ST. LOUIS – Ameren Corp. has again been recognized nationally for its commitment to diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace. The company was named a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and one of the 50 Best Companies for Diversity by Black Enterprise magazine.
Ameren received a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index, which was released recently. The index rates American workplaces on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. In its rankings, Black Enterprise magazine identifies corporations that are the best in developing a culture and policies that promote inclusion of African Americans within the workforce, senior management ranks, corporate boards and supplier pools.
“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized as one of the 50 Best Companies for Diversity and as a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality,” said Sharon Harvey Davis, Ameren’s vice president of diversity and inclusion and its chief diversity officer. “Workforce diversity not only enables us to recruit and retain the best talent, but also allows us to better understand and meet the needs of our customers and find innovative solutions to tough business challenges.”
The two awards are the latest in a series of recognitions highlighting Ameren’s ongoing commitment to creating an inclusive and diverse workplace. Other 2016 honors include a Military Friendly Employers designation by Victory Media; recognition as a Top Company in the Disability Equality Index Survey; and a No. 1 ranking by DiversityInc, which lists the nation’s Top 7 Utilities for workforce diversity and inclusion.
Warner Baxter, chairman, president and CEO of Ameren Corp., is proud of Ameren’s efforts in the areas of diversity and inclusion, but believes a continued and focused effort is important.
“As a corporate citizen, we must never stop striving to ensure that the people we work with and serve feel respected and valued,” said Baxter, who also serves as board chair for the St. Louis Regional Chamber. “We’ll continue to pursue community partnerships and identify initiatives to promote the importance of diversity and inclusion in our organizations and in the communities we serve.”
Ameren views diversity and inclusion as key drivers of business success and innovation. Harvey Davis credits the company’s diverse and inclusive culture to its leadership team, who created and continues to support Ameren’s employee resource groups.
“More than 15 years ago, Ameren made a commitment to develop and support a diverse workplace – and as an extension of that effort, we created employee resource groups to ensure that all viewpoints are heard and recognized,” said Harvey Davis. “These groups of employees reflect the diverse populations we serve and employ, and they provide valuable insight when challenges or opportunities arise. Because of the ongoing support provided by our executive leadership team, we can realize the full potential and power that all our co-workers possess.”
In addition to creating a culture of diversity within its own organization, Ameren’s efforts also extend into the community. Following the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., the company pledged $2.5 million over five years through its Ameren Cares initiative to support educational partnerships, economic development and energy assistance to communities in St. Louis and North St. Louis County. Earlier this year, Ameren released “Discussions Across Differences” – free community resources to promote discussions about diversity and inclusion.
The materials, which Ameren uses for its own employees, have been downloaded more than 900 times and utilized by organizations such as the Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce.
“We are grateful to Ameren for developing these materials and offering them to the community at no cost,” said Wendy Pfeil, executive director of the Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce. “We know these are not easy conversations to have, but we recognize they are essential to healing and strengthening our neighborhoods.”