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FortisBC female executives: Leading the way to a lower-carbon future

March 8, 2021

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At FortisBC, we seek an inclusive and diverse workforce at every level, starting at the top with our executive leaders. Four women with decades of experience are a part of our leadership team and are a testament to the progressive direction of FortisBC.

In recognition of International Women’s Day, we sat down (virtually, of course!) with these vice-presidents to learn more about their stories, gather their insights on leadership and hear about their vision for the role FortisBC can play in a lower-carbon future in the province.

What is the greatest leadership lesson you’ve learned in your career?

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Jody Drope, Vice President of Human Resources, Environment, Health and Safety:

I must admit I never set out to become a leader, I simply followed my passions and I stayed true to myself.

The poem The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost has always resonated with me – I’ve learned over my career that everyone has a unique journey so don’t be afraid to go off the beaten path. Rather than build a solidified plan and risk letting amazing opportunities pass you by, be open to challenges and broaden your toolbox.

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Diane Roy, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs:

That leadership is in the small everyday things we do. We don’t have to have all of the answers or only focus on the big moves. As a leader, it can sometimes feel like you need to solve all the problems yourself but I’ve learned that by engaging others and gathering diverse ideas and perspectives, we come to the big breakthroughs that really move us forward.

Share a significant challenge you’ve overcome and advice you’d offer to up and coming leaders facing challenges of their own.

Dawn Mehrer
 

Dawn Mehrer, Vice President of Customer Service and Information Systems:

The biggest challenge that I have faced over my career is improving my leadership skills while still finding a way to be myself. The single most important thing a leader needs to be is authentic. And, as a company that values diverse perspectives, I can tell you that your authenticity makes you valuable. So if your style or thought process is a bit different than your peers, that is a good thing and should be embraced.

As leaders, it is important that we reflect on the feedback we receive and make our own decisions as to how it can help us to become better leaders or if it could detract from our ability to be ourselves. Be your own kind of leader and you will be most successful.

Monic Pratch
 

Monic Pratch, Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary:

I like to plan things. I’m definitely an A-type personality and I like to know what is coming and when. This trait can be challenging to manage as life continues to throw curve balls and is by nature unpredictable. As a leader, you need to continually be able to pivot and adapt to changing dynamics, markets and risks.

I try to look at things as objectively as possible and surround myself with others that can complement my skillset (both strengths and weaknesses). It allows me to plan things to a certain degree and be ready for those unpredictable moments.

As executives working in the energy sector, what advice would you give to those who are searching for their career paths?

Monic Pratch, Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary:

Keep an open mind and be open to opportunities - you never know when or where they are going to arise. If you would have asked me when I was graduating from law school if this is where I would have ended up, I could not have predicted it.

I started my career in private practice providing legal services to a variety of clients in the energy sector and then came in-house with FortisBC in 2010. I worked to support various departments over the course of my career at FortisBC and loved learning something new all the time. I’m curious by nature, so working at FortisBC has given me the opportunity to satisfy that curiosity, working on everything from business acquisitions to development of policy and strategy. It is important to chase your interests and follow that curiosity, you never know where it will lead.

Diane Roy, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs:

Be open to trying something different. Sometimes we need to try on a few hats to find the one that sits well. I worked for a few different companies before FortisBC, but as soon as I started here, I knew this was the place for me. And that was in the mid-2000s. Today, we are so much more than what we were then and the energy sector provides so many more opportunities to learn and grow to find the career path that feels right. It’s a very exciting time to be working in the energy industry and our 30BY30 target puts us right at the forefront of helping the province on its path to a cleaner energy future.

As FortisBC progresses towards its 30BY30 target, what do you feel is the most important thing the company can do to help customers and British Columbians advance a lower-carbon future?

Jody Drope, Vice President of Human Resources, Environment, Health and Safety:

The decisions British Columbians make today will help shape the energy sector of the future. It’s important we all make informed decisions. As an energy leader in the province, we’re driving towards climate action goals that we share with the province and facilitating a discussion with all British Columbians about what a lower-carbon BC looks like. We encourage people to learn more about the energy that powers their lives and we're always here to help provide information.

The energy sector can be very complicated and interconnected, with different energy systems playing different roles to ensure British Columbians have energy where and when they need it. There’s strength in this diversity as it provides the flexibility to find the best solutions for us to tackle climate challenges. Just like how a diverse team can bring forward the best perspectives, a diverse energy system can help us reach climate goals while ensuring energy remains reliable and affordable.

Dawn Mehrer, Vice President of Customer Service and Information Systems:

The most important thing we can do to advance a lower-carbon future is to be a reliable and trustworthy source of information for the public and use that expertise to help with energy decisions. Each time we interact with someone, whether it be in person, online, on the phone or in the field, it is a chance to share our knowledge and our passion to help build relationships with British Columbians.

FortisBC is a company, but it is also a group of caring, compassionate and passionate people that work hard every day for today’s customers as well as for the future of BC.


There is no single ingredient that makes a successful leader. As our vice-presidents have shared, it is a path filled with valuable lessons accumulated through years of experience, staying true to one’s self and keeping an open mind to possibilities.

For those exploring potential career paths, consider FortisBC. Discover our inclusive culture and challenging work while being part of our diversely skilled, BC-based team of more than 2,400 who are working towards a lower-carbon future.

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