Women of WiN
Company: Women in Nuclear-Canada
Cheryl Cottrill is the Executive Director for Women in Nuclear (WiN) Canada, on a secondment supported by Bruce Power and Ontario Power Generation. In this role she is responsible for the day-to-day operations of programs, activities, special events and outreach programs for WiN, which she helped spearhead in 2004. With eight years in the nuclear industry, Cheryl has gained experience and insight prior to this role working in various capacities at Bruce Power, including Corporate Communications, Business Improvement and Community Relations.
Prior to joining Bruce Power, Cheryl worked as law clerk for over 20 years where she honed her research skills and learned how to effectively communicate to the public, skills which she is able to apply in her current position.
Cheryl holds a Law Clerk Certificate and was a member of the Institute of Law Clerks of Ontario, through a diploma program at Fanshawe College in London and Georgian College in Owen Sound. After starting with Corporate Communications at Bruce Power, she began a Certificate program at the University of Victoria in Public Relations and graduated in 2006.
Working for WiN-Canada has provided Cheryl with many unique experiences and she believes that her most rewarding project to date was the 2006 WiN-Global conference, hosted by WiN-Canada. She took a lead role in the organization of the conference and says that “not only was it more successful that we had dared to dream, but it also provided a great opportunity for learning. I was very fortunate to sit on a committee with some of the best women in the industry and I learned a great deal from each one of them.” Cheryl says that a close second for her is the work she has undertaken with the GIRLS (Girls in Real Life Science) club where she hopes to help “spark an interest in science and encourage girls to develop, maintain or continue studies in science and to engage young females to recognize that science is not just a domain for males.”
Cheryl’s career path has been influenced by many amazing women but she credits Susan Brissette and Barb Goetz with being great mentors and seeing potential in her that she did not always see in herself. They have both been great supporters of her work and career. Cheryl’s advice to young women today is to “find work that inspires you and that you can be passionate about. Then give everything you have to the work. Measure your progress and let your boss know what your aspirations are so she or he can help you achieve them.”
Cheryl was inspired to help build WiN-Canada from the ground up because she saw first hand the lack of representation of women in the nuclear industry and believes that WiN-Canada can give women a much needed voice. The personal satisfaction that Cheryl garners from her work stems from “the opportunity to work and grow with such wonderful women in the organization.”
Created July 17, 2009