Energetic Women, founded by MEA Energy Association (MEA), is proud to recognize Consumers Energy with the Excellence in Women’s Development Award for their active efforts in achieving diversity and inclusion success. Sarah Rossi and Mary Palkovich of Consumers Energy accepted the award at the 12th Annual Energetic Women Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The Excellence in Women’s Development Award recognizes a company in the energy delivery industry that valiantly champions diversity and inclusion efforts via resources and active talent management that supports women in non-traditional roles, including engineering and operations.
Consumers Energy is a strong advocate for promoting and retaining women in their company. Their CEO, Patti Poppe, is one of only 25 female CEOs of a Fortune 500 company. Their Board of Directors is made up of nearly 50% women, and they proudly have eight other female officers in the company.
Consumers Energy is dedicated to employing a diverse and inclusive workforce and creating an environment where every worker can be their best and authentic self. The company has made a concerted effort to create a diverse talent pipeline and consistently bring women and minorities to the table for strategic leadership and problem solving.
Consumers Energy is strongly aligned with external organizations, career fairs, and college visits in an effort to increase the number of women in the pipeline for engineering and operations positions. Historically, women have made up a small percentage of the workforce in linework, and this trend is true for Consumers Energy. To attract more women into this rewarding career, they created a female lineworker scholarship.
Consumers Energy also has an Engineering Entry Program, which assigns a mentor and a development plan for new hire engineers to build a network of support upon entering the company. Over the past nine years, the classes averaged 55% women per year. The mentor serves as a guide and helps to remove barriers for new female employees. Amanda Ward, Gas Distribution Manager Southeast, says, “[The Engineering Entry Program] is critical for the success of women engineers, as they are often underrepresented in their field.”
Two of Consumers Energy’s seven Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are dedicated specifically to supporting women: the Women’s Advisory Panel (WAP) contributes to the achievement of the corporate strategy by supporting the retention, development and success of women; and the Women’s Engineering Network (WEN) leverages their diverse network to connect and empower women in STEM while building capabilities to support company objectives.
“We are incredibly proud to recognize Consumers Energy for their active efforts in achieving diversity and inclusion success,” says Stacey Bonine, director of corporate services and Energetic Women at MEA. Watch the video entitled “When I Grow Up” from Consumers Energy at https://youtu.be/o0puQY5Qn6s to hear more about their ERGs.
For more information about the Excellence in Women’s Development Award or Energetic Women, contact Stacey Bonine, staceyb (at) MEAenergy (dot) org, or (651) 289-9600 x114 or visit http://www.energeticwomen.org/.
Left to right - Terri Schroeder (DTE Energy), Sarah Rossi (Consumers Energy), Mary Palkovich (Consumers Energy)
About Energetic Women:
Energetic Women, a program of MEA, is a national professional and leadership development resource within the natural gas and electric utility industry. Our mission is to prepare women within the energy industry for leadership roles in operations and engineering, which is where the greatest gap exists today. We promote, support, connect and recognize those who believe in developing high potential leaders to create a sustainable future and increase diversity at the top levels.
MEA serves the people that deliver electricity and natural gas to homes and businesses. We were founded as a trade association over 110 years ago by distribution utilities whose vision was to improve safety and efficiency. Today, we fulfill the same purpose through education, leadership development, and industry connections. Energy delivery companies, contractors, and suppliers around the country benefit from our 55 summits, roundtables, and webinars, 400+ online technical courses, safety assessments, evaluator training, operator qualification compliance tools, and leadership courses for field personnel.