Celebrating Women’s History Month: Recognizing the Power Around Us
A message from Duquesne Light Holdings President and CEO Kevin Walker and Chief Diversity Officer Sara Oliver-Carter
March 1, 2022
Every March, we recognize Women’s History Month to remind us of the powerful women who have broken barriers, shattered glass ceilings and continue to make history every day. Examples of strong women are everywhere around us, past and present. From passing laws such as Title IX introduced in 1972, which prohibits gender-based discrimination in federally-funded schools and education programs, to seeing Malajsha Mollett, a fourth grader at Pittsburgh Dilworth Traditional Academy, writing her own story by sharing a book detailing her personal journey playing the boy-dominated sport of football, we see progress around us every day.
At Duquesne Light, we also are on a journey – one that focuses on equity for women in our workplace and community. The women in our ranks bring unique skills to our workforce, ranging from electrical engineers to lawyers, finance professionals to interns ready to shape the clean energy future ahead of us.
As we celebrate how we have progressed towards gender equity, we also want to examine the barriers faced on this journey, especially in our industry. According to the Utility Dive, “women represent 22% of the utility workforce compared to 47% nationwide in other industries.” When it comes to board membership, only 5% of utility boards include women. At Duquesne Light Holdings (DLH), we’ve been working toward adding diverse perspectives to our board which speaks to our dedication to building a new table together, with more than 50% of our board representing diverse populations, including women and people of color. While 28% of our overall workforce identify as women, slightly above the 24% utility and energy industry benchmark, knowing more than half of our service territory is made up of women motivates us to continue attracting and retaining women across all levels across the organization until as we grow closer to being more reflective of the communities we serve.
EmpowerHer Leads Support for Women, Allies
An additional example of our commitment to support women at DLH includes our women’s Business Employee Resource Group (BERG), EmpowerHer. The women’s BERG has truly lived up to their name by empowering women throughout our organization to share their ideas, inspire others and engaging with the communities we serve. Since forming in 2020, EmpowerHer has grown from our first and only BERG to become the company’s largest with more than 130 members who care about furthering equity and inclusion throughout DLH.
In March, we will highlight the women of DLH who power us forward as a trusted clean energy partner for our community. As you celebrate this month, we also encourage each of you to think about how you can be an ally throughout the year. You can serve as an ally by recognizing the diversity of thought provided by each person at the table. Be a person who advocates for equity. Be a person who will accept nothing less than an inclusive world where each person – no matter their gender, sexual orientation, race or ethnicity – can live in an environment where they feel welcomed and their voices matter.