Diversity at AEP
We are committed to and value diversity at AEP and in the communities where we live, work and operate. To us, diversity involves ethnicity, gender, age, and other demographic factors. It also includes valuing diversity of thought, experiences, skills, ideas and culture, all of which make the company and the community stronger.
At the end of 2015, our board of directors, executive council team and regional utility presidents included seven women, two African Americans and two Hispanics. Women made up 24 percent of this group and minorities 14 percent. Being diverse within the upper ranks of the company helps us gain a broader perspective on business issues, allowing us to make better decisions. It also sets an example for more diversity within our work force and in our communities.
We work on becoming more diverse from the board room to the front line. We track the advancement of women and minorities from front-line craft-level positions to executive posts. We consider diversity in every hiring decision and look for development opportunities. One example of this is the AEP Women’s Leadership Series, which provides informal networking and professional development opportunities for female leaders within AEP.
Workplace diversity is an important issue for all companies. Recognizing the evolving diversity of our work force and the global economy, AEP has changed policies, benefits, training and other resources to be more inclusive. These efforts have been reflected in our Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Corporate Equality Index score.
In 2016, AEP scored 95 out of a possible 100 points, adding 15 points to our 2015 score of 80. This index has become a benchmarking tool for large U.S. companies to measure the fair, nondiscriminatory treatment of LGBT employees in the workplace. The AEP Pride Partnership employee resource group worked with the Office of Diversity to improve the company’s HRC rating over the years.
In January 2016, AEP was selected for inclusion in the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund, a diversified mutual fund that invests in the highest-rated companies in the world in advancing women’s leadership. This demonstrates that diversity is an investment choice as much as it is smart business for AEP.
In February 2016, Appalachian Power Company (APCo) was recognized by the West Virginia Human Rights Commission for its efforts to eradicate discrimination and its promotion of civil rights in the workplace. APCo was among 20 honorees at the Commission’s West Virginia 13th Annual Civil Rights Day.
AEP has a diversity and inclusion online training module that is required for all employees. The course provides information on the business case for diversity. It demonstrates how to respond effectively to differences, and increase the level of inclusion in the workplace. We meet regularly with business unit leaders to provide status updates on their individual progress toward increasing workforce diversity enterprise-wide.
To maintain diversity in our employee candidate pool, we have established relationships with universities with minority and female populations, including Texas A&M University–Kingsville, Missouri University of Science & Technology and the University of Puerto Rico. We also have partnerships with organizations such as the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD), Direct Employers and the United Negro College Fund to assist us with our diversity recruitment efforts. In 2015, our Human Resources team provided a diverse slate of candidates to our hiring managers 63 percent of the time when a job was being filled.