Connie Lau is the CEO of Hawaiian Electric Industries.
Recently, Navigant's Jan Vrins and PUF's Steve Mitnick talked with seven inspiring utility CEOs — all women — about their experience as leaders, their advice to today's rising stars (particularly those that are young women), and their company's challenges as they transform their organizations to navigate the energy transition, address climate change, and redefine our industry.
PUF: What's been your experience at Hawaiian Electric Industries?
Connie Lau: I've been very fortunate that executive management and the boards at HEI were very focused a long time back on diversity and promoting women. When I joined in the mid-80s, there was only one female manager and only one executive of color. Now today, about forty percent of our executives are women.
I'm glad to see that the entire industry has progressed as well. In 2006, when I became CEO, less than two percent of the CEOs were women. Today, there are twenty-two percent female CEOs — that's huge progress.
I was fortunate that HEI provided me a number of on-the-job experiences, including financial and line management, and made me CEO of one of our major subsidiaries to prepare me for the CEO job at the public company.
Navigant: Is your board diverse?