The energy sector has a diversity problem and has reported having trouble recruiting women and minorities with expansive backgrounds in technology, engineering, or mathematics. According to a policy study done by Columbia University, women represent between 22% to 34% of the workforce in the energy industry with the percentage growing smaller and smaller as the positions become higher in rank.
Within the clean energy sector, that number is higher with women making up 32% of the workforce in wind and solar energy. Last week, Consumers Energy announced its recent appointment of Angela Thompkins as the vice president and chief diversity officer starting next month.
Thompkins duties will include monitoring the company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy in addition to partnering with leaders within the organization to improve those results. She will be transitioning from executive director of Inclusion and Strategic Talent Sourcing within the company where she will also be responsible for building relationships with different communities and organizations to scout for diverse talent for the company. Thompkins joined the energy corporation back in 2013 after holding different leadership positions across various industries including food distribution and nonprofit legal services.
She also serves on several boards including the Michigan Chapter of American Association of Blacks in Energy and the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion. Her career began as a prosecutor for the city of Detroit, graduating from Eastern Michigan University and Wayne State University Law School.
“Angela has a true passion for her work and is a champion for her co-workers and our company,” said Cathy Hendrian, senior vice president of People and Culture at CMS Energy and Consumers Energy in a press release. “Angela’s extensive background and wealth of experience helps her understand the unique perspectives we need to build a stronger, more inclusive organization while ensuring every voice within the company is heard.”