March marks Women’s History Month, an important time to celebrate and recognize the accomplishments of trailblazing women around the world. Across the Tennessee Valley, women are taking the lead at local power companies (LPCs) to serve their communities and foster organizational success.

At TVPPA, we recognize and salute these powerful women for the work they do every day to keep our communities energized. Below, we’re shining the spotlight on some of the powerful women leading LPCs across the Valley, and we asked one of them – Arab Electric Cooperative General Manager and TVPPA Board Member Stacey White – to share her insights on leadership in the power industry.

Insights on Female Leadership from TVPPA Board Member Stacey White

According to a study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, women currently make up only 13.9% of senior management within the energy and energy utilities industry. Here in the Tennessee Valley, the ranks of female leaders at local power companies have more than doubled in the last four years, increasing from four to 10.

Although our region’s local power companies have experienced an increase in female leadership, women still face unique challenges and experiences in a historically male-dominated industry. To share some insight on this topic and the value of female leadership, we talked with one of our region’s very own women in power, General Manager of Arab Electric Cooperative and TVPPA Board Member Stacey White.

Stacey White, General Manager of Arab Electric Cooperative

Q1: Our region has seen growth in the number of women-led LPCs. What does this say to you about our industry and the expertise women bring to their organizations?  

“The increase in women-led LPCs is a positive sign for our industry. It shows that there is a growing recognition of the valuable contributions that women bring to their organizations. Our industry is seeing the value that women can bring to the table; seeing that we lead with empathy, curiosity, and collaboration. We don’t walk into a room thinking we know all the answers, we walk in asking, “what do you think?” This allows for better solutions to emerge.

Women leaders often bring a unique perspective and diverse skillset that can drive innovation, improve decision-making, and foster a more inclusive workplace culture. It’s encouraging to see more women take on leadership roles in the power sector, and I believe this trend will continue to benefit our industry in the years to come.”

Q2: If you could share insight with other women in the industry on leadership, what would that be? 

“My advice to other women in the industry on leadership would be to embrace your strengths, be confident in your abilities, and seek out opportunities to grow and learn. Don’t be afraid to take risks and challenge yourself, and always be open to feedback and constructive criticism. Remember that leadership is about more than just managing people and processes – it’s also about building relationships, inspiring others, and driving positive change. Today, more and more amazing women across the Valley are taking charge, and making our voices heard loud and clear. While there may be more seats for women at the table than ever before, we should never stop building our own tables. As women, we have a unique opportunity to bring our perspective and leadership style to the industry, and I encourage all women to step up and make their mark.”

Q3: What is it like to be one of the growing number of women leading LPCs in a historically male-dominated industry? 

“It feels empowering and inspiring to be part of this positive change. I believe that diversity and inclusion are critical to the success of any organization, and having more women in leadership positions can only strengthen our industry. I am honored to have a board that believes in me, and employees who work hard, making my job easier. While there are still challenges to overcome, I am proud to be part of a growing community of women leaders who are making a difference and paving the way for future generations.”

Women In Power – The Valley’s Female Leaders

This time last year, we celebrated all the female leaders of Tennessee Valley LPCs. Since then, Nashville Electric Service elected the company’s first-ever female President & CEO, Teresa Broyles-Aplin. Join us in recognizing Teresa and all the other trailblazing female leaders who serve our region: