SDG&E benefits from the diverse talents of three women who find balance mixing work and family.
Susie Conners, Vanessa Dotson and Alana Norman easily blend work and family life at our company. In 1970, after encouragement from a friend who worked here, Susie joined SDG&E. Her daughter Vanessa started in 2018, and in 2019, granddaughter Alana returned from college in Atlanta to start the Financial Leadership Rotation Program (FLP).
Blazing a Path for Women
When Conners applied for an entry-level position at our company, the recruiter told her that opportunities for women were limited.
“You just let me worry about that,” replied Conners as she accepted a file clerk position.
Flash forward to her retirement a few years ago, Conners had built a career at the company, having worked in the Call Center, District Offices, Community Relations, HR, Project Management, and even internationally -- spending more than three years as a general manager in Mexico with Sempra International.
Conners recalls with pride how she and her family would volunteer at community events and even giving Vanessa early experience through the Kids at Work program.
“At age nine, she helped us process customer payments,” shared Conners. “She was destined to work at the company, and I love seeing the progression of her career and that of my granddaughter.”
Raised in Company Culture to 'Champion Others'
For Dotson, our company was always an important and positive aspect of her life. She remembers one of her first experiences with the company as a volunteer with her mom, ringing the liberty bell on the company float at the MLK Day parade. Dotson joined the company as a project support coordinator and is now a project support supervisor. Most recently, she finished training employees for the new Envision system, which is scheduled to launch this April.
Active in the company’s Lean-In Circles and Local Diversity & Inclusion Council, Vanessa says her favorite part of leading a team is her ability to help gently push others outside of their comfort zone to discover talents they didn’t even realize they had. She credits this outlook on her own experience, as she has found personal and professional development in tackling new challenges.
“It always helps that I can think through opportunities with my mom and daughter,” explained Dotson. “Talking about work is a natural part of our daily conversation and I love being able to share advice from my family with my team as they plot their careers at the company.”
Shaping the Future
Since joining the Sempra family of companies in 2019, Alana Norman has kept herself busy. In addition to her assignment supporting CPUC proceedings for the company’s Risk Assessment Mitigation Phase (RAMP), Alana is completing her MBA at San Diego State University. She also participates in the company’s Lean-In Circles, Local Diversity & Inclusion Council, Joint Associates Group, and M-Power mentorship program.
A native San Diegan, Norman knew she wanted to come back to California and find an opportunity at our company because she loved the supportive and collaborative environment. A natural networker, Norman prepared herself for a career at our company by setting up informal meetings with connections at the company – a practice she continues while also encouraging others to do the same.
“In this new virtual environment, it is so important to build relationships with your team and others,” shared Norman. “I set-up informal virtual coffees with colleagues and I always finish our conversation by asking for recommendations on others to meet. This approach helps me learn more about the company and others as I start my career.”
Now in her second rotation at our company, Norman hopes to stay at the company when her program completes in May 2022 to continue a family tradition of supporting her colleagues and each other as part of our extended family.
Thank you all for your continued dedication to our work. It's employees like yourselves that embody our company's value.