Global initiatives driving gender equality have helped more women enter science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professions than any other career in the last 40 years, and companies like Exelon are benefiting from a gender diversity never before seen in the energy industry. That effort is bolstered by practical changes companies like ours are making to ensure unbiased access to any job.
At Exelon, it comes right down to the gear we’re wearing.
As part of an enterprise-wide initiative, our company recently expanded its selection of flame resistant (FR) clothing for women. Nothing is more fundamental to the safe and reliable delivery of energy to a utility’s customers than the work executed by linemen and linewomen. The job is physically demanding -- often executed in situations of great urgency such as storm recovery -- and requires a relentless dedication to safety. Until recently, female line workers had a limited selection of FR clothing, but a new initiative has already delivered additional choices, sizes, and clothing items uniquely needed by women. Two of the new items include FR overalls in maternity sizes and a hijab currently in development.
Robin Benson Saidov, a project manager for Pepco who worked to help secure the safety gear for women said the expanded offerings are a testament to the company’s commitment to all workers’ safety. “As part of a growing group of women in my field, it can be difficult to push for change. But I'm proud to work for a company that really means what they say about diversity initiatives and where allies support making changes for the benefit of all employees,” said Benson Saidov, who is expecting her second baby in December and is happy for the new clothing line’s maternity overall offering.
The timing of the expanded safety gear release for female employees comes as Exelon celebrates Women’s Equality Day this week, commemorating passage of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibiting state and federal government from denying the right to vote on the basis of gender.
Sweeping change is often celebrated at the highest level, like an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. But real change happens when a company recognizes that practical leadership is what effects the everyday lives of its female colleagues. We’re proud to note this one example helping to ensure a gender diversity at Exelon, but we’re even prouder that its one example of many.
Robin Benson Saidov, Principal Project Manager, Pepco
Robin Benson Saidov (pictured above) is a Principal Project Manager for Pepco. Robin holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Math and Electrical Engineering from New York University and Stevens Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration degree from INSEAD, located in France and Singapore. After joining Exelon in 2010, Robin has worked to make infrastructure projects around the organization possible; including two of our new combined cycle projects in Texas, Wolf Hollow and Colorado Bend. Robin helped provide feedback that led to the expansion of FR clothing for women in the field. Robin is expecting her second baby in December.