ALLETE honored for advancing women in leadership roles

Bethany Owen accepts women in leadership award. Submitted / ALLETE

ALLETE Inc. recently received state and national recognition for its success in advancing women in corporate leadership roles.

The 2017 Minnesota Census of Women in Corporate Leadership, produced by St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota, named ALLETE an Honor Roll company. ALLETE is among 19 out of 72 public companies in Minnesota with women representing at least 20 percent of corporate directors and 20 percent of executive officers, according to the report.

In 2017, three women served on the 12-member ALLETE board of directors: Madeleine Ludlow, Heidi Jimmerson and Kathryn Dindo. In January, Susan Nestegard joined the board, bringing the total to four women. Jimmerson, lead director, and Ludlow are the longest-serving board members. Both joined the board in 2004.

In addition, three of nine executive officers are women. They are Deb Amberg, senior vice president ALLETE, chief strategy officer of regulated operations and president of Superior Water, Light and Power; Bethany Owen, senior vice president ALLETE and chief legal and administrative officer; and Nicole Johnson, vice president of ALLETE Human Resources.

Owen said the company is honored by the recognition.

“The ALLETE board and executives understand very well the strategic advantages and contributions that women bring to the conversation and to the success of the company,” Owen said. “The women on the board, along with women in other leadership capacities, serve as role models and demonstrate ALLETE’s commitment to diversity. ALLETE is absolutely stronger when we are collaborating and listening to different perspectives.”

Jimmerson said it’s important for ALLETE to build on the momentum it has achieved in advancing female leadership. ALLETE has long recognized the importance of having women in leadership roles. Women have served in senior leadership positions and on ALLETE’s board of directors for decades. Women also serve in key executive roles within ALLETE’s family of companies.

“Having women in key leadership roles to challenge thinking and offer varying points of view is imperative for our continued success,” Jimmerson said. “I’m proud of ALLETE’s strong track record of diversity and inclusion and know that talented, capable women at all levels of the company will help drive our growth and attract the next generation of leaders.”

ALLETE also was recognized for championing gender diversity on its board of directors by 2020 Women on Boards, a national campaign to increase the number of women on corporate boards to at least 20 percent by 2020. ALLETE is one of 1,151 companies in the campaign’s database of 3,192 companies to achieve this recognition. It is the seventh consecutive year ALLETE has been recognized as a “Winning Company” by the campaign.