OUR DEI ASPIRATIONS
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) is a core value as well as a corporate objective because a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture delivers strong operational performance and innovation to better serve our customers, while building a safe and rewarding work experience for employees. A diverse workforce brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our organization. An inclusive work environment invites everyone to share their knowledge and experience. And equitable treatment helps ensure that we are creating opportunities for all employees to thrive. FirstEnergy is a stronger company because we recognize and leverage our employees' unique talents, experience and perspectives.
Our DEI strategy aligns with our overall business objectives and is supported by three pillars:
OVERSIGHT AND ACCOUNTABILITY
High-level oversight of diversity, equity and inclusion for our employees belongs to the Compensation Committee of the Board. To align with our companywide focus, our Board is also committed to a policy of inclusiveness and actively seeks a diverse slate of candidates for director positions. These efforts support the Board's goal to maintain a composition of at least 30% diverse members (by gender, race and ethnicity) for the foreseeable future.
Our DEI Council aims to enhance workforce diversity, create an inclusive work environment, and provide oversight and guidance for FirstEnergy's integrated diversity, equity and inclusion strategy. Our DEI team, with director-level management, is responsible for developing and executing our companywide initiatives.
To read more about our Board's focus on diversity, please see the Proxy Statement.
Introduced in 2018, our DEI key performance indicator (KPI) supports our commitment by increasing leadership accountability for DEI efforts. Managers and above have 15% of their STIP weighted on the DEI KPI, which considers three factors: the percentage of diverse professional hires, the number of diverse succession plan candidates and improvements in key measures of inclusion in our annual DEI Employee Survey. In 2021, we broadened the KPI to include supervisors, whose DEI KPI is tied to the survey at 5%.
BUILDING A DIVERSE TEAM
When our team reflects the diversity of the communities we serve, we can better understand and meet our customers' needs. With this in mind, we're taking decisive steps to accelerate the diversity of our workforce. In 2021, we announced an aspirational goal to achieve a 30% increase, from our 2020 baseline, in the number of racially and ethnically diverse employees by 2025 – both companywide and at the supervisor-and-above leadership level.
Visit our Talent Management and Employee Development page for details on the recruiting and hiring practices we've implemented to achieve our goal.
Our goal is to achieve a 30% increase, from our 2020 baseline, in the number of racially and ethnically diverse employees and leaders by 2025.
Progress Toward our 2025 YE Goal
Leadership is defined as supervisor and above positions. Racially/ethnically diverse refers to American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic or Latino, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander and Two or More Races. Racially/ethnically diverse employees may be recorded in more than one category.
FOSTERING AN INCLUSIVE ENVIRONMENT
We want to create a rewarding work environment where innovative ideas are welcomed, and all employees are treated with respect and motivated to contribute to FirstEnergy's progress. In turn, we believe this inclusive environment will help us achieve operational excellence and provide superior value to our customers, investors and other stakeholders.
Even with many employees working remotely, we remain focused on promoting workplace equity and creating an open and inclusive culture. We continue to offer opportunities for employees and leaders to "Speak Up" about important diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) topics. The culture we are building extends beyond compliance and inclusivity, empowering employees to be candid, explore creative solutions, question freely and transform mistakes into opportunities for both individual and company growth. For more information on our cultural transformation and commitment to employees, visit Employees are Essential at FirstEnergy.
Key inclusion efforts include:
- Speak Up Series: Ongoing moderated forums that provide a safe space for employees to engage in open and honest dialogue about a range of DEI topics. It's also a place where we can discuss the best ways to move forward in fostering equitable and inclusive environments at FirstEnergy and in our communities. Speak Up topics have included racial equity, allyship and microaggressions – and have continued while employees work remotely.
- Bold, Inclusive Conversations: Leaders set the tone for creating a workplace where every team member feels they belong and that their ideas are welcomed and valued. From 2020 to 2021, FirstEnergy invested in DEI training for more than 1,800 leaders. The training was designed to provide education about the history of racism and help our leaders build the knowledge and skills required to discuss current events, hold courageous conversations with employees and become allies.
- Employee Business Resource Groups (EBRGs): Our employee-driven EBRGs build inclusivity and connect employees by providing education, professional development, volunteering and networking opportunities to their members and allies. With 19 different chapters of our seven EBRGs, so far, 2,600 employees, or approximately a quarter of our workforce, have taken advantage of this opportunity to connect and grow.
EBRGs at FirstEnergy
Serves as a resource to FirstEnergy’s people of color and their allies and seeks to further strengthen recruitment, development and advocacy of people of color.
Strives to positively influence the organizational culture by ensuring the hiring and development of veterans.
Develops current and future women leaders for senior management positions and addresses the challenges of work-life balance.
Strives to enhance the health and well-being of the LGBTQ+ community within FirstEnergy by providing a safe and supportive environment through a partnership between corporate leadership, community members and participating employees.
Serves as a resource for mental wellness and advocates for employees with physical and mental disabilities and major illnesses, as well as family members and friends who support and assist them. The group is committed to fostering an inclusive work environment where employees of all abilities are empowered to be authentic, valued and respected.
Ensures the professional and personal development of women in our customer contact centers and develops women leaders across the company through mentorship opportunities.
Provides workplace support to foster balance between career and family, while raising awareness of issues facing caregivers and taking steps to positively change our culture around caregiving.
SOCIAL JUSTICE IN OUR COMPANY AND OUR COMMUNITIES
In response to increased violence, hateful acts and bigotry across the country, FirstEnergy has accelerated efforts to advance racial equality and social justice in both our workplace and the diverse communities we serve. With support from company leaders across the organization, we are providing knowledge and tools to help employees recognize and call out injustice when they see it.
We are raising awareness and taking action to help build a brighter, safer world for our employees and customers:
- Developing a more diverse workforce and leadership team: Members of our MOSaic Ohio EBRG have teamed up with employees from Human Resources and Legal to identify and implement actions toward meaningful change. As a result of their efforts, FirstEnergy has already taken notable steps, such as enhancing our recruiting and interview processes, improving succession planning and publishing the DEI Workforce and Culture Progress report to increase transparency.
- Focusing energy and resources to drive local change: In 2021, the newly established EBRG Community Involvement Council sponsored events for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service and a drive to collect hats, mittens and gloves for local nonprofits.
- Establishing connections to help address economic disparities in our communities: Our newly established Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Team provides guidance and develops messaging to help External Affairs team members engage more thoughtfully with elected officials on DEI issues to facilitate meaningful change.
- Listening to our communities to develop informed responses: Established in 2020, our DEI Event Response Team evaluates current DEI-related events and makes appropriate recommendations to guide the company’s timely stance or perspective.
As the world around us changes and new local needs emerge, our efforts will evolve to better serve our employees, customers and communities.
DEI RECOGNITION (2021-2022)
Our ongoing commitment to DEI remains essential to our forward-looking and future-building strategy, and we continue to earn local and national recognition for our efforts.