Byron Witherspoon is Ameren's director of Supplier Diversity.
PUF examines our industry's drive to diversify its workforce and spend. This section focuses on the progress at Ameren described by Byron Witherspoon.
PUF: Why is diversity in the utility workplace and in utility spend important to Ameren?
Byron Witherspoon: When we think about diversity, equity, and inclusion, and what it means to Ameren and how it impacts our community, I'll start with this. Our customers and communities we serve are diverse. We believe our supply chain should reflect that diversity.
Through our commitment to doing business with diverse companies, we help nurture the job growth and increase economic activity throughout the region. It is the multiplier effect. Inclusive procurement practices lead to greater representation, employment, and economic advancement for minority, women, veteran, and LGBT communities.
Quite simply, employees of diverse businesses reinvest and spend their wages to purchase goods and services where they live. That is important to us, so when we think about Ameren as being stewards in our community, we want to make sure we create opportunities for all.
PUF: It's not just the right thing to do, it's good for business.