2023 Top 50: Fireside Chat: Succession Planning, Accountability and Sustainability

Chris Womack, President and CEO of Southern Company (No. 24 on the Fair360 2023 Top 50 Companies for Diversity list), and Carolynn Johnson, CEO of Fair360 (formerly DiversityInc), discussed leadership and fairness in the energy industry in a fireside chat at the 2023 Fair360, formerly DiversityInc Top 50 announcement event in New York City on May 2. 

Womack emphasized the importance of honesty, vulnerability and accountability in leadership. He talked about how the representation of various demographics in leadership brings different perspectives and skill sets, which are critical for success in an industry that is evolving.  

“When you look at an industry like ours, which is going through incredible change, incredible transformation, you have to talk about sustainability,” Womack said. “As we get rid of fossil fuels and use more wind and solar and batteries and other technologies to power your homes and all the things that you love to do, we’re going through major, major transformation. What does technology and data mean for our business? I mean, we’re going through significant change and so having different skill sets with different perspectives is going to be really critical in the success we have now.” 

 The challenges facing the energy industry in the next decade are related to climate change, sustainability and technological innovation. Womack believes that the energy sector has a significant role to play in addressing climate change and that balancing the need for clean energy with affordability and reliability is essential.  

 Click here for more articles, videos and photos from the 2023 Top 50 event.