Women in Construction

Virtual Event
Women in Construction 2024
March 7, 2024 at 1:00pm ET

Session #2: Affinity groups

Moderator: Anthony Capkun, Editor-Publisher, Electrical Business Magazine

  • Joanna Osawe, President & CEO, Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE)
  • Michelle Branigan, CEO, Electricity Human Resources Canada
  • Nirav Patel, Head of Human Resources & Employee Communications, Atura Power
  • Rakhi Voria, Vice-President, Global Sales, Procore Technologies
Attend this session to learn about starting—and sustaining—a Women’s Group at your workplace.

Joanna Osawe
Joanna Osawe is the Sr. Business Development Manager at Burns & McDonnell and the President & CEO of WiRE – Women in Renewable Energy. Joanna attended Western University studying Languages, graduating with an Honours BA. Joanna has used her language skills in a focused, 15+ year management career at leading renewable and energy sector companies in Canada and the United States. By carrying complex projects through many stages she has seen firsthand the vital role renewable energy and emerging technologies serve in moving the Canadian, American and global energy mix

Joanna has been appointed to the Federal Sustainable Development Advisory Council, led by Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault. She looks forward to continuing to engage and contribute to the Council’s success. The Council is made up of the Canadian public that represent the views of different provinces and territories, Indigenous peoples, as well as environmental non- governmental organizations and business and labour organizations.

Michelle Branigan
Michelle Branigan is an influential industry voice at the forefront of the electricity and renewable energy sector’s labour market intelligence and HR best practices.

Michelle leads EHRC’s strategic direction and has stewarded the organization’s growth to become the definitive source for the valued insights, programs, and resources that drive industry solutions.

She is a champion for diversity, equity and inclusion – with the vision and foresight to lead the workplaces of the future. Michelle holds numerous board positions, including the Energy Council of Canada (ECC) and Electricity Industry Newsweek’s (EIN) editorial advisory board. She brings an international perspective informed by her master’s in education from the University of Leicester, UK.

An accomplished moderator and commentator, Michelle was recognized at the COP27 Government of Canada Pavilion as one of the 100 Canadian women leading Canada’s energy transition and has been honoured as recipient of the distinguished, WiRE Woman of the Year award from Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE).

Nirav Patel
Nirav works closely with Atura Power’s leadership team to develop and execute a forward looking people strategy.  He leads a team of HR professionals focused on fostering a workplace culture built on inclusion, partnership and well-being.  Part of this role includes accelerating the HR strategy and transformation to merry technology, people and processes for a great employee experience during a time of great change as Canada undergoes a significant shift in energy transition.

A proven specialist in HR, Nirav has held various leadership roles at Ontario Power Generation, most recently as the Vice President of HR.  Today, is on a special assignment at Atura Power, a subsidiary of Ontario Power Generation on a two year secondment in Human Resources.  As a committed HR leader, Nirav prides himself in building relationships with others and values coaching and listening to create inclusive and respectful workplace practices.

Nirav has an undergraduate degree from the University of Waterloo and a Master’s of Human Resources Management from York University in addition to being a Certified Human Resources Leader.

Nirav is also Chair of the Board for Electricity HR Canada, a non-profit organization that aims to support the industry with their HR challenges.  He is also an active supporter of the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation having done the Ride to Conquer Cancer for 5 years.  Outside of work, you will find Nirav riding his bicycle all over Toronto, or spending time with his two children laughing and joking.

Rakhi Voria
As Vice-President of Global Sales, Rakhi manages a team responsible for the strategy, implementation, and revenues of Procore’s Sales Development. (Procore is a leading cloud-based construction management software company.)

Prior to Procore, she held various leadership positions at IBM and Microsoft. At IBM, she served as the Vice-President of Digital Sales Development, where she led a global sales team of around 350 digital and business development reps.

At Microsoft, Rakhi served as Chief of Staff to the Corporate Vice-President of Inside Sales, where she played a key role in building a new digital sales force for Microsoft, growing the team to 2000 sellers globally, and the business itself to over $8 billion in under three years.

In all her roles, Rakhi helped develop foundational elements of sales models: everything from recruiting and interviewing new-hires, to providing input into the programs, processes, and tools they needed to be successful.

Rakhi has a strong passion for advancing women in sales and millennials in business, and shares her thoughts regularly at conferences and by writing for Forbes (where she is a member of the Forbes Business Development Council).

She served as the Executive Co-Chair of Women@IBM as well as Women@Microsoft, and is keen on in building partnerships with other companies to learn how they support, advance, and retain their female talent.

Rakhi earned her M.Sc. from the University of Oxford and her B.A. from Colorado College. She has also received business certifications from INSEAD, Wharton Business School, and London Business School. In her spare time, she loves travelling, writing, and exploring the NYC restaurant scene.

Anthony Capkun (moderator)
Anthony is a business communicator, networker, and bridge-builder with 20+ years of experience in traditional and new media platforms for business audiences, specifically those involved with electrical energy systems and applications, and proactive energy management.

He is passionate about supporting STEM and skilled trades careers, and advocates for diversity, equity and inclusion.

On behalf of Electrical Business Magazine, he signed EHRC’s Leadership Accord on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in October 2021. As an Advocate, he pledges to “actively engage in outreach and promotion of the Accord and the principles for which it stands”.

To that end, Anthony has made it a personal mission to seek out and increase the number of news items and stories he publishes about Women and Indigenous communities—both of which have dedicated sections on his website.

He currently serves as Editor-Publisher of Electrical Business Magazine and Energy Manager Canada—both members of the Annex Business Media family—and volunteers full-time with the Durham Girls’ Choir as Treasurer.

In his spare time, he enjoys pursuing Victory Royales in Fortnite with his daughter, where they argue and bicker over what the other could have done better.