Speaking out publicly against racism and injustice
In response to current events, we published a letter to our customers and the communities we serve, recognizing the importance of speaking out publicly against racism and injustice. Guided by our Values –Do the Right Thing. Care for others. and Act for tomorrow – we encouraged people to get involved and support organizations and movements that foster diversity, equity and inclusion in their community.
We regularly – and publicly – display our commitment to inclusion, equity and diversity. In support of a planned peaceful protest, we lit up our tower in downtown Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in the same colors we use annually to celebrate the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We created an online community for employees to share their unique perspectives so we can all learn and benefit from each other’s experiences. And, our Multicultural Network Employee Resource Group hosted listening sessions. For some, the sessions provided a time to speak and explain their journey. For others, it was a time to listen and ask questions.
We have a long-standing history of supporting nonprofits in Wisconsin and Iowa to help bridge gaps of inequities through their programming. Each year, our involvement varies based on the opportunities and needs within the communities we serve. It often includes partnership with local organizations such as the Latino Service Providers Coalition, United Way of East Central Iowa and the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce. We proudly collaborate on specific diversity initiatives, forums, programs and events to learn about cultural traditions, create awareness of career opportunities and celebrate our differences.
In addition, John Larsen, our Chairman and CEO, signed a Pledge to Diversity and Inclusion at the October 2019 Wisconsin Governor’s CEO Round Table. As part of our commitment, we are reaching out to our stakeholders to share perspectives and encouraging them to join the conversation. Earlier this year, Larsen also signed the CEO ACT!ON for Diversity and Inclusion national pledge. This action brought us together to talk about unconscious bias and the relation between diversity, equity and inclusion and the company’s overarching strategy and success. These conversations are ongoing as we continuously seek opportunities to celebrate differences.
Guided by our Value to Care for others, we seek to actively support each other, so everyone feels comfortable (and able) to bring their whole self to work. With nearly 3,600 employees, guided by a diverse Board of Directors, having an inclusive culture truly benefits our customers and the communities we serve. Our customers count on this and they are watching to ensure we continue to put action behind our words.
Alliant Energy best place to work for LGBTQ equality
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) released its 2020 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) in January 2020. For the third year in a row, we earned a perfect score! This ranking reflects our company’s commitment to employees and others in the LGBTQ+ community. The CEI is the premier benchmarking survey and report on LGBTQ+ workplace equality, administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.
Employee Resource Groups
Alliant Energy’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) offer forums to network, support and share issues important to employees. They also serve as focus groups, providing feedback to the Diversity Office. Joining an ERG offers an opportunity to learn, attend development and social events and network with fellow employees.
Our employees are encouraged to start new resource groups. We currently have the following ERGs:
• Equality Alliance
• Evolving Professionals Connection
• Multicultural Network
• Sustainability Squad
• Veterans’ Alliance
• Women’s Network
Energy for Good promotes community partnerships
We continue to use our Energy for Good. Communities, volunteer organizations and students benefited from $7.3 million in donations and nearly 93,000 volunteer hours given through Alliant Energy in 2019. Iowa and Wisconsin customers were supported with resources from the company, its foundation, employees and retirees. This included helping on projects and programs with over 1,000 community partners.
Through our Community Grants and Hometown Safety Grants, the Alliant Energy Foundation supports nonprofits and community partners in four major categories: Hunger and Housing; Workforce Readiness; Environmental Stewardship; and Diversity, Safety and Well-being.
Celebrating employees who are living our values
Engaging employees and encouraging partnerships with our communities is integral to our company’s culture. Our employees were asked to nominate Very Inspiring People (VIPs) – the ones who truly made their community a better place. Twelve employees were recognized for volunteer efforts. They gave their time for many causes like serving as a volunteer fire chief, helping out at a soup kitchen, opening their home to foster children and serving on the board of directors for a homeless shelter. We rewarded our VIPs with a $500 grant for their charity of choice.
Pledge to diversity and inclusion
Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Vision leads our company’s culture embracing the value to Care for Others and fostering dialogue to help create opportunities in our communities. In October 2019, Alliant Energy Chairman, President and CEO John Larsen signed a shared Pledge to Diversity and Inclusion at the 2019 Wisconsin Governor’s CEO Round Table. We are also reaching out to our stakeholders to share their perspectives by joining the conversation at #iamenergy.
Internships energize our talent pipeline
The workforce skill sets required in the energy industry are changing at a faster pace than ever. We leverage educational partnerships to recruit interns to successfully help fill our future employee needs. Here’s some information on our 2019 intern class.
Program sustains qualified technicians
In 2017, we provided financial support for an Energy Education Center at Moraine Park Technical College in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. It was to be the future home to a Gas Utility Technician program. This would help provide gas technicians when demand for them was growing faster than supply.
The Center was completed in 2018 and graduated its first class of gas technicians in 2019. Fifteen students completed the nine-month, hands-on program. An Alliant Energy retiree planned the curriculum and taught the class. We continue to support technical education as a way to sustain and plan for our future workforce.
Local safety leadership teams improve safety for all
Our Local Safety Leadership Teams (LSLTs) were formed more than 10 years ago. In addition to local discussions, they also meet annually to share ideas, draw inspiration and look for new ways to help employees live safely. For example, in 2019 the LSLT in Sheboygan Operations purchased a Pintle hitch to attach to the fork lift to make pulling a trailer more efficient and safer. A Pintle hitch is a type of tow hitch that uses a ring-to-hook or ball configuration for a more secure mount. The ongoing success of the LSLTs’ success in promoting safety aligns with our companywide effort to create a culture of speed, fresh thinking and stronger teams among our employees.
Proactive communications support public safety
We trumpet four important words: Smell Gas? Move Fast!
Safety is our number one priority at Alliant Energy. Late autumn 2019 cold snaps had people turning on furnaces earlier than usual. We were ready for the premature chill with a timely message: Smell Gas? Move Fast! We placed radio ads, streaming TV spots and online commercials across our area. Our safety social media campaign is an ongoing effort throughout the year. Digital tools help us connect quickly with our customers for electric and gas safety.