UI, CNG, SCG, BGC Advance Women in Utility Industry through Senior Leadership Recruitment, Investments in STEM

22% of senior management roles in companies are held by women, compared to 13% across the industry

Companies invest $18,500 in organizations supporting young women pursuing careers in STEM

ORANGE, Conn. — March 29, 2024 — As Women’s History Month draws to a close, United Illuminating (UI), Southern Connecticut Gas (SCG), Connecticut Natural Gas (CNG), and Berkshire Gas Company (BGC), subsidiaries of Avangrid (NYSE: AGR), today announced their significant investment in recruitment and advancement of women in their workforce. At the end of 2023, women comprised about 27% of the companies' employee base, and 22% of the companies' senior leadership positions were held by women, compared to 13% of senior management positions held by women across the energy industry. To advance these results, the companies offered women leadership training, partnered with women-focused organizations to share job opportunities, and connected with female students at technical high schools and colleges to promote job opportunities. The companies also invested more than $18,000 to encourage young women to pursue their interests in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programs, including in positions in the companies.

“I’m proud of our companies’ commitment to diversifying our leadership positions and workforce by recruiting women to the utility industry,” said Frank Reynolds, President and CEO of UI, SCG, CNG, and BGC. “While the electric and gas industries tend to be male-dominated, we’re working to break down those barriers through outreach efforts and parnerships with schools to introduce young women to careers in STEM. We see firsthand the vital contributions of women in our organization and how they bring unique and diverse perspectives to help solve problems and create solutions. I look forward to continuing to forge a path for creating an inclusive work environment that values and promotes our female colleagues.”

To promote internal job advancement opportunities among female employees, the companies offer leadership training (a 12-month learning path) at the Vice President and Director levels, as well as a 6-month global leadership training program (HerEnergy) offered through Avangrid’s sister company, Iberdrola. The companies have also partnered with national organizations to share job opportunities as they work to increase the number of female candidates. Two such organizations are the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), which aims to empower women to achieve their full potential as engineers and leaders, and Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE), which works to accelerate the transition to a sustainable and equitable energy future. The companies work directly with these two organizations to host events and career fairs and post available job opportunities.

“We are taking advantage of all the available resources to help recruit and retain our female workforce,” said Liberna Charles, VP of Talent Management and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Avangrid. “I’m proud of the partnership we’ve built with SWE and WRISE that enables us to reach their membership, which has knowledge, experience, and a passion for the utility industry and engineering. We also take pride in investing in our female workforce by providing them with training opportunities to help them grow and advance in their careers. We want our employees to grow and develop within our organization for years to come.”

On a local level, the companies work with technical high schools and community colleges by attending job fairs to share recruitment and training opportunities. In the summer of 2023, UI launched the first of its kind Union Scholars Program, a 10-week trade internship for nine high school seniors, one of whom was a female. Students received hands-on training from the Overhead and Underground Line Department as junior apprentices. Following their successful completion of the program, they were offered employment with UI contingent on their graduation from high school and following their eighteenth birthday. UI’s Human Resources team, Electric Operations team, and lineworkers with the Utility Workers Union of America Local 470-1 have begun recruitment efforts for the second iteration of the Union Scholars program, set to launch in June 2024.

The companies have a shared commitment of investing in local organizations with an emphasis on promoting women in STEM. Since 2014, UI has contributed $2,500 to Fairfield University’s Computing Education Academy (CEA), which introduces high school students to key computing concepts and basic computer programming through hands-on activities to promote future career opportunities in computing. In 2023, UI made a $5,000 donation to the University’s Broadening Access to Science Education (B.A.S.E) Camp, a two-week overnight camp for rising junior and senior high school students, primarily girls, from underrepresented groups in STEM fields. Since 2018, the companies have donated $11,000 to the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame, and employees have donated their time to helping support the organizations STEMfems events, which encourage girls to pursue their interests in STEM by participating in hands-on workshops.  

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