Forbes names Consumers Energy top utility for workplace diversity in U.S.

Forbes has ranked Consumers Energy No. 22 on its “America’s Best Employers for Diversity” list, and the company is the top utility in the country.

Forbes conducted a survey of 50,000 Americans working for businesses with at least 1,000 employees.

According to a press release, Consumers Energy has embedded DE&I into all aspects of its workplace culture, encouraging discussions and efforts to build understanding among its 8,500 employees. The company sponsors seven Employee Resource Groups – employee-led teams that support workers of different backgrounds and promote a diverse culture. The company also took a public stand in support of its Black co-workers and the Black Lives Matter movement after the death of George Floyd.

“We boldly and unapologetically stand for a diverse, inclusive workplace where everyone’s ideas and contributions are heard and valued, and where everyone feels they belong,” said Angela Thompkins, Consumers Energy’s vice president and chief diversity officer. “This recognition affirms our important work, while we know this is only one step on our journey to build a stronger, more inclusive organization that looks out for its employees and delivers world-class performance to our customers.”

Other utilities that made the list include Sempra Energy (79), Exelon (122), Consolidated Edison (146), NextEra Energy (168), Pacific Gas & Electric (196), Eversource Energy (202) Edison International (250), Southern Company (276), Dominion Energy (283), CenterPoint Energy (295), Ameren (301), FirstEnergy (369), National Grid USA (378), DTE Energy (417), Duke Energy (419) and American Electric Power (450).

In ranking companies, Forbes writes, “As the Covid-19 pandemic and numerous social justice movements have rocked the U.S., the need for more corporate diversity, equity and inclusion programs has become more pressing than ever before.”

Forbes partnered with Statista to survey 50,000 Americans working for businesses with at least 1,000 employees and pinpoint the companies they identified as being most dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion. The final list ranks the 500 employers that not only received the most recommendations but also boast the most diverse boards and executive ranks, as well as the most proactive diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy, providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.8 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties. The company operates 13 hydroelectric plants along five waterways that have a combined capacity of about 130 MW and shares ownership of the 2.3-GW Ludington Pumped Storage Plant.

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