International Women’s Day, March 8, is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. In honor of this important day, employees from Minnesota Energy Resources and its parent company, WEC Energy Group, share below what this day means to them.

“On International Women’s Day and every day, we honor our incredible female employees who help power our companies. From the engineers and field operations employees who help keep the lights on and gas flowing to the IT, HR and other professionals who provide critical support — our female employees make this world a better, more equitable place for everyone.”

Scott Lauber, WEC Energy Group – President and CEO

“International Women’s Day allows an opportunity to reflect and recognize the progress women have made over the last century, and promote further advancement of women in society. The awareness of the day is important, because it continues to open opportunities for women in areas of industry that may not have always been available to women. As a mother, I want my daughter to grow in a world that will allow her to be whoever she wants to be when she grows up, without limits.”

Nicole McCarthy, Minnesota Energy Resources — Account Manager

“It’s a day that reminds us that we celebrate women and we believe in diversity and inclusion.”

Xia Liu, WEC Energy Group — Chief Financial Officer

“International Women’s Day offers an opportunity to reflect on how far we have come in the struggle for gender equality and how far we still have to go. It is a day to pay tribute to the women who have sacrificed so much for the rights we take for granted today.”

Alison Trouy, WEC Energy Group —Corporate Communications

“International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate the significant impact women have made in the world today and throughout history. It is a day to also recognize we have work to do to continue to reduce gender bias and discrimination.  International Women’s Day is also a day to pledge support and make a commitment.  I support International Women’s Day and my commitment is to champion female empowerment.  I commit to encourage and support women to follow their dreams and strive to achieve their goals without worrying about the bias or barriers in society. I pledge commitment and support to help reduce and eliminate those barriers and bias in our society by speaking out and taking a position against gender bias and discrimination.”

John Zaganczyk, WEC Energy Group — Senior Vice President Customer Service

“A day where the contributions of ALL women can be celebrated and greatly admired across the world.  There should be more days like this!”

Shawn Hansbrough, WEC Energy Group — Supply Chain

“On International Women’s Day, I will celebrate the women who have touched my life, paved my path, brought me joy, raised me up, and set me straight.  They are grandmothers; mothers; sisters; daughters; friends; teachers; sources of inspiration, strength, faith, humor and support; butt-kickers; face-savers; secret-keepers; truth-tellers; door-openers; and so much more.  I will do my best to honor them on this day — and every day.”

Peggy Kelsey, WEC Energy Group — Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

“I wish there was a more articulate way of expressing this that didn’t sound somewhat self-serving, but when I consider the goals of International Women’s Day, I cannot help but think about how acknowledging the accomplishments of women and seeking to ‘level the playing field,” as it were, ultimately benefits people of all genders and identities equally. When preconceived expectations and stereotypes of women are eliminated, and their achievements are celebrated on the same scale as men’s historically have, the world becomes a more equitable place for all genders, with less pressure for individuals to assume traditional societal roles. I really think of the ambition of International Women’s Day as freedom from gender bias for all people. (And who can’t get behind that?).”

Robert W.C. Kennedy, WEC Energy Group — Corporate Communications

“A day to celebrate all of the accomplishments of women, to celebrate progress made and to inspire future generations of women.”

Faiza Strain, WEC Energy Group — Human Resources

“International Women’s Day highlights the incredible capabilities and value of the women in our personal and professional lives. As the husband of an amazing science educator and father of two successful professional women, I see firsthand the immense talent and leadership women bring to the world around us, and recognize the tremendous potential that is squandered when that value is not championed and realized.”

Andy Hesselbach, WEC Energy Group — Senior Vice President Gas Operations

“The day seems like a good reminder to reflect and be thankful for the health, safety, freedoms, peace, and prosperity we enjoy. It’s a good time to appreciate women’s contributions to our communities, our access and ability to provide for our families, and to celebrate our personal successes in other areas of our lives. It’s a good day to look for ways to invest in another woman’s life locally or internationally through supporting a woman led business, microlending, donating to training and scholarship funds, mentoring, volunteering, or supporting lighting or agricultural programs.”

Zara Scharf, WEC Energy Group — IT

“International Women’s Day provides an opportunity to celebrate the progress that we have made in corporate America, while also raising awareness around the inequity that continues to exist.”

Beth Straka, WEC Energy Group — Senior Vice President Corporate Communications and Investor Relations

“International Women’s Day is an opportunity to take time to reflect on how far we’ve come, and how far we have yet to go.   I think it’s also a great time to say thank you to all of my mentors, most of whom probably have no idea I consider them mentors. I admire so many women who work at this company and I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn from them daily.”

Brigette Finger, WEC Energy Group — Human Resources

“Acknowledges and appreciates ALL women worldwide within all ethnicities, backgrounds, and ages. Women worldwide contribute something valuable and impactful  to the world, no matter how minimal or gigantic. Women internationally break glass ceilings, provide meaningful support systems for others, fight for what’s right, empower others, take a seat at any table, value education and personal growth, and still make time to enjoy a double chai latte with whip cream and caramel drizzle.”

April Hackett, WEC Energy Group — Human Resources

“First of all, it should not be one day but every day.   Women should be uplifted every day. We are part of the front lines. In today’s age, women are at the front line of COVID-19. We need to continually raise awareness against bias and challenge gender stereotypes. We need to reflect on all the progress already made.”

Vilma Medina, WEC Energy Group — Supply Chain

 “A day to not only recognize the accomplishments and contributions of women, but also to support each other as women.”

Marisa Dempsey, WEC Energy Group — Facilities Design and Construction Program Manager