From Illinois Business Journal news services
The diversity-assessment publication DiversityInc has ranked Ameren Corporation first in the United States on its 2015 listing of the nation’s top utilities for diversity.
It’s the fifth consecutive year Ameren has been recognized among the top five utilities and the first time at the top of the list for creating an inclusive workplace, reaching diverse customers and having strong supplier diversity.
“To be named the top utility in the country for diversity is an honor and speaks to the years of hard work that have taken place in diversity here at Ameren,” said Sharon Harvey Davis, vice president and chief diversity officer. “This recognition is not because of the efforts of one person, department or group. It is the corporate commitment of many who work to ensure that diversity and inclusion is not something we talk about but something we live.”
“With more than 1,000 companies participating, the competition for a spot on the DiversityInc Specialty List was up more than 30 percent this year,” said DiversityInc Founder and CEO Luke Visconti.
An important part of Ameren’s diversity and inclusion approach is to foster partnerships within the community. For example, Ameren recently pledged substantial financial support to the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis’ new job training center in Ferguson, Mo. This is just one of hundreds of activities by the company and its employees to support the communities it serves in Illinois and Missouri.
“Ameren is known throughout the St. Louis region and nation for being a leader in diversity,” said Michael P. McMillan, President and CEO, Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Inc. “The Board of Directors, senior management team, staff, training programs, vendors and civic and charitable strategy all exemplify diversity on every level. I have personally witnessed Ameren’s CEO Warner Baxter’s consistent commitment to inclusion.”
“We’ve had great success in developing pipelines that bring more women and minorities into our applicant pools and hiring process,” Harvey Davis said. “We have increased participation in corporate diversity programs, leadership mentoring, employee education and community outreach in diversity. It is a privilege to work with employees that demonstrate the courage and commitment to make diversity and inclusion a part of the way we do business at Ameren.”
To increase supplier diversity, Ameren invites hundreds of entrepreneurs, diverse businesses and Ameren leaders to its annual Supplier Diversity Symposium for networking and learning about the company’s procurement opportunities. In 2014 alone, more than $272 million of Ameren’s total non-fuel spend was for services rendered by more than 350 qualified diverse suppliers.
In addition, the company has consistently been ranked a top 100 military-friendly employer by G.I. Jobs Magazine and continues to support co-worker diversity and inclusion through six employee resource groups: Ameren Military-Veteran Employees; Ameren Network of Minority Employees; Powering Connections for All Abilities; Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, Transgender Employees and Allies Network; Multi-Generational Resource Group; and Women Influencing Success in Energy.