Duke Energy’s commitment to diversity and inclusion extends beyond our own walls and into the community. This commitment was more important than ever in 2016, as several of the communities we serve experienced tragic acts of violence and, in some cases, civil unrest.
In the wake of the civil unrest in Charlotte, N.C., in September, Duke Energy hosted a series of facilitated conversations, called “Pathways to Inclusion,” that provided a venue for employees to discuss these events, their impact, and how we can move forward and create unity. “The sessions gave employees a safe space for dialog around complex, emotional issues,” said LaTonya King, Duke Energy’s director of diversity and inclusion. “They shared feelings of sadness, frustration and anger coming into the sessions, but they left feeling educated, enlightened, and hopeful.”
The Duke Energy Foundation made a $100,000 donation to the Unite Charlotte Fund, a new community fund created in the aftermath of the unrest to support programs focused on healing, rebuilding trust and creating opportunities.
The company brought in the NeuroLeadership Institute (NLI) to pilot a program on unconscious bias with 75 leaders across the company. Those who participated in the pilot reported they felt better equipped to not only recognize bias, but also overcome it in their day-to-day activities.
Similarly, following the deadly shooting at an Orlando nightclub in June, the company made a $100,000 donation to the OneOrlando Fund to help respond to the community’s immediate and future needs.
In 2016, we also continued our sharp focus on cultivating an inclusive environment in the workplace. For instance, the company brought in the NeuroLeadership Institute (NLI) to pilot a program on unconscious bias with 75 leaders across the company. Those who participated in the pilot reported they felt better equipped to not only recognize bias, but also overcome it in their dayto- day activities.
“I’m excited about unconscious bias training. We expect to see improvements in the decision-making capabilities of our leaders as a result of this work,” says Melissa Anderson, executive vice president of administrative services and chief human resources officer. The unconscious bias training program will continue in 2017, with a focus on the top 400 leaders across the company.