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Community leadership programs can help support diversity in the workplace

Diversity in the workplace can benefit a company and its employees on many levels. According to an article by TalentLyft, having a diverse and inclusive team brings many viewpoints to the table. This can lead to more creativity, faster innovation and better decision-making.

Equal opportunities: Building leadership skills

Born and raised in Akron, Ohio, Nicole Lee knew she wanted to start her career in a warmer climate. As a graduate of the University of Akron’s engineering program, she also knew a rotational program would be very important to her career goals.

Nearly two years later, Lee finished the rotational engineering program at SRP. She now serves in Grid Planning & Performance.

“I’m in a strategic engineering and planning role,” Lee explains. “I research distribution grid impacts through studies and help prepare for future technologies.”

In other words, Lee’s job is to study and help SRP seek different ways to improve how we bring electricity to our customers.

Related read: Meet Louisa Simmons, SRP’s first female engineer.

As Lee began settling into the new role last summer, she began looking for opportunities to grow her leadership skills. Soon after, she was accepted into the first-ever class of the African American Leadership Institute (AALI).

“Programs like AALI are a great way to build diverse leadership at SRP.”

Nicole Lee, SRP engineer and AALi graduate

SRP supports AALI by contributing grants to the nonprofit State of Black Arizona, which implements the leadership program.

“I sensed that AALI would help me become a leader by equipping me with the knowledge, network and improved strategy to help tackle future issues I may face in my community and workplace,” Lee said.

Connecting leadership with diversity in the workplace

The 10-week program included topics such as the history, milestones and roadblocks of African Americans in Arizona. It also taught leadership skills and tactics to support Lee in her career at SRP.

Supporting programs such as AALI helps SRP grow, engage and retain its workforce.

“Programs like AALI are a great way to build diverse leadership at SRP,” Lee added. “Having effective leaders in any company makes for a better workplace, and diversity in leadership is key to achieving that success.”

SRP sponsors leadership programs across the Valley. For more information, please visit SRP’s Community Relations page, or call (602) 236-2536.

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