2021 DEI Award Recipients

December 24, 2022

2021 DEI Award Recipients

Our Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Recognition Award recipients ChooseToChallenge gender inequality in trades and STEM. They inspire and empower girls and women in our province to consider, choose, and succeed in these fields. They are passionate and committed to doing it better, making a difference, and leading the way for others. They are shining examples of determination, integrity, and leading by example.

Women in Trades and Technology

This category recognizes women who are “making it happen” for girls and women in NL by demonstrating leadership in trades and technology fields, as well as inspiring and empowering girls and women to pursue skilled trades and STEM careers.

Cassandra Whalen

Cassandra is a journeyperson millwright who has been working in the field since 2014. She is a member of Millwrights Local 1009. Within her union she sits on the board of executives as recording secretary and also serve as a delegate for the Atlantic Canada Regional Council. Working under her union, Cassandra is Chairperson for our Sisters in the Brotherhood committees for Atlantic Canada as well as Newfoundland and Labrador. She also serve as Co-Chair of Build Together Newfoundland and Labrador- Women of the building trades.

Since working in the field, Cassandra has had the opportunity to work as a foreperson on two separate jobs and as a job steward for three different jobs.

Lesley Chard

Since entering NL’s technology industry in 2015, Lesley has worked in almost every area of software production – including marketing, engineering, design, user experience, and product management. She currently works for a Pittsburgh and St. John’s based EdTech company, Carnegie Learning, where she acts as VP of Design and UX. In this role, Lesley leads a team of designers shaping K-12 education products for teachers and students across North America.

Lesley has been an advocate for women in technology since her undergraduate degree in Computer Science at Memorial University. In 2021, she helped found Digital Waves NL, a non-profit dedicated to showing young girls and gender-diverse youth the impact of a career in technology. Through her professional and volunteer work, she hopes to help establish a more equitable and diverse workforce in the technology sector of our future.

Community Excellence


techNL is a not-for-profit industry association that works closely with members, industry and government to help shape policy and advocate for those issues that matter most to members. As the voice of technology sector in NL, techNL’s mission is to help members grow and scale through work on talent development, programming, technology advocacy, digital transformation and strategic partnerships.

The importance of diversity is foundational to everything that happens at techNL including the organization’s updated strategic plan. The vision at techNL is to help Newfoundland and Labrador become the most sought-after Canadian tech ecosystem, globally recognized for its collaborative community, diversity, and quality of life.

Diversity in Industry

Newfoundland Power

Newfoundland Power are committed to being there for their customers whenever, wherever they need them. Day or night. No matter what the weather. They have been delivering safe, reliable electricity to the people of our province for over 135 years. Today, Newfoundland power continue this proud tradition of providing service to over 87% of electricity customers in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Their family of employees is united by core values and giving back to the places they all call home is a proud tradition their employees have passed on from generation to generation. Together, they strive to create an environment which is free of discriminatory barriers, where everyone is treated fairly, respectfully, and equitably, where people can thrive and bring their whole selves to work, and where everyone feels safe and valued for who they are. The power of the many contributions they have made together can be seen across the island. They believe in going above and beyond to make a personal, hands-on difference in our communities.

Congratulations to WRDC’s 2021 Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Recognition Awards recipients!

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