First, let's understand what it means to say diversity and inclusion is a "business imperative."
When something is very important - when it is a business imperative - it gets formal goals, strategies and progress gets tracked. An imperative means it is critical to the company's success.
Sound serious? It is.
Our strategy is to integrate diversity and inclusion in everything we do.
The world is rich in diversity: race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, religious affiliation, experience and thought. We need our culture and daily workplace environments to reflect it and respect it. And we need it to inform how we attract, retain and advance employees.
One standard we set for ourselves is this: Exelon should reflect the diverse communities we serve. When we do, we're a better company. So whether it means creating new initiatives or enhancing our existing practices, we know an inclusive culture results in greater innovation, market competitiveness and opportunities for growth.
Exelon has established specific diversity goals in five key areas. These goals guide our decision-making, and we track our progress against them.
Goal 1: a diverse workforce.
Exelon seeks to attract, retain and advance employees who best represent our customers and the communities we serve.
A few examples of the actions this goal inspired: Exelon seeks job candidates at military recruiting events, and by collaborating with national diversity organizations like the Society of Women Engineers, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and Black Engineer of the Year Awards. Exelon has a variety of diversity councils and ambassadors. For example, the Individuals with Disabilities Advisory Team is a cross-functional workgroup whose mission is to improve the company's overall strategy relative to current and prospective employees with disabilities.
Goal 2: an inclusive workplace.
Exelon believes in a workplace where everyone respects one another, and where all employees can grow and contribute at their greatest potential.
Exelon has nine Employee Resource Groups. They're voluntary, employee-led groups that serve as a resource for members based on shared life experiences. Across our family of companies, there are 31 chapters with membership of more than 7,500 employees. We count on these groups to help us live our diversity and inclusion values and execute our strategy. Education is key and is integrated into all leadership training. We also invite employees to quarterly webinars on topics such as gender communication, generational differences and unconscious bias.
Goal 3: a diverse range of suppliers, vendors and service providers.
Supplier diversity is important. As Exelon grows and succeeds, we want to share that success by supporting diverse suppliers who represent the diverse customer communities we serve.
In 2014, Exelon's purchases with certified diverse suppliers totaled more than $1 billion. The Exelon family of companies also has received three regional honors in 2014 for Minority Supplier Development Council's "Corporation of the Year" for BGE, ComEd and PECO.
Goal 4: work with a strategic group of diverse community organizations.
Over 60% of Exelon's $31.5 million in grants in 2014 supported organizations, programs or events consistent with our diversity and inclusion initiatives. Our employees are active volunteers in the communities we serve. These efforts help all of us at Exelon learn about diverse communities and develop respect and appreciation for differences. In 2014, nearly 5,000 employees tracked more than 112,000 hours building new playgrounds, working with the Stay In School Initiative, Habitat for Humanity, and working for other causes they care about in underserved communities.
Goal 5: recognition as a diversity and inclusion leader.
Exelon is among
DiversityInc.'s Top 7 Utilities. We've been singled out as one of
G.I. Jobs' Top Military Friendly Employers, and
Military Times Magazine's "Best for Vets." In 2014, we were a
Disability Matters Honoree. Our internship program and inclusion of young people has been recognized by Vault. Since 2011, Exelon has scored 100 percent on the Corporate Equality Index, administered by the Human Rights Campaign.
Check out Exelon's 2014 Diversity & Inclusion Report to learn more.