MADISON, Wis. – February 25, 2020 – Sparked by the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™, Alliant Energy employees are coming together today to discuss diversity, equity, inclusion and unconscious bias.
CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ aims to rally the business community to advance diversity and inclusion conversations. In addition, more than 900 CEOs of the world’s leading companies, including Alliant Energy Chairman, President and CEO John Larsen, pledged to be a catalyst. They are leveraging their collective voices, driving conversation and action around diversity and inclusion, to foster greater collaboration within the workplace. As part of the pledge, all participating CEOs, including Larsen, vowed to cultivate a trusting environment where all employees feel comfortable and empowered to discuss diversity and inclusion.
“I’m passionate about advancing diversity, equity and inclusion at Alliant Energy,” Larsen stated. “With nearly 3,600 employees, sustaining an inclusive culture benefits our co-workers, customers and communities. As a company, we must do more to further the conversation. Today is another step in our ongoing dialogue.”
In addition to the pledge, CEOs committed to selecting a day in February to bring employees together for a conversation about making their workplaces welcoming and inclusive spaces. Today, Alliant Energy is hosting Open House forums at 18 locations across Iowa and Wisconsin to discuss corporate strategy and the refreshed diversity, equity and inclusion vision.
“It begins with self-reflection and having respectful conversations while encouraging employees to speak up when they hear suppressing comments or witness actions that reinforce bias,” said Linda Mattes, Executive Co-Sponsor of the Equality Alliance Employee Resource Group and Vice President of Customer and IT Operations at Alliant Energy. “We strive to encourage everyone to demonstrate support for their fellow co-workers, creating a safe and welcoming environment so each individual feels comfortable bringing their authentic self to work.”
During the forums, Larsen, Mattes, and their fellow executives, will be leading the conversation and sharing details about the company’s new focus on equity. They will also discuss blind spots — assumptions that often create unconscious bias – helping employees to begin to identify them and change behaviors.
“Small changes can make huge differences in removing barriers that prevent employees from bringing their full self to work,” said Diane Cooke, Vice President of Human Resources at Alliant Energy. “We are committed to creating awareness, helping our employees understand that their actions matter and empowering all of our Employee Resources Groups to make a difference. This is one day, but the discussion is ongoing as we work toward greater inclusivity.”