COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 5, 2016 – American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) received a perfect score on the 2017 Corporate Equality Index, a national benchmark of workplace policies, benefits and practices for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. AEP’s score ranks the company among the 2017 Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality list.
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation, which rated a total of 1,043 businesses this year, released its 2017 report today. The report evaluates non-discrimination workplace protections, domestic partner benefits, transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits, competency programs, and public engagement with the LGBT community based on information provided through surveys completed by the companies and/or through public sources. This is the first year the foundation awarded a perfect score to AEP.
“AEP actively cultivates a diverse workforce, which allows us to leverage the unique talents and experiences of each of our employees to solve challenges, spur innovation and help our business thrive,” said Nicholas K. Akins, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Being recognized as one of the Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality affirms the values of diversity and inclusion that we work hard to support, and we accept this honor on behalf of our employees, our customers and our communities who have worked with AEP to bring those values to life.”
AEP’s perfect score was supported by its strong commitment to supporting diversity in the workplace. In addition to extending benefits for same-sex couples and their dependents for nearly a decade, AEP offers coverage of transition-related care, based on medical necessity, to individuals who identify as transgender. AEP also provides families with adoption assistance, reimbursing employees up to $3,000 per child for eligible adoption-related expenses and providing up to 40 hours of paid leave for new adoptive parents. The company has a strong and active employee resource group, the Pride Partnership, which facilitates networking and mentoring of LGBT employees, contractors and their allies. Numbering over 460, the Pride Partnership’s members also serve as ambassadors to local LGBT organizations, reinforcing AEP’s leadership in the community at large.
American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity and custom energy solutions to nearly 5.4 million customers in 11 states. AEP owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a more than 40,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP also operates 224,000 miles of distribution lines. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning approximately 31,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also supplies 3,200 megawatts of renewable energy to customers. AEP’s utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.