She is one of the most powerful women in Canada and as President and CEO of GE Canada; Elyse Allan is helping to chart Canada’s energy future. In an industry primarily dominated by men, as documented by Statistics Canada, her ascent to the top is nothing short of remarkable.
A dual background in environment and business, Allan is one of the most influential leaders in the energy world. She has been a leading voice in advancing technology development initiatives with Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA), and further leads efforts in driving innovation and competitiveness as a board member for MaRS and the Conference Board of Canada amongst others. For this leader of GE Canada, her passion for energy and innovation goes back to childhood.
“For as long as I can remember, I’ve had this natural curiosity for the sciences,” she says. “Discovering how science and technology come together to solve global challenges, particularly in the energy space fascinates me.”
This fascination for problem solving has led her to be chosen as the 2016 Canadian Energy Person of the Year by the Energy Council of Canada. Formed almost 100 years ago, in 1923, the Energy Council of Canada is a founding member of the World Energy Council (WEC); a UN-accredited global energy body which covers all energy sectors in Canada. Since 2011 the organization has recognized Canadian leaders who make international contributions to the field of energy.
Allan’s contributions include a partnership between GE and Actua, providing more than 200,000 kids from across Canada with opportunities to gain hands-on experience through science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs. She has played an active role in engaging government and policy makers to bring energy possibilities to more remote communities in Canada. Mrs. Allan was also part of a 10-member panel to advise Alberta Premier Rachel Notley on economic diversification.
Looking ahead, Mrs. Allan’s professional aspirations include stretching the boundaries of technology to meet the ever changing needs of Canada’s energy industry through advances in digital capabilities.
“In our businesses, we need to embrace new technologies, and expose our workforce to leading trends,” states Allan. “As leaders, whether executives or on boards, we need to be sure that we are creating the right conditions for new technologies.”
Under the leadership of Allan the GE Innovation Center in Calgary is working on data based solutions to change the way energy companies operate in the field. The future of innovation at GE includes using advances in material sciences, 3-D printing, improved software, data analytics and sensors, providing necessary tools to deliver a brighter, more sustainable and prosperous energy future.