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Dear Congress: Diversity Powers Our Success

Exelon testifies on the benefits of diversity and inclusion at U.S. Congressional Subcommittee Hearing

​This week I was honored to be invited to testify before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services’ Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion. This is a subject that we focus on a lot at Exelon, because we share the widely accepted view that diversity and inclusion produces a more innovative and creative workforce that benefits our business and contributes to healthier communities. Exelon is dedicated to implementing diversity and inclusion so all segments of our population can have the opportunity to flourish. 

Corporations often discuss fostering diversity and inclusion as a moral imperative, but it is a business imperative as well. Businesses gain a competitive advantage and are more likely to succeed and thrive when they are diverse and inclusive. Studies by McKinsey & Company and Deloitte demonstrate that companies with ethnic- and gender-diverse executive teams outperform their peers in profitability. 

That is why our diversity strategy lies at the heart of everything we do, and rests on three primary pillars: building a diverse workforce and culture; seeking out supporting business partners who reflect our diversity goals; and empowering diverse communities through workforce development, corporate giving and community engagement.

Diversity Leadership

Our culture of diversity starts at the top. Approximately six years ago, Exelon began tracking our progress against diversity and inclusion just as we do other key metrics, such as safety, operational excellence and financial performance. In that short timeframe, we increased diversity in our workforce from 34 percent to 41 percent. Diversity at the management level has increased from 30 percent to 37 percent. Board representation by women and people of color increased 7 percent. 

Exelon’s financial wellbeing depends not only on the performance of its officers and employees, but upon that of its suppliers of goods and services as well. In recent years, we’ve doubled down on our commitment to seek out diverse suppliers, professional services and money managers, but also build networks and pipelines to prepare diverse suppliers who have the potential to work with us in the future. 

This effort has resulted in a supply chain and service ecosystem that has never operated more efficiently than it does today. In our challenging and complex world, diverse partners have brought us new ideas, unique perspectives and energy. 

As a result of our efforts, in 2017 we became the first energy company to be inducted into the Billion Dollar Roundtable, a top tier advocacy organization that promotes corporate supplier diversity excellence. Last year we exceeded that goal by spending more than $2 billion with diverse suppliers.

Looking forward, our continued growth is dependent on fostering a future workforce that comes from diverse backgrounds. Focusing on underserved populations, particularly in our urban centers, is the key. That’s why we have devoted resources to workforce development, working to ensure under-represented groups such as people of color, women, veterans and people with disabilities receive access to training and educational opportunities – particularly in STEM – that will position them to reinvent and lead this business in the new era. We also work with nonprofits in our communities to make sure we don’t leave anyone behind. Of the $51 million we devoted to giving last year, 83 percent went to nonprofit organizations, programs or events that were targeted to diverse populations.

STEM Academy

Though it is impossible to measure with precision the financial impact our diversity and inclusion efforts have had on our financial success, we can say with confidence that our results align with the findings in those McKinsey and Deloitte reports. 

Since 2013, our total shareholder return has increased 120 percent and our share price is up 73 percent. More importantly, our efforts have provided us with ideas, resources, perspectives and contacts within the communities we serve that otherwise would be impossible to replicate. 

As we contend with the transformational changes taking place in our industry, our success will continue to depend on the advantages we have gained as a result of the diversity of employees, ideas and community partners who share our vision for success.