Celebrating the API Community Beyond the Month of May

Celebrating the API Community Beyond the Month of May

Last month, Asian and Pacific Islander (API) Heritage Month was celebrated across the country, recognizing the history, contributions, and rich, diverse cultures of the API community.

SoCalGas supports year-round diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programming for the API community and demonstrates a commitment to advancing DEI in Southern California communities and in the workplace through employee resource groups (ERGs). These employee-led groups offer support and foster community throughout SoCalGas to drive positive, sustained change internally and with our customers and the broader community. Through this DEI initiative and others, SoCalGas exemplifies the company’s values of doing the right thing, championing people, and shaping the future.

The Community of Asians & Pacific Islanders in Energy (CAPE) is an inclusive ERG for API employees and allies at SoCalGas that celebrates the diversity of its members. CAPE is dedicated to creating an environment and dialogue where members can fully express themselves, feel genuinely valued, and receive the support needed to achieve their highest potential while raising awareness about the unique challenges the API community faces and enhancing SoCalGas’ overall culture.

As part of this commitment, CAPE created a mentorship program in 2023 called Elevate! This program provides CAPE members with opportunities to connect and develop tools to be successful in their careers through a mentee/mentor relationship within the broader SoCalGas team. Forty mentor/mentee pairings participated in the Elevate! program’s inaugural cohort.

SoCalGas employees and members of CAPE and the Elevate! program Jennifer Morris, program manager, and Nadia Hang, event learning and continuous improvement manager, provided insights on the mentorship program's career development support and the ERGs’ positive impact on SoCalGas customers.

“As a new team supervisor, I participated because I wanted to learn and develop under the guidance of an experienced SoCalGas leader. My mentor, Neena Master, empowered me with tools that have helped me grow as a leader and provide my team with the support and guidance they need,” said Morris and Elevate! mentee. “One of Neena’s tips that I regularly demonstrate with my team is to always provide input in a meeting. If you’re invited to the meeting, someone wanted your insight. This has motivated my team to actively participate in meetings, which has led to enriching discussions and new ideas. My experience in Elevate! not only helped me grow personally but participating in CAPE and this program ultimately helps our customers. When diversity, equity, and inclusion are emphasized and celebrated at work, the emphasis is passed on through our customer service and creates stronger relationships with our diverse customer base.”

“Serving as a mentor provided me with an opportunity to support someone’s career journey while enriching my work. I have gained new insights and learned new approaches that have influenced how I perform my job and manage my team,” said Hang. “ERGs like CAPE play a significant role in shaping the services we provide to our customers by fostering an understanding of different cultures that can enhance customer interactions and the services we deliver.”

CAPE recently launched the second year of the Elevate! Program and will be matching a new set of mentor/mentee pairings soon.