NiSource Inc. continues to take steps to build a pipeline of women leaders through national and regional leadership summits, a mentoring program, an employee affinity group and various other programs.
The Building the NextGen: Women in Leadership initiative provides opportunities for women at NiSource to come together to share ideas, build leadership skills, and ensure that the strong pipeline of woman leaders at the company continues to grow. To date, activities include networking, sharing leadership opportunities and challenges, and developing critical skills such as negotiating, critical thinking and influencing strategies.
“The Building the NextGen program is designed to build a sustainable pipeline of women leaders at NiSource,” said Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer Carrie Hightman, co-founder of the Building the NextGen program. “Finding ways to continue to diversify the workforce is good for both the company and our employees. It’s also critical for us to successfully deliver on our enhanced, multi-billion dollar energy infrastructure investment programs.”
Launched in 2011, the Building the NextGen: Women in Leadership initiative involves three major components:
· National and regional summits: Female employees from across NiSource come together with company executives and external experts to share ideas, network and build leadership skills. Since November 2011, five such meetings have occurred, reaching nearly 600 women from across the company.
· Mentor program: A pilot formal mentoring program was launched in the summer of 2012, which paired women with senior male and female leaders across the company. The framework also is being used for other formal and informal mentoring programs throughout the company.
· Affinity group: A company-wide women’s affinity group – DAWN, Developing and Advancing Women at NiSource – launched in early 2012, and is comprised of more than 500 male and female employee members. In addition to collaboration and information-sharing through the company’s intranet, the affinity group holds quarterly all-member virtual meetings and supplemental local on-site events designed to develop and advance women at the company.
“In the end our goal is simple, to help ensure the pipeline of women leaders is strengthened and continues to grow,” concluded Violet Sistovaris, senior vice president and chief information officer and co-founder of the Building the NextGen program.