PECO’s engagement with diverse communities
Considering the level of diversity within the communities it serves, PECO has made significant contributions to each one, including the Latino community.
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At PECO, diversity, and inclusion is embraced as one of the organization’s core values.
With such a diverse customer and employee base in such a diverse region, PECO has emphasized the importance of being inclusive, both internally and externally.
The Latin American community makes up one of the largest groups in the Greater Philadelphia region and is one of the communities PECO has worked to connect and engage with in various ways.
There is a strong presence of employees at PECO that are of Latino culture and heritage. As a result, those employees have been very proactive in ensuring there’s a space to celebrate their heritage and that their voices are being heard.
This is done in a variety of ways.
One way PECO employees have made an impact is by serving as board members for various nonprofit organizations across the city.
Daniel Estrada, the senior data analyst at PECO, is one of the many Latino employees at the company.
He is currently on the Young Professional Network (YPN) board, funded by the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
The Young Professional Network aims to create a pipeline of Latino executive professionals between 25 and 35.
Implementing employee resource groups (ERGs) has been another way that PECO has enhanced its diversity and inclusion efforts.
More than 20 years ago, PECO created the ERG, the Organization of Latinos at Exelon (OLE, for short).
In addition to his primary role at PECO, Estrada also serves as the president of OLE.
“It started as just a group of employees that are Latino that wanted to have interactions and make sure that Latin American culture was being represented,” he said of the ERG.
OLE has grown over the years, in large part, due to the creation of committees among the employees.
The committees have been responsible for addressing the needs of both the employees and the community.
“The very first thing is that we knew that in order to help the community or help PECO, we needed to have engaged members,” said Estrada.
In knowing that, Estrada made sure to listen to members and learn directly from them.
Through a survey and one-on-one engagement, it was found that the three basic ways to increase engagement were with social events, career development, and volunteer work.
These three elements allow PECO to interact with a larger group of Latinos in the region and continue being a voice within the company.
To this extent, PECO often hosts Latino organizations celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, highlighting the significant contributions of prominent Latinos, and providing valuable opportunities for the Latino community in the region.
“It’s really neat to see how a company really wants to be involved … and particularly with the Latino community,” said Estrada.
For Estrada, serving as president of OLE is most fulfilling for two main reasons.
One is his understanding of the importance of having a diversity of thoughts from different backgrounds and experiences.
“Bringing diverse thinking and diverse candidates into our company really enhance productivity and enhances the ability to find new and exciting ways of doing things,” he said.
The second is that he has two young Hispanic daughters, and he wants them to know their opportunities and capabilities are without limit.
“I always want to make sure that Latinos are represented, and I'm always pushing and really making sure that my Latinas in the group are really showing what they can do.”