Community Commitment
June 17, 2024

‘Building great things’: Honoring the work of Xcel Energy’s Pride Alliance

Employee group creates community, supports inclusive environment

During Pride Month, Xcel Energy reaffirms our commitment to amplifying diversity and fostering inclusivity. This year, we are celebrating the members of our Pride Alliance business resource group and the work they do to sustain a supportive environment that empowers all employees to bring their whole selves to work. Through their dedication, Pride Alliance reminds us that celebrating differences in our workplace makes us a stronger organization. 

“At Xcel Energy, Pride Month is a time to celebrate our LGBTQ+ colleagues and community members,” said Bob Frenzel, chairman, president and CEO. “For seven consecutive years, Xcel Energy has earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index for our efforts to inspire a more inclusive workplace. We are committed to fostering an environment that uplifts the diverse skills and perspectives of our employees to better serve our communities.” 

Xcel Energy achieved a 100% equality rating on Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index based on several factors, including workforce protections, inclusive benefits, support of an inclusive culture, corporate social responsibility related to supporting the LGBTQ+ community and responsible citizenship. Pride Alliance has played a key role in building that inclusive workplace. 

For more than 30 years, Pride Alliance has been working alongside Xcel Energy to raise awareness for LGBTQ+ issues in both professional and community areas. From hosting educational sessions on transgender visibility to leading discussions on identity and orientation, Xcel Energy and Pride Alliance have cultivated an enriching network that promotes inclusivity among our employees.  

One specific event was especially memorable for group member Adrienne Forester. In 2012, Pride Alliance hosted Judy Shepard, mother of Matthew Shepard, whose tragic death in 1998 became a catalyst for the LGBTQ+ rights movement. Shepard addressed a large employee audience in Colorado to amplify Matthew’s story and share her goal of challenging hate within schools, neighborhoods and homes. This year, Shepard was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her efforts. 

“Judy Shepard’s mission ... is to honor her son's legacy by inspiring individuals, organizations, and communities to embrace the dignity and equality of all people,” said Forester, a senior change management consultant. “Her visit to Xcel Energy and her touching personal stories about what she does and why she does it will stick with me all my life, and it remains a catalyst for me in ensuring our Pride Alliance group keeps moving forward with this important work.”  

Other members speak similarly about what Pride Alliance has meant to them in their time at Xcel Energy. “I saw a world of possibility within the Pride Alliance ecosystem to make space for people to talk about the things most important to them,” said Gene Duran, a staff engineer who was recently featured as part of the 2023 Colorado LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce: 40 under 40 Business Leaders. “Making space for people to reach a common understanding can lead to building great things.”  

“Xcel Energy’s Pride Alliance is essential for fostering an inclusive and supportive workplace. It provides an inclusive outlet for my personal and my professional growth while also supporting LGBTQ+ employees and creating positive visibility,” said Carlos Marquez a customer advocate analyst and Pride Alliance chapter lead for Texas and New Mexico. “I have learned the true value of diversity and inclusion. Everyone should be respected and accepted for who they are, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”