Diversity In The Work Force
We value and celebrate the diversity of our work force and of the communities in which we operate. To us, diversity is about ethnicity, gender and age as well as the differences that our employees or community members bring in terms of experiences, skills, ideas, culture and opinions, all of which help to make the work environment, or community, a richer and better place.
We track the advancement of females and minorities from craft-level positions to executive posts. We made progress in 2012 toward achieving our diversity staffing goals even though we continued to have limited staffing opportunities. We will continue to be deliberate in our efforts to fill positions, being mindful that demographics vary greatly across our service territory. Beyond that, we need to change the ways in which prospective employees view AEP. We want to be seen as a career path, not simply as a utility company.
In order to maintain diversity in our employee candidate pool, we have established strong relationships at universities with large minority and female populations, including Texas A&M University, Missouri University of Science & Technology, Howard University, Tuskegee University and the University of Puerto Rico. We also have partnerships with organizations such as the Center for Energy Workforce Development and Hard-Hatted Women to assist us with our diversity recruitment efforts.
Employee resource groups (ERGs) are another valuable asset to help strengthen our work force diversity efforts. They support AEP’s values and goals, strengthen communication between AEP and its employees, provide a forum for exchanging new ideas and enhance the company’s desirability as a prospective employer. AEP’s ERGs are the Asian American Employee Partnership, Hispanic Heritage Employee Resource Group, African American Employee Resource Group, AEP Pride Partnership (for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees and their allies) and the Military Veterans Employee Resource Group. The last group, the newest to be formed, is a company-wide network enabling increased support for military members, veterans and their families.
Human rights in the workplace are an important social issue for all companies. Recognizing the evolving diversity of our work force, AEP has changed policies, benefits, training and other resources to be more inclusive. The AEP Pride Partnership group worked with the Office of Diversity to improve the company’s rating on the annual Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index (CEI). This index has become a benchmarking tool for large U.S. companies in terms of fair, nondiscriminatory treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees (GLBT) in the workplace. AEP’s rating improved to 55 on a scale of 1 to 100, compared with a previous rating of 15. AEP was one of 688 employers rated in the survey.