First-generation immigrant Vidhu Valsarajan is one of many Dominion Energy employees who recently participated in a celebration to wrap up Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month at the company’s South Carolina headquarters in Cayce.
Hosted by the Asian Pacific Islander Employee Resource Group (ERG), the event provided employees with Polynesian cuisine, music and historical cultural information.
“Most of our participants are immigrants,” said Valsarajan, a senior program analyst with Dominion Energy and chair of the Asian Pacific Islander resource group. “Finding that sense of belonging and connection helps us to make ourselves feel at home away from home. Events like this provide an opportunity to establish connections to share and celebrate the traditions that we grew up in.”
Valsarajan joined the company 18 years ago as an IT consultant and moved from Kerala, India to South Carolina to be part of an onsite team.
“It was quite the shock moving to a whole new country,” she said. “I was lucky because I met others who were also from India who made the move for work, so we were able to connect over that.”
The group’s goal is to attract and retain top Asian Pacific Islander talent, create an environment where everyone feels welcome and safe and provide a strong representation across the community. More than 120 employees have become members since the group started in the Carolinas in 2020.
“Doing what we can to make sure employees feel welcome, seen and heard when they go to work every day is the right thing to do,” said Keller Kissam, president of Dominion Energy South Carolina. “Our Employee Resource Groups play a key role in Dominion Energy’s commitment to being a diverse and inclusive workplace, and this event in celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is a great example.”
These smaller communities within the larger Dominion Energy community allow those with shared backgrounds and interests to connect, which fosters a sense of belonging and creates opportunities to learn from colleagues with different cultural backgrounds and experiences.
Dominion Energy South Carolina’s Diversity Council and five ERGs are an important part of the company’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion:
African American Resource Group – Connects and empowers African American employees through educational opportunities and cultural and networking events.
Asian Pacific Islander Resource Group – Promotes the diverse and multicultural Asian Pacific Islander heritage within Dominion Energy and throughout the communities Dominion Energy serves.
DiverseAbility Resource Group – Fosters efforts to recruit, support and retain employees with disabilities and provide for the needs of employees who are caregivers, leaders and peers of individuals with disabilities.
Veterans Resource Group – Supports those who served in the Armed Forces through company programs and community organizations that strategically target veterans’ needs.
Women’s Resource Group – Fosters equality in the workforce by connecting and empowering women in the company and communities.
For more information on Dominion Energy’s commitment to the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Advantage or employee resource groups, visit DominionEnergy.com.
Pictured: Members of Dominion Energy’s Asian Pacific Islander Resource Group perform a traditional hula dance at the company’s campus in Cayce.