Southern Company ranked fifth in companies for Blacks

Southern Company was recently named one of “Top 10 Companies for Blacks” by DiversityInc. The company moves up to No. 5 this year from No. 6 in 2011.

“At Southern Company, valuing diversity is not an option; it’s our responsibility,” said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. “Creating a workplace environment where people from varying perspectives and backgrounds can contribute to the best of their ability will help make us a better company.”

DiversityInc cited Southern Company’s strong representation of Blacks both in the overall employee population and in the management ranks. Blacks make up 19.13 percent of Southern Company’s workforce and represented 13.4 percent of the company’s total management. Of promotions in management in 2011, 14.7 percent went to Blacks. Further, according to DiversityInc, Southern Company has competitive representation of Blacks in the top three management levels and board of directors.

“Southern Company’s strategy is to meet the requirements of our business with people representative of the communities we serve and the demographics of the marketplace,” said Stacy Kilcoyne, vice president of human resources for Southern Company. “It’s our aim to build an inclusive work environment in which all employees, regardless of their differences, feel welcomed, valued, respected and engaged.”

Southern Company strives to achieve diversity representation with focused recruiting initiatives at historically black colleges and universities and recruiting partnerships with local and national organizations, such as churches and the National Society of Black Engineers.

In addition to general recruitment efforts, the company has joined forces with high schools, technical schools and colleges to recruit and prepare students to pursue careers in power generation, power delivery and nuclear.

Southern Company was also recognized as one of the “25 Noteworthy Companies” by DiversityInc. The Noteworthy Companies list includes firms that have the potential to make DiversityInc’s “Top 50 Companies for Diversity”

next year. According to DiversityInc, these companies are either above average or are significantly improving in the focus areas of CEO Commitment, Human Capital, Corporate and Organizational Communications and Supplier Diversity. “Southern Company has made tremendous strides in creating a more inclusive workplace in recent years, especially with the addition of domestic-partner benefits,” said Luke Visconti, chief executive officer for DiversityInc. “Externally, supplier diversity is a major strength, with more than 15 percent of Tier I direct contractor spending going to minority- and women-owned vendors.”

With 4.4 million customers and more than 43,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier energy company serving the Southeast. A leading U.S. producer of electricity, Southern Company owns electric utilities in four states and a growing competitive generation company, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and retail electric prices that are below the national average. Southern Company also is continually ranked among the top utilities in Fortune’s annual World’s Most Admired Electric and Gas Utility rankings