Shafak Sajid’s passion for policy wins her a 2022 YWE award

Being at the forefront of reducing the environmental impact of the oil sands and engaging communities along the journey, helped a member of the Pathways Alliance team be recognized as one of 10 Young Women in Energy for 2023.

Shafak Sajid, a Senior Advisor, Indigenous and Community Relations at the Pathways Alliance, was surprized and honoured to be recognized for her work, but quickly pointed out it’s a huge effort by many across the oil sands.

“I feel we’re at the forefront of a huge shift in Alberta as the industry doubles down on sustainable development of Canada’s resources. I have always been driven by the opportunity to achieve meaningful impact in all that I do and in my current role, I’m able to do just that, by bridging gaps and finding solutions.”

Sajid leads the organization’s efforts to build mutually beneficial relationships with Indigenous communities in the oil sands region. She brings extensive experience in policy and community relations to her role in areas ranging from energy, environment, infrastructure and Indigenous affairs to labour and trade.

She continues to show leadership building relationships between industry and communities and using her policy and communications background to bridge strategic policies with community needs – that is, ensuring the voices of everyday people aren’t lost in plans and paperwork.

“I’d like to thank Young Women in Energy for all the work they have done to promote and encourage women like myself in the sector,” she added. “Research shows that women and gender diversity in the workplace is key to an organization’s bottom line and YWE has played a big part in fostering that.”

One way to empower the next generation of young women is by celebrating women’s career accomplishments and showcasing their success. That’s why each year, the Calgary based organization Young Women in Energy recognizes 10 women who have made a difference to Alberta’s energy industry

Now in their ninth year, the YWE awards celebrate young women who demonstrate aspirational leadership and shine a spotlight on the contributions of women to the sector. The association has more than 4,500 members across Alberta comprising professional women across all disciplines working in energy and it aims to amplify female voice, presence, and leadership in the sector.

YWE Awards recognize young women with five to 15 years of professional experience who demonstrate exceptional leadership potential in their chosen professions. Award winners benefit from the opportunity to participate in the YWE Mentorship Program, which connects these emerging leaders of tomorrow with today’s experienced leaders in the energy industry.

Sajid says she has always been passionate about managing complex issues and making a positive impact. She came to the Pathways Alliance with more than 10 years of experience in research and policy analysis, community engagement, stakeholder relations, and communications. She was formerly Manager, Policy and Stakeholder Relations at the Oil Sands Community Alliance (OSCA), where she engaged communities in the Athabasca region to forge solutions for a sustainable future.

After completing a master’s in public policy at the University of Calgary, she went on to hold policy analyst roles at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and at Canada West Foundation, a leading policy think tank. She is the proud author of several policy reports and has been widely interviewed by print and broadcast media, including the BBC, CBC’s Power & Politics, CTV and radio shows across western Canada.

When she arrived in Calgary from Pakistan 11 years ago, Shafak brought a strong sense of community spirit with her and has prioritized volunteering at organizations spanning the arts, homelessness and “adopting” individual seniors. She describes herself as an avid traveler and someone who loves food and reading. When she’s not volunteering, she can be found trying out new restaurants or hiking in the mountains.

A huge congratulations to Sajid on this well-deserved recognition.