AEP Sustainability - Leadership Diversity

Leadership Diversity

Social movements for racial and gender equity and inclusion underscore the importance of strong corporate governance and leadership diversity. Having leaders and board members with different experiences, generations, genders, and racial and ethnic backgrounds provides us with a broader perspective on issues both inside and outside of our company. It allows leaders to represent the diverse workforce with which they lead and advances us to a place of viewing differences as strengths, while encouraging candid and tough conversations in order to make change.

We receive recognition for our leadership diversity efforts at the board level and beyond. In 2020, AEP was recognized by 2020 Women on Boards as a Winning “W” Company for the third consecutive year. The recognition is for Russell 3000 companies whose boards have 20% or more seats held by women. As of April 2021, 50% of AEP’s board is represented by minorities and women.

In 2020, AEP’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Karen Ashley, received the Top 50 Chief Diversity Officers Award from the National Diversity Council and the Person of the Year Race for Excellence award by the National Black MBA Columbus chapter. In addition, the President and Chief Operating Officer of Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO), Peggy Simmons, was chosen for the 2021 Top 100 Most Influential Women in Energy award by the National Diversity Council. As of April 2021, 50% of AEP’s board is represented by minorities and women.

Leadership diversity lays the foundation for enabling a more inclusive workforce that breaks down silos and creates a trusting, engaging and collaborative work environment. We set specific targets to champion the attraction and promotion of diverse leaders. While we are making progress in our journey, we still have a ways to go. As our company and strategy evolves, we are working to reset goals and build upon the foundation we have put into place.

The Power of our People: Women in Nuclear Leadership Program

Kelly Ferneau, Cook Plant Manager at AEP, was selected to participate in the inaugural U.S. Women in Nuclear Women’s Leadership Cohort program.

Kelly Ferneau, Cook Plant Manager at AEP, was one of 12 women selected to participate in the inaugural U.S. Women in Nuclear Women’s Leadership Cohort program. The 12-month pilot program is the first of its kind in the nuclear industry and aims to elevate strong female leaders. It was developed and produced by U.S. Women in Nuclear, with sponsorship and support from the Nuclear Energy Institute. Women selected are on track for executive level positions across the nuclear industry.

Women continue to be under-represented in STEM-related jobs and in the nuclear industry, especially in top leadership positions. This program will help build relationships within the cohort group and with industry executives to provide a strong and sustainable career network. These female leaders will gain new skills and additional training to help their companies achieve their long-term business goals. Ferneau’s selection is a groundbreaking accomplishment, and we are proud to have her represent AEP’s next generation of leadership.