Energetic Women, a programme of the MEA Energy Association, has awarded US utility Consumers Energy with the 2019 Excellence in Women’s Development Award.
The award recognises the utility’s efforts in employing a diverse and inclusive workforce as well as creating an environment where every worker can be their best and authentic self.
The award focuses on company investments in resources and active talent management that support women in non-traditional roles such as engineering and operations.
The award was received by Sarah Rossi, Women’s Advisory Panel [WAP] chair and Mary Palkovich, vice president gas advocacy, of Consumers Energy at the 12th Annual Energetic Women Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Consumers Energy has advocated for the promotion and retention of 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 have eight other female officers in the company.
The utility conducts career fairs and college to increase the number of women in the pipeline for engineering and operations positions, and to attract more women into the lineworker industry, Consumers Energy has created a female lineworker scholarship.
They have also established an Engineering Entry Programme, to support women in engineering. The programme has over the past nine years registered a class average of 55% women per year.
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.