Discussions Across Differences
Ameren identified a need to provide resources to help increase people's comfort with starting and participating in meaningful discussions related to diversity and inclusion. The materials were designed not only for use by Ameren employees, but for the broader community to help foster healing and promote inclusion across the St. Louis region and nationwide.
In 2016, Ameren introduced a five-part video training series, Discussion Across Differences, to be used for training across the entire Ameren workforce. The intent of the training is to build stronger relationships, reduce barriers and provide insights and understanding into diversity topics and issues.
Using the videos, facilitator's guide, participant booklet and presentation deck, employees are asked to engage in facilitated diversity and inclusion discussions each quarter to build their skills. The resources were also shared with the community at no cost. Ameren encourages businesses, community organizations and other groups to view and download the materials by visiting Ameren.com.
Discussions Across Differences was released with a goal to train at least 70 percent of Ameren's workforce in 2016.
All Ameren business segments exceeded the 70 percent threshold prior to the end of 2016. The Discussions Across Differences series was promoted to external audiences and has been used by various municipalities in Illinois and Missouri to supplement diversity training. As of December 2016, the clips had received more than 2,600 video views, 885 file downloads and over 2,900 webpage visits. A second set of training materials with refreshed video content is now available for 2017.
A culture that strongly embraces diversity and inclusion enables us to better understand and meet the needs of our diverse customer populations, enhances engagement among our co-workers that drives innovative solutions to meet our customer’s energy needs and expectations, as well as helps us recruit and retain the best talent. We have seen the positive impact of our own efforts at Ameren, and that’s why we specifically developed training to help co-workers increase their comfort level in having conversations about diversity and inclusion. When co-workers are able to bring their true selves to work each and every day we have a better outcome for our business. I encourage other CEOs in our region to learn more and sign the pledge. Working together, we can build stronger and more inclusive communities where everyone prospers.