ST. LOUIS, July 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- One group that can get overlooked in the diversity, equity and inclusion conversation are those with disabilities – but not at Ameren Corporation (NYSE: AEE). Once again, the company has received a perfect 100% on the Disability Equality Index (DEI), recognizing its programs and policies that promote inclusiveness for Ameren employees, customers and suppliers with disabilities. This is the seventh year in a row that Ameren has received the top score.
The Disability Equality Index is the world's most comprehensive benchmarking tool for Fortune 1000 companies to measure disability workplace inclusion against competitors. It measures how the company promotes inclusivity for those with disabilities with regard to culture and leadership, benefits, recruitment, training, retention and advancement, accommodations, community engagement and supplier diversity.
"We are proud to once again be recognized as a Best Place to Work for Disability Equality," said Sharon Harvey Davis, vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer at Ameren. "We believe a culture that values diversity and fosters equity and inclusion is critical to our ability to fulfill our mission – to power the quality of life for our customers and in our communities, not only through the energy we provide but also through volunteerism, philanthropy, energy assistance and sponsorships."
Ameren has programs in place to create an inclusive and successful work environment for employees with disabilities, including:
- An employee resource group, Powering Connections for All Abilities (PCAA), to support fellow employees with disabilities and help advise the company on accommodations.
- Partnership with Starkloff Disability Institute to provide disability-led educational programming and advise on inclusivity at Ameren.
"It's important that we, as a company, support our co-workers with disabilities, as their lived experiences and talents bring great strengths to our work," said Amir Lilienthal, president of PCAA at Ameren. "Approximately 30% of adults in Missouri and 23% in Illinois have a disability. When our team reflects the diversity in our communities, we're better able to understand and meet the needs of our customers."
Ameren supports customers with disabilities through a number of volunteer efforts, such as building wheelchair ramps at the homes of injured veterans, as well as hosting a cohort of high school students with disabilities to teach them about careers in the energy industry and how to prepare to attain them.
For many years, Ameren has supported the critical work by Variety to assist children with disabilities and their families by providing Variety Kids with 107 power wheelchairs. These specialized 'Ameren Power Chairs' allow kids and their families to build confidence and better engage with the world around them. In addition, Ameren's PCAA partners with Paraquad to build ramps for abled individuals. The company also helped contribute funds towards these builds and ramps for Paraquad's health and wellness center. Finally, the company also spends approximately 25% of total spending with diverse suppliers, including those with disabilities.
In 2021, 319 corporations completed the Disability Equality Index. Each company received a score, on a scale of zero to 100, with those earning 80% and above recognized as a "Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion."
"The Disability Equality Index shines a spotlight on companies that believe they have a stake in creating a more equitable society for people with disabilities," said Maria Town, president and CEO of American Association of People with Disabilities. "It is a conduit for our work championing disability rights for the 60 million Americans with disabilities and knocking down barriers to employment, technology and health care, and we're thrilled to see the progress being made today."
The DEI is a joint initiative of the AAPD, the nation's largest disability rights organization, and Disability:IN, the global business disability inclusion network, to collectively advance the inclusion of people with disabilities. The tool was developed by the DEI Advisory Committee, a diverse group of business leaders, policy experts, and disability advocates.
About Ameren Corporation
St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation powers the quality of life for 2.4 million electric customers and more than 900,000 natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area through its Ameren Missouri and Ameren Illinois rate-regulated utility subsidiaries. Ameren Illinois provides electric transmission and distribution service and natural gas distribution service. Ameren Missouri provides electric generation, transmission and distribution services, as well as natural gas distribution service. Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois operates a rate-regulated electric transmission business in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. For more information, visit Ameren.com, or follow us on Twitter at @AmerenCorp, Facebook.com/AmerenCorp, or LinkedIn.com/company/Ameren.
SOURCE Ameren Corporation