Pathways to Inclusion Conversations
Duke Energy recognized that what’s happening in our communities and around the nation is top of mind for our employees, and wanted to be part of the solution. The civil unrest in the communities is a distraction to Duke Energy employees, and can impact engagement, morale, productivity, safety, decision making and interactions between co-workers.
In 2016, Duke Energy launched a series of facilitated conversations, called “Pathways to Inclusion Conversations,” hosted by company leaders in the wake of the civil unrest in Charlotte, NC following the police-involved fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. The sessions provided a venue for employees to discuss the recent events, their impact on employees, and how we can move forward and create unity.
The sessions exceeded expectations by providing a safe space for participants to talk openly and candidly about race, which is leading to greater awareness, understanding, acceptance, and a sense of community. Five sessions were held with more than 90 employees, including 13 members of Duke Energy’s Executive Leadership Team who served as hosts for the sessions. Participants shared feelings of sadness, frustration and anger coming into the sessions, and they left feeling hopeful, optimistic, enlightened and educated. The sessions will be expanded to the other jurisdictions within Duke Energy’s service territory in 2017.
I have been very emotional the last two weeks, and the session yesterday was liberating, provided some relief, and was really just excellent overall. I am very grateful to work in a Company that allows employees this kind of opportunity. I feel this is a rare opportunity just due to the size of our Company, but also it feels “taboo” to discuss these issues at work, or quite frankly, anywhere [in the past]. Thank you for the open and judgment free discussion.