Aimee Sheppard: Enabling inclusion & supporting diversity
The "Us" in Cenovus
September 2022 - At Cenovus Energy, our values guide our behaviour and decision making and help build a workplace that creates an environment of involvement, respect and connection. Aimee Sheppard, Senior Industrial Benefits & Diversity Advisor, is just one of our employees who is living our purpose and values every day.
“I joined this industry in 2010 and quickly fell in love with the pace, the people and their commitment,” says Aimee. “This is an industry where most people are wired to find better ways of doing things. For me, it’s been a great combination — when curiosity and opportunity meet.”
Energy NL’s I&D award video.
Aimee started in the communications field and was inspired to learn more about inclusion and diversity when she discovered the central role it plays in building a successful organization.
“It has always been important to me to meet people in their typical environment,” says Aimee. “Whether that means travelling offshore to chat with our workers or meeting with our partners out in the community. I always want to be able to demonstrate that I am learning from others.”
Today, Aimee is responsible for helping our Atlantic Region ensure local benefit requirements are met and supporting our corporate Inclusion & Diversity environmental, social and governance (ESG) target. Her responsibilities include promoting workforce diversification and supporting the business unit in managing its commitments to investing in local research and development, education and training.
Aimee regularly meets with stakeholders, such as contractors, community partners and educational institutions to determine how to meet regulatory commitments in a way that benefits the community, company and industry.
For example, Cenovus has been a long-time supporter of InclusionNL, an organization that provides services to persons with disabilities. Leaning on their expertise, Cenovus has hired them to deliver employee training, consult on building design, conduct research into accessibility issues and more.
“One of the things I love about my work is how much we are collectively learning and growing when it comes to inclusion and diversity,” says Aimee. “Almost every day, our perspectives are being challenged at home and at work, and I feel we’re getting more comfortable accepting there are things we do not know or understand, and we recognize the need to listen.”
Aimee quickly made an impact with her work in inclusion and diversity and was recently recognized by Energy NL, a not-for-profit organization representing more than 460 member organizations involved in Newfoundland and Labrador’s energy industry. Aimee was awarded the inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Award to recognize an individual who makes a significant impact in the area of inclusion and diversity within their company and local community.
“It is one thing to be a leader. It is another thing to be a leader who works with integrity,” said Kathy Hawkins, the Executive Director of InclusionNL who nominated Aimee for the award. “Aimee always works closely with the disability community to learn from our lived experience. She does so with respect and never attempts to speak for us. Instead, she works to create an environment for us to share and lead.”
For Aimee, inclusion and diversity cannot just be words. It starts with our core purpose and values and translates into a tangible inclusion and diversity target that Cenovus, with Aimee’s help, can meet.
Our inclusion and diversity networks are intended to help foster a diverse and inclusive workplace. These networks are open to all staff and aim to provide peer support, increase awareness of key topics, trends and issues and influence Cenovus’s practices and programs to enhance the experience of all staff. Learn more.