Allete recognized for advancing women in leadership roles
Monday, April 26, 2021
Allette has received statewide recognition for its long history of advancing women in corporate leadership roles.
The 2020 Minnesota Census of Women in Corporate Leadership, produced by St. Catherine University in St. Paul, again named Allete an Honor Roll company with Special Distinction.
Allete is among only eight of Minnesota’s 77 largest public companies with women representing at least 30 percent of its corporate directors and 30 percent of its executive officers, according to the report.
A majority of the Allete board of directors and more than 40 percent of Allete executive officers are women.
Allete and other Honor Roll companies were recognized April 20 at a virtual event hosted by Twin Cities Business. The Allete board of directors achieved gender parity in 2019 when Bethany Owen (pictured), Allete president and CEO, joined the 10-member board which already included four women: Madeleine Ludlow, Heidi Jimmerson, Kathryn Dindo and Susan Nestegard. Barbara Nick joined the Allete board in July 2020, bringing the total makeup of the now 11-member board to more than 50 percent women.
Jimmerson, lead director, and Ludlow are the longest-serving board members. Both joined the board in 2004. In addition, three of Allete’s seven executive officers are women. They are Owen, who was named Allete CEO in February 2020; Maggie Thickens, vice president Allete and chief legal and administrative officer; and Nicole Johnson, vice president Allete and chief administrative officer.
Women also serve in key executive roles within Allete’s family of companies, including Laura Schauer, Allete Clean Energy chief financial officer, and Julie Pierce, Minnesota Power vice president of Strategy and Planning.
Owen said the company is honored by the recognition and also acknowledged Allete’s ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion.
“Allete long ago recognized the value of diversity within the boardroom and across the company,” Owen said. “Embracing diverse perspectives is part of our company values and culture. Doing so makes for a more inclusive workplace while also giving us a strategic advantage, driving growth and ultimately contributing to our success. We encourage women—and all employees at every level of the company—to excel at their highest capacity. To build on our success we must continue to embrace diversity in all forms, be it gender identity, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or experiences. We know we have more work to do in these areas, but we also know we absolutely are stronger when more voices are included in the decision-making process at all levels within the company.”
In addition to the recognition in the St. Catherine University census, Moody’s Investors Service recently identified Allete as having the most gender diverse board among 45 utility companies it examined for a report on board gender diversity at publicly traded North American utilities.