Study: Duke Energy tops among world power companies for women in key posts

John Downey
Senior Staff Writer-
Charlotte Business Journal

A new study on women in the power and utility industry ranks Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE:DUK) first among the 100 largest power companies internationally for women in decision-making positions. The report — released by international consulting firm EY, formerly known as Ernst & Young — is titled “Talent on the table: index of women in power & utilities.” It is the first attempt by EY to evaluate the industry’s record in tapping women for important board, executive and management posts.

Charlotte-based Duke’s CEO is Lynn Good, and the CEO of the second-ranked company, San Diego-based Sempra Energy, is also a woman. But more important for EY’s analysis is that each are members of their company’s board of directors.

The EY report finds the power industry as a whole “fared better for gender diversity than other infrastructure-specific industries such as telecommunications, oil and gas (and) mining.” But it lags behind less technical industries such as consumer services.

Other U.S. companies
Among power companies, Duke scores well because, beyond Good, there are two other women on the senior management team, two other women on the board of directors and at least half a dozen women in business unit and audit leadership positions.

The report profiles one of them: Chief Customer Officer Gayle Lanier. She told EY that diversity is a key for successful companies.

“At Duke we need diverse teams more than ever as we get more personal with customers and move from the meter into the home,” she told EY. “One of the reasons I joined Duke five years ago was to bring diversity of thought.” Duke and Sempra are the only U.S. companies EY ranks in the top 10 worldwide. New York based-Consolidated Edison, Virginia-based Dominion Resources and the Tennessee Valley Authority rank in the top 20 at 14th, 15th and 19th, respectively.

John Downey covers the energy industry and public companies for the Charlotte Business Journal.

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