Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is a core value at FirstEnergy that we believe will help us better serve our customers, improve operational performance, spark innovation, and provide a rewarding, equitable and inclusive work experience for all employees. A diverse workforce ensures we bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our doors, while inclusion creates the atmosphere and tools needed to unlock that knowledge and experience. Recognizing and leveraging the unique strengths that each of us brings to the workplace makes us a more innovative and resilient company.
Since beginning our DEI journey in 2015, and forming a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council, we have taken numerous steps toward achieving our vision for a more diverse, equitable and inclusive FirstEnergy. We’re proud of the actions we’ve taken, but we strongly believe we have much more work ahead of us.
Our vision for DEI at FirstEnergy includes the following objectives:
High-level oversight of diversity, equity and inclusion belongs to our Corporate Governance and Corporate Responsibility Committee. To align with our companywide focus, our Board is committed to a policy of inclusiveness and actively seeks a diverse slate of candidates for director positions. The Board also has a goal to maintain a Board composition of at least 30% diverse members (by gender, race and ethnicity) for the foreseeable future. To read more about our Board’s focus on diversity, please see the Proxy Statement.
Our DEI Council (which provides regular reports to the Corporate Governance and Corporate Responsibility Committee) 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.
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 January 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 critical to achieving our goal.
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, this inclusive environment will help us achieve excellence in our operations and provide superior value to our customers, investors and other stakeholders.
Our annual Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Employee Survey captures our employees’ perspectives on our company’s efforts in this critical area. Their responses measure our progress in advancing a culture of inclusion and belonging and help drive our initiatives for improvement.
Key inclusion efforts include:
Our employees are passionate about a range of diversity, equity and inclusion issues, and we believe that it’s imperative for us to engage with those issues. Without social justice, especially in the form of racial equity, many of our employees, customers and neighbors may not experience the same level of trust, psychological safety and comfort in their personal and professional lives. With this in mind, we have taken the following steps to support social justice in our communities:
These efforts will evolve and be enhanced as the world around us continues to change.