed and compared two free public transit advocacy campaigns in Canada. Through the Canada-India Centre for Excellence, Kirstin designed a gender-based program evaluation for an international women’s accelerator program. She also led a volunteer team to explore the Fairtrade market. 

Outside of work, Kirstin can usually be found on a bus somewhere! As a founding member of Free Transit Ottawa, she has spent four years building support for concrete policy changes at the municipal level. As the leader of the Transit Week Challenge, Kirstin got Ottawa’s city councillors on the bus with her for a week.

She is also an avid rock climber, concert-goer, world-traveler, coffee-drinker and outdoor enthusiast.

Equal by 30

Efficiency Canada’s commitments to being Equal by 30 are outlined in the following three goals:



Establish and internally identify, pay scales for all staff positions and levels.


Dialogue has begun and senior management has committed to move forward once options have been identified.



50% of leadership roles held by women.


In May 2018, there were two men in Director-level (senior management) positions. In September 2018, one woman was hired at the Director level (senior manager) and in April 2019, one woman was hired at the Lead level (manager). These new hires helped to achieve the desired 50/50 gender balance in management



Creation of policies to support flexible work hours, telecommuting, and working part-time.


Efficiency Canada has adopted a cloud-based coordination and management approach that operates across Canada. We also encourage and support a flexible work environment.

Carleton's Employment Equity Program

As a grant organization under Carleton University, we have adopted their Employment Equity Program, and as such we are dedicated to the elimination of discrimination and harassment; the removal of systemic barriers and the promotion of employment equity. The commitment is clearly articulated in the University’s Human Rights Policies and Procedures. Carleton University is a federal contractor and complies with the Federal Contractors Program, the purpose of which is “to achieve equality in the workplace” so that no person shall be denied employment opportunities or benefits for reasons unrelated to ability and, in the fulfillment of that goal, to correct the conditions of disadvantage in employment experienced by (the four designated groups) women, Aboriginal Peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities by giving effect to the principles that employment equity means more than treating persons in the same way but also required special measures and the accommodation of differences.

Leadership Accord on Gender Diversity

The Leadership Accord on Gender Diversity is a public commitment by Canadian employers, educators, unions and governments to promote gender diversity within their organizations. Developed and launched by Electricity Human Resources (EHRC) in 2017, the Accord proposes united action by employers, educators, unions and governments to:

  • expand the breadth and depth of the skilled workforce;
  • ensure that women are informed of the opportunities available in the sector of their choice;
  • and, once employed, are fully supported and provided with equal opportunities to grow and develop to their full potential.

It provides a real opportunity for all stakeholders to actively engage in building a workforce that is truly representative of Canada’s people.

Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE)

Efficiency Canada has signed an MoU with WiRE to advance opportunities for women in the energy efficiency sector.

WiRE’s mission is to advance the role and recognition of women working in the energy sector.  Inclusive of all renewable energy and clean technologies, programming includes capacity-building field trips, networking meet-ups, an awards recognition program, student bursaries, speed mentoring and more!

StepUp: Breakthrough in Energy Management

Efficiency Canada has an MoU with StepUp to advance opportunities for women working in management in the energy efficiency sector.

StepUp’s Vision is a breakthrough in Canadian energy management performance by putting gender equality at the heart of Canada’s transition to a low carbon economy.

StepUp’s Mission is to assist organizations involved in energy management to better attract, retain, and advance mid-career women to C-suite and Board positions.


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