Choose to Challenge – with challenge comes change

A lineage of female leaders in the South Metro region of Atlanta Gas Light share how they’ve challenged the status quo in what’s historically been a male-dominated industry

Southern Company Gas and its family of distribution companies celebrate Women’s History Month and recognize March 8 as International Women’s Day – a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

On a recent field operations site visit, Chairman, President and CEO Kim Greene found something unusual that is another reason for celebration. In Atlanta Gas Light’s South Metro region, a foreman, her supervisor, her manager, her director, and her vice president are women. In a male-dominated industry, this line of women and their direct reports is rare.

“I’m extremely encouraged to see this line of women forging the way – leading an entire region,” Greene said. “It’s exciting and I’m delighted to experience this in my career.”

Last month, the company launched its Fueling Equity effort, which reflects the company’s understanding that when you know better, you do better. The three tenets of Fueling Equity are Listen, Learn and Lead.

The work of Fueling Equity will include being more intentional about listening  to colleagues who are feeling the pain of recent attacks or any kind of marginalization; learning  about the issues and ways it can lean in to help and better support them; and then leading  by being allies, advocates and ensuring an equitable company that leads in the communities it serves.

Greene said she never had a female supervisor during her 30-year career in the utility industry.

“This effort is about all of us, both as individuals and as a collective. This team is a great representation of what we mean in ‘lead by example’ when we talk about Fueling Equity,” she said. “I hope we all can learn and be inspired by their impact.”

Southern Company Gas continues its commitment to embrace, respect, and value all employees in its inclusive environment, recognizing a diverse talent pool leads to innovative solutions.

These five women at Atlanta Gas Light have seen the transformation needed in the workplace. They worked hard in a predominantly male field and rose to become leaders – reflecting the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day – Choose to Challenge.

Kristy Rounds, Operations Foreman – Rounds started her career at Atlanta Gas Light through its new hire Apprentice Program and worked her way to become the Operations Foreman in the South Metro region.

She reports to:

Natalie Caster, Operations Supervisor – Caster gained experience leading mostly male – if not all-male – teams, starting her career in power generation at Georgia Power before becoming the only female supervisor with Atlanta Gas Light in South Metro.

She reports to:

Latasha James, Operations Manager – James, who started her career in environmental affairs, was inspired by the female leaders across Atlanta Gas Light operations and strived to learn more from one female region director in particular. That mentor is now her boss.

She reports to:

Nichole Miles-Sullivan, Region Director – Miles-Sullivan has dedicated her career to building a more inclusive workplace for employees with diverse backgrounds, starting with the younger generation by teaching them about careers in energy.

She reports to:

Tremese Davis, Vice President of Operations – Davis has more than 20 years of experience in the energy field and worked in many parts of the business including human resources and supply chain management. She made history by becoming the first Black female foreman at Atlanta Gas Light.

She reports to Pedro Cherry, president and CEO of AGL. And Cherry reports to:

Kim Greene, Chairman, President and CEO of Southern Company Gas Davis is now making her mark as the second Black female vice president at the company – a move Pedro Cherry implemented within his first month of taking over his role in August 2020.

“I’m honored to be a part of and witness each of these women’s journey, and I’m very proud of the dedication they’ve shown to bettering our communities, customers and workforce in the south metro region,” Cherry said. “It’s a historic time for the company, and I hope we continue to see and influence diversity, equity and inclusion in more leadership roles moving forward.”

Watch the video above to hear from each of these women on what Choose to Challenge means to them and how important creating an inclusive environment benefits the company, the communities it serves and most importantly, its customers.