Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council
AEP’s Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council reinforces our commitment to a diverse and inclusive workforce. AEP is a dynamic and growing energy company that serves an increasingly diverse workforce, community and customer base. This requires AEP to have a long-term diversity and inclusion strategy that sustains market and industry relevancy, growth, innovation and long-term success.The Council’s role is to ensure alignment of our initiatives, monitor our progress and provide guidance companywide.
Now in its second year, the AEP Diversity & Inclusion Listening Tour is a process for hearing firsthand the state of diversity and inclusion across our company. The listening tour provides employees with a safe place to talk about diversity within AEP, to engage leaders and to discuss ways to take ownership by cultivating a culture of inclusion. In total, we held 24 sessions at 22 locations across AEP, engaging more than 700 employees.
D&I Employee Town Hall
In August 2019, we hosted a Diversity and Inclusion Employee Town Hall webcast, in which a panel of six employees – including Chairman, President and CEO Nick Akins – shared their personal stories, experiences and journey as they related to matters of diversity and inclusion.
In early 2020, AEP tapped 19 employees representing many business units across the enterprise, to serve as Diversity & Inclusion liaisons. The liaisons will work with their business unit leaders and AEP’s Chief Diversity & Inclusion officer, to communicate and promote D&I awareness. A key focus will be consistent, ongoing communications about the value of having a diverse and inclusive work environment.
Inclusive Leadership Education & Awareness
In 2019, AEP rolled out a new Inclusive Leadership workshop as part of our strategic initiatives to demonstrate our commitment to the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion Pledge. During these interactive sessions, we discuss common unconscious biases, how they may appear at AEP and their potential impact in the workplace. We met our goal of 90% leadership attendance. Managers and supervisors can then develop action plans to better manage their teams, including hiring and recruiting, career development and interacting with customers.
Employee Resource Groups
One of the best ways for AEP to demonstrate our commitment to a trusting and inclusive work environment is to empower employees to form and participate in Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). Our ERGs reflect the diverse makeup of our workforce and enable us to gain valuable insight into the diverse communities we serve. They also help increase engagement across the company by providing employees with a safe space to discuss work-related issues and to develop innovative solutions. ERG members are active community volunteers supporting efforts such as Project Mentor and Make a Difference Day. ERGs also play an active role in AEP’s diversity and inclusion efforts, including recruitment of new employees. View a full list of ERGs at AEP.
In keeping with our intentional focus of fostering an inclusive culture, employees have the option annually to select a day that reflects a religious observance, a cultural celebration or a federal holiday not currently observed by the company.