It is important to us to be diverse from the board room to the front line. Having employees and board members who represent different experiences, thought processes, generations, genders, and racial and ethnic backgrounds gives us a broader perspective on business issues, challenges and solutions. It moves us to a place of viewing differences as strengths. It also solidifies our commitment to building a high-performing workforce that reflects the diverse communities we serve.
In 2018, AEP was recognized as a Winning “W” Company by the 2020 Women on Boards campaign. The mission of the campaign is to increase the percentage of women who sit on U.S. company boards to 20 percent or greater by 2020. In 2019, the number of women serving on AEP’s board has increased to four with the election of Margaret McCarthy at the Annual Meeting of Shareholders. Women now account for 31 percent of AEP’s Board of Directors. Additionally, three members of our Board of Directors have been named to Women Inc. magazine’s list of 2018 Most Influential Corporate Directors.
At the leadership level, we are proud of our efforts in conjunction with the Paradigm for Parity®, which seeks to fix the corporate leadership gender gap. In 2018, Public Service Company of Oklahoma announced the promotion of a female leader to serve as president and chief operating officer. Currently, two of the seven AEP operating companies are led by women.
Today, AEP’s leadership is made up of 28 percent women and 19 percent minorities due to recent leadership changes. Our Board of Directors, AEP leadership team and regional utility presidents include nine women, three African Americans, two Hispanics and one Asian American. Leadership diversity lays the foundation for enabling a more inclusive workforce that breaks down silos and creates a trusting, engaging and collaborative work environment. While we are making progress, this is a journey and we still have a way to go.