JACKSON–Consumers Energy is one of the top 20 best employers for women in the country and No. 1 in Michigan, according to a new ranking from Forbes Magazine.
The national recognition reflects Consumers Energy’s long-standing commitment and continued efforts to support diversity, equity and inclusion, according to Cathy Hendrian, Consumers Energy senior vice president of people and culture.
“We’re embedding diversity, equity and inclusion into everything we do—for the betterment of our co-workers, customers and communities,” Hendrian said. “We stand for an equitable, inclusive workplace that embraces the diverse makeup of the communities we serve and values the ideas and contributions of all. We will continue to be a driving force of change to create and foster an environment where everyone feels they belong.”
Consumers Energy ranked No. 1 in the utility sector and was 19th overall in the annual Forbes ranking. The magazine collaborated with market research firm Statista, surveying 50,000 Americans, including 30,000 women, working for businesses that employ more than 1,000 workers. Representation at the executive and board levels were considered, as were initiatives to improve gender equity.
The Jackson-based energy company, which has served Michigan for nearly 135 years, has long supported and empowered the women in its workforce, which includes more than 8,500 full-time employees:
* In 2020, Consumers Energy announced a change to its parental leave policy, allowing birthing mothers six months (24 weeks) paid leave, and a four month (16 weeks) paid leave to a non-birthing parent. The leave time can be used for adoption and foster care placements and be taken over a 12-month period.
* Between 2011 and 2020, female leaders at the company increased from 25% to 33%.
* The Women’s Advisory Panel was founded in the 1980s as the company’s first employee resource group, or ERG, to support the retention, development, and success of women.
* The Women’s Engineering Network, also an ERG, connects and empowers women in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.
In April 2021, Forbes also named Consumers Energy one of America’s Best Employers for Diversity. Despite the national recognition, Consumers Energy will continue to strive for improvement, Hendrian said.
“Even with this success, we are still not satisfied. We will continue to advocate and do more to create equity and increase diversity in traditionally male-dominated fields,” she said.
Learn more about Consumers Energy’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion at ConsumersEnergy.com/Diversity.
Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.8 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.