Glenda Thomas, Alabama Power‘s supplier diversity manager, is led by her passion to drive economic impact in the communities served by the company and those touched by Alabama Power’s parent, Southern Company.
Glenda started her career in business controls at Georgia Power, Alabama Power’s sister company, holding numerous positions in Power Delivery, Fleet Operations and at Southern Nuclear. In 2016 she was asked to lead a supplier diversity team with Alabama Power. Then, in 2019, it expanded across the Southern Company system, becoming the Supplier Sustainability and Inclusive Growth team.
“Assisting diverse companies with opportunities within Southern Company has provided me with the real meaning of success,” Thomas said. “Seeing companies grow, create jobs, achieve their goals and build a sustainable, lasting legacy is what matters to me.”
Southern Company has a goal of increasing its total diverse spending to 30% by 2025. Because of the work of Thomas’ team and others, Southern Company has made great progress toward that goal, increasing diverse spend to 26% last year. Additionally, the company launched new programs to mentor, develop and sustain diverse suppliers and increased collaboration to identify opportunities for diverse businesses to work with Southern Company and its subsidiaries.
“I learned early on in my career the strength and power of relationships,” Thomas said. “Getting to know people and building relationships with peers and teammates has contributed greatly to my success in my own career and in mentoring others.”
Thomas has a strong passion for helping female- and minority-owned businesses grow. In addition to her work within the Southern Company system, she is actively involved in the community. She chairs the World of Opportunity vendor program, which is connecting local, diverse businesses in the Birmingham metropolitan area to compete for opportunities to provide goods and services for The World Games 2022, taking place in the city in July. She also chairs the Edison Electric Institute‘s Best Practices/Industry Trends committee, is chair of the board of the Southern Region Minority Supplier Development Council, and board member for the Women’s Business Enterprise Council South where she chairs its Enterprising Women of Color Center.
As an advocate for diversity at work and in the community, Thomas said she strives to be a strong communicator.
“It’s important to communicate with all our stakeholders, telling the story that is supportive of all our work in supplier diversity to encourage others to join the movement,” she said.