Sherina Edwards, President and CEO of INTREN, articulates the need to build a more diverse and inclusive culture not only within her company but across her industry. Edwards is committed to leveling the playing field within the infrastructure industry as well as changing perceptions of what it means to work in this essential industry.
While the infrastructure industry is often led predominantly by older men, as a BIPOC female business leader Edwards created the INTREN Infrastructure Institute, a workforce development program offering skills-based training to a targeted and diverse pool of individuals as an equitable path to securing a job at not only INTREN but any other utility infrastructure company.
Her inspiration? She strongly believes that the private sector has a significant role to play in addressing inequality in infrastructure.
Powered by these beliefs, and leading by example, she encourages all business leaders to dig deeper into their company, acknowledge that there is a problem, and follow through with action. Although she is the President and CEO of INTREN, she reflects that her company is not as diverse as she would like it to be at the executive level. To address this gap, as one of her first moves at the company, Edwards made it a point to factor diversity into her hiring a Chief Legal and H.R. Officer.
Recognizing that, “Slapping a Chief Diversity Officer in a seat and putting out a press release is not the answer”, Sherina believes change must come from all levels at a company and begin with creating an inclusive culture. As an Impact Executive, Edwards leads with her values and commitment towards creating not only an inclusive company but also increasing access to opportunities for hard-to-reach individuals.
Watch the full interview here