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Celebrating Women's History Month: Empowering Diversity and Inclusion at RI

  • Written by Lynn Belken
  • March 8, 2024
Professional headshots of four female employees at Resource Innovations

Despite advancements in various sectors, the energy industry remains one of the fields with significant gender disparities. The remarkable evolution of diversity in recent decades has significantly altered the landscape of industry events, presenting a stark contrast to those in the early 2000s. Despite these positive changes, women continue to be underrepresented, facing challenges that range from unequal opportunities to limited representation in leadership roles.  

As March unfolds, we embrace the significance of Women's History Month, a time dedicated to honoring the impactful contributions of women throughout history. This year's theme, "Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion," resonates profoundly with the spirit of our company. International Women's Day, observed within this month, adds an extra layer of significance, serving as a poignant reminder of the ongoing journey toward gender equality.  

In recognition of these celebrations, let's pause to applaud some of the women in our company who advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I). Their leadership and dedication not only shape our organizational culture but also spark positive change within and beyond our walls.   

Lauren Casentini, our CEO, has embedded equity, diversity and inclusion into every aspect of the organization since its founding in 2016. Her commitment to it was evident from the outset when she ensured a majority-woman Board of Directors was written into our founding documents. Today, her commitment is reflected in our executive team that has remained majority women. In both her journey up the corporate ranks of a major utility company and as an entrepreneur founding multiple businesses, Lauren has not only inspired generations of women, but has also actively hired and mentored other women; women who are now serving on boards, starting and growing their own companies, and who are driving positive change in the world. She has consistently been and remains a leader who advocates for equity, diversity and inclusion. 

Jennifer Ballard Croft, our Chief People Officer and General Counsel, plays a multifaceted role in advocating for DE&I within RI. Her alignment of DE&I strategies with both cultural values and legal standards reflects a holistic approach. Jennifer champions DE&I by implementing inclusive policies and programs designed to foster diversity throughout the employee lifecycle, demonstrating her commitment to creating an environment that values and respects diverse individuals. 

As Head of Impact and ESG, Laura Kimes leads Resource Innovations’ corporate sustainability, DEI, and corporate governance measurement and management.  Laura leverages her experience in ESG consulting and her entrepreneurial journey of owning and operating her own B-Corp social enterprise to bring people together to create positive impacts in DE&I and sustainability. In her role at RI, Laura embodies the spirit of an "intrapreneur," innovating within the organization to develop tools and processes that maximize impact across our four pillars. She identifies areas for enhancement, monitors progress, and communicates our deep commitment to DE&I through various channels such as blog posts, Impact Reports, and the evolution of our policies and processes. 

Margaux Quebedeaux, Senior Talent Acquisition Coordinator, collaborates with recruiters and hiring managers to actively cultivate a diverse pool of candidates from a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives. In addition to talent acquisition, Margaux has been a member of our DE&I Employee Committee since its inception and is poised to take on the role of Chair. She works with the committee to educate employees and foster a workplace culture where individuals feel valued and empowered to contribute their unique perspectives and talents.   

We take immense pride in the collective dedication and commitment demonstrated by our diverse team at RI. Each employee plays a crucial role in shaping a workplace culture that values and respects differences, creating an environment where everyone feels seen, heard, and empowered. From the innovative initiatives led by our DE&I committee to the everyday actions that promote inclusivity, our employees continually contribute to building a community that celebrates diversity. It is this shared commitment to fostering an inclusive workplace that strengthens our organization, drives innovation, and ensures that every individual's unique contributions are recognized and valued.  

Amidst the celebration of International Women's Day and Women's History Month, we acknowledge the transformative power of women's advocacy and look forward to a future where diversity remains at the core of everything we do, driving innovation, understanding, and success. Together, we are shaping a company where diversity is not only acknowledged but embraced as an integral part of our success and identity.