Washington, D.C. (June 02, 2021) — The Edison Electric Institute’s (EEI’s) Board of Directors today reinforced its commitment to advancing racial and social justice and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) during EEI’s annual meeting, held virtually. Last September, EEI launched an industry-wide DEI initiative that builds on programs and work already underway at electric companies across the country. With the support of EEI’s Board, the initiative now has 100-percent member company participation.
“Over the past year, our nation has witnessed an unprecedented convergence of racial and social justice events,” said EEI Chairman Ben Fowke, chairman and CEO of Xcel Energy. “Throughout my term as EEI Chairman, which began last June and ends today, I have made it a priority to advance racial and social justice and DEI. I am so proud that EEI’s member companies eagerly embraced the challenge head on. We have come together to learn from each other and to take meaningful and measurable actions that I am confident will make a difference for our companies and our employees and for the customers and communities we serve.”
- By supporting EEI’s DEI initiative, member companies have agreed to:
- Promote racial and social justice.
- Advance DEI goals and diversify their workforce at all levels.
- Provide more equitable access to employment opportunities for underrepresented and underserved members of their communities.
- Create a workforce that is more representative and responsive to people of all backgrounds.
- Take measurable actions that can address the racial and gender gaps within our industry and accelerate the ability to reach and support those suffering from systemic racism, poverty, and economic disadvantages.
Last fall, EEI member companies were asked to review the industry DEI goals and the recommended actions to achieve them and to commit to implement at least three actions over the next year. The recommended goals are: ensure that DEI efforts are driven from the top; remove barriers to entry by expanding and broadening the pool of diverse candidates; establish stronger community connections; and establish infrastructure academies and training programs. Today, member companies, on average, are implementing five actions to meet their DEI commitment.
“This past year has challenged us all, including making us pause and evaluate ways in which we can work together to better engage with and support underrepresented groups within our workforce and our communities,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “Over the past year and under the leadership of Ben Fowke, EEI’s member companies have taken an important next step, agreeing to align their DEI and workforce development initiatives. Our commitment to doing better and to making progress is stronger than ever.
“Addressing racial and social justice is a quest, not a problem that we can solve overnight,” added Fowke. “While we still have much to learn, we have made important strides, and I am proud to be joined by every one of EEI’s member companies and of the work we have accomplished together.”