Representation matters not only in the media but more importantly in the workplace. Seeds of possibility are planted when diversity is present in leadership teams. “Both our co-workers and our customer base want to see someone who looks like them, or that they can relate to. It’s important that there are various seats, viewpoints and voices at the table so that everyone is represented.” –Tonya Berry, Consumers Energy vice president of operations performance.

Tonya Berry’s advice for women of color pursuing leadership roles:

  1. Be present. When you focus on what you’re good at and which gaps you need to close, new opportunities will show up. Throughout my career, instead of focusing on obtaining a leadership role, I focused on the tasks in front of me, and the outcomes I needed to achieve.
  1. Leverage feedback to gain self-awareness. Feedback is great for understanding other’s perception of you. A big part of professional development is being honest with yourself. Subconsciously, we all know what things we need to work on and other people recognize those things as well.
  1. Persist and persevere. There will be disparities in the workplace that may become roadblocks or make you lose your focus and confidence. However, you have to remember who you are, what you know and never let anyone take that from you.

Ready to take the next step in your career? Visit to learn how you can join our team.

At Consumers Energy, we believe we are more than a place to get your energy. We’re a career destination. As a company of more than 7,000 employees and thousands of contractors, we’re creating a culture where one can grow personally and professionally. Our ‘Career Corner’ blog series is dedicated to inspiring the next generation of leaders who will power our state. Have a career development question for one of our leaders? Leave a comment below. It may be featured in a future edition of Career Corner.