Senior leader is genuine about helping others succeed
With Women’s History Month commemorated in March, we want to spotlight a few of the hundreds of women at CPS Energy serving in various capacities, from President & CEO to senior engineers, to auditors and accountants to welders and foremen. Like their male counterparts, each of these female employees is vital to ensuring our success in delivering reliable power to our customers and in supporting our community.
Today, we shine the light on ChiChi, who has 13 years of service with CPS Energy and holds a doctorate in organizational leadership from the University of the Incarnate Word and a master’s in management of technology from UTSA. She is a member of several organizations and groups including Project Management Institute (PMI), American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) and Women Empowered (WE) networking group. She also serves on the board for the San Antonio Chapter of the International Coach Federation (ICF).
“Authentic and real.” In short, that’s how Chinyere (ChiChi) Anyanwu, Interim Director Organizational Development & Culture, describes herself. She is one of only 39 female executives and one of about 740 total women at CPS Energy who make up a diverse workforce of 3,000-plus employees in various roles.
A leader in the energy industry, our company’s excellence in operations and service begins with our employees — making sure they have the training, knowledge and opportunities to do their best. That’s the heart of what ChiChi does in her role, developing our workforce and especially helping leaders excel. She’s also been working with our senior leaders to revamp and implement our company’s core values.
We recently sat down with ChiChi to learn more about her professional and personal experiences.
Q: Why did you decide to pursue a career with CPS Energy?
ChiChi: At the time, CPS Energy had a rising project management office and, as a project manager, it was very attractive. I stayed because CPS Energy is an organization that affords you the ability to have multiple careers if you choose to.
Q: Did you have any female role models or mentors growing up or in your career?
ChiChi: From the day I walked into the building, I looked up to (President & CEO) Paula Gold-Williams. Six months into my tenure with CPS Energy, I was blessed with the opportunity to meet Paula and she has been my mentor since that day.
I believe in paying it forward. Many people have poured into my life by sharing their knowledge. I try to do the same whenever I can. I have people I mentor formally and informally.
Q: What changes have you seen over the years regarding women’s careers and the roles women are filling?
ChiChi: Today at CPS Energy we have more and more women working in areas where there used to be all men. Going forward, with Generation Z entering the workforce and Millennials stepping into senior leadership roles, I expect the changes to be faster and more pronounced.
Q: What is the best advice you ever received?
ChiChi: Stay flexible. The flexible are not easily broken. Like palm trees, they bend with the wind. I don’t recall who told me that, but I’ve taken this advice to heart and have applied it whenever I could.