Commemorating Black History Month

February is Black History Month, a time to celebrate and acknowledge the achievements of Black Americans who help shape our nation and define our culture.

Black History Month serves as an important reminder that Black history is American history, and urges us to take time to recognize the immeasurable triumphs and struggles of our Black neighbors, friends and peers.

This month at Essential, Aqua and Peoples we’re pausing to think about lessons learned from our collective past. We’re reflecting on the ways in which history informs our current and future internal Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) strategy by helping us to lead, work and communicate more effectively across cultures.

Promoting Inclusivity

Our team works tirelessly to provide customers with the natural resources necessary to safely run their homes and businesses, and it is our mission to support each employee by creating a collaborative environment where people of all backgrounds, ages, races, abilities and sexual orientations can learn from one another.

We aim to build an even stronger company by sharpening our focus on growing an inclusive workforce – one where all employees know they are valued and respected for who they are and for their unique contributions.

Expanding our Efforts

As laid out in our ESG report we’ve developed a multi-objective approach to become a more diverse and inclusive company. Our strategies include:

  • Driving leadership commitment and accountability to an inclusive and diverse workforce
  • Fostering an inclusive culture
  • Building and retaining a diverse workforce

Based on local customer demographic data, we are focused on increasing the diversity of our employee demographics to reflect the diversity in the communities that we serve. We’re confident that our multiyear plan will enable us to reach 17% employees of color, up from about 14% today.

Diversity Hiring and Education

In 2020, our diversity hiring grew by more than 7% from 2019. We’ve developed diverse recruitment tactics, many of which are supported through diversity associations and job boards for minorities, veterans and women engineers, and recruiting new talent from local community colleges and city-based universities.

Diversity of backgrounds, ideas, thoughts and experiences is critical to our culture and our long-term success. We’re working to create an environment where all differences are valued and where every person feels welcome and engaged. To achieve this, Essential regularly conducts education and unconscious bias workshops to foster better understanding of points of view and how pre-conceived notions impact relationships at work.

Additionally, to ensure employees of color experience equity and inclusion, Essential hosts Diversity, Black and Women’s Employee Resource groups to help employees feel supported in their professional growth at all levels.

We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished but recognize there is still more work to be done. As we continue to acknowledge and appreciate the positive impact of equality and diversity for our business and society, we encourage our customers to observe and celebrate creatively all year long. We urge you to educate yourself on the origins of Black History Month, expand your knowledge through the arts or literature, or support Black-owned businesses and restaurants.

There’s no time like the present to gain a new perspective on the world around you.

Read more about our commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at