Spotlight on OPG employee Jane Travers
After more than 30 years at OPG, Jane Travers can say she has seen it all.
The Vice-President of Asset Management and Optimization for OPG’s Renewable Generation (RG) division has experienced working in the company’s corporate offices, nuclear and hydroelectric operations.
There have been very few female peers at OPG who can say the same, but she’s confident that other women in the industry can take a similar path.
“For women coming up through the pipeline, they can be confident there are different paths and journeys that will lead to more female bench-strength for technical and leadership roles,” said Travers.
From an early age, Travers knew she wanted to be an engineer. But it wasn’t exactly an easy path in a largely male-dominated field.
After graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from McMaster University, she got her start in 1985 with a job as a summer student at Ontario Hydro, OPG’s predecessor company, working in the Supply Chain division’s Inspection Office.
Over the next 25 years, Travers moved up the ranks, going from junior engineer-in-training at Darlington Nuclear Generating Station to a senior engineering role with the Inspection and Maintenance Services division’s Fuel Channel Inspection Group. This role saw her visit every nuclear generating station in Ontario, as well as reactors in South Korea, Quebec and New Brunswick.
During these early years of her career, the support of the company and her colleagues was vital to her success, she said.
“Even as I was working part-time to raise my young daughters, I was still valued as a contributor to the company.”
In 2011, Travers made a major career move and joined OPG’s RG division as an engineering advisor, eventually becoming the manager for Engineering Support Services.
Through her time at OPG, the executive has sought out opportunities that are “not your typical desk job.” In RG, she has spent time as Production Support Manager in northeast Ontario and served as the first acting female Production Manager at Niagara Operations. In late 2017, her already busy career became even busier when she was brought in as Vice-President of Asset Management and Optimization for RG.
Even after 30 years, Travers says the main thing she values most about her work is the people – particularly the women she meets who are interested in her journey. Over her career, she has benefited from men and women who were advocates and sponsors, and Travers now plays a similar role to those coming up through the ranks. Through mentoring, speaking engagements, phone calls, and emails, she aims to help change perceptions and encourage young people, women especially, to advance in the industry.
“We want to get to a point where it’s no longer extraordinary or unusual to see women in technical leadership roles, especially in traditionally male-dominated industries,” Travers said.