Nexant Expert Leila Sepahi is a Co-Founder and Contributor of StepUp

Apr 29, 2021

There has been a lot of talk about gender equality, inclusion, and diversity in the last few years---both in society in general, and within industries and organizations. It is an ongoing challenge in many industries, and energy is no different. The energy industry has been improving, but is still challenged in the areas of diversity. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), women’s participation in the energy sector is below that of the broader economy. To assist Canadian energy organizations with the limited representation of women within the industry, Nexant’s Leila Sepahi and 6 other professionals took it upon themselves to create and inspire positive change and founded StepUp

Leila Sepahi is a Consultant, PMP, CMVP, CEM, who works in Nexant’s Toronto office. Leila currently serves on the StepUp Board along with nine other professionals, all working hard to advance gender equity and ensure fair treatment and opportunity across Canada. StepUp is a volunteer run non-profit organization established in October of 2019. According to Leila, “StepUp's vision is advancing gender equality, inclusion, and diversity in Canada's energy management sector. Our mission is to assist organizations involved in energy management to better attract, retain, and advance mid-career women to C-suite and Board positions.” 

StepUp organizes events to promote discussion, learning, best practices, and knowledge sharing on issues of diversity and inclusion. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed---StepUp has gained a lot of attention within the industry in a very short time period  with active participation by leaders from across the energy industry in Canada. Currently they are partnering with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) and Ontario Energy Association (OEA) on the delivery of sessions that will talk about strategies to create a more diverse and inclusive energy sector in Ontario.

Sushma Narisetty (Operations Director at Toronto Hydro, Board Member for Volunteer Toronto) praised her experience with StepUp: “The coaching and feedback received from StepUp Board members provided me with invaluable access to resources such as the ACE Board training and gave me the confidence to apply for and land my first Board position.”

We are proud of the initiative that Leila, her co-founders, and co-board members have taken to address these issues within the energy industry and we wish them continued success in their endeavors. Find out more by visiting their website or following them on LinkedIn.

Read our Leaders' Statements on Social Justice:

Nexant has made a firm commitment to address diversity in every aspect of our business operations. You can read more about our declaration of diversity at Nexant here.