Paula Gold-Williams is the CEO of CPS Energy.
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 has been your experience as a woman CEO?
Paula Gold-Williams: I've been working for more than thirty years, but when I started my career, I did not envision that one day I would become a CEO. Upon earning an undergrad degree in accounting years ago, I knew I loved business. I also knew that I did not want to become a sole proprietor, where I was the only employee. Back then, accountants often thought about opening their own accounting, audit, or consulting practice. It just wasn't personally appealing to me.
Conversely, I have always liked the concept of general business, particularly when it is broad and multi-faceted. I have always liked the fact that you can get a lot of different talented folks together and it is great when they are all open to driving value. Very early on, I realized that you've got to do a wide variety of things to keep your customers satisfied and grow your business. A talented, cohesive team increases your likelihood of being successful in business.