Image Courtesy of ISO New England
Headquartered in Holyoke, MA, ISO New England employs a diverse, tight-knit team that’s helping to shape the energy landscape.
“ISO New England’s work has purpose,” said Tricia Arling, Talent Acquisition Supervisor. “We keep the power flowing for 14 million people and businesses in New England.”
According to Tricia, the staff includes professionals with expertise in electrical engineering and power systems, programming and information technology, economics and finance, data analytics and econometrics, as well as energy law, program management, compliance, corporate communication, and human resources.
Fairygodboss recently connected with Tricia, who shared with us the “complicated, demanding and ever-changing landscape” of ISO New England’s responsibilities and the benefits it offers women in particular.
Describe ISO New England in one sentence.
ISO New England is the independent, not-for-profit corporation responsible for keeping electricity flowing across the six New England states and ensuring that the region has reliable, competitively-priced wholesale electricity today and in the future.
What are ISO New England’s core values?
ISO New England maintains a highly technical, skilled and diverse staff, many of whom are experts in their respective fields and all of whom are essential to the success of the mission.
ISO New England promotes a positive work culture, treats all people with dignity, and cares deeply about the wellbeing of its employees; we value diversity, equity, and inclusion, which we cultivate internally and in all stakeholder interactions.
ISO New England’s employees are committed to teamwork and the flow of ideas within and between business functions and with stakeholders to achieve efficient and effective outcomes for the ISO and the region.
We have a long history of reliability in operating the grid, power system planning, and being available to serve and support all stakeholders; we are dedicated to our mission and take pride in our work and approach our responsibilities with enthusiasm and professionalism.
Through creativity and ingenuity, we remain at the forefront of grid operation, market administration, and power system planning. We are always looking to create novel and more effective solutions to address complex industry challenges.
What differentiates your company from others in its space and industry?
The electricity industry continues to evolve, and so does ISO New England. Energy technologies are rapidly changing, public policies are having long-term implications, and cybersecurity threats are growing. Through cutting-edge initiatives and strong regional collaboration, we’re shaping the modern, high-performing power system New England relies on for safety, comfort, and prosperity.
Investing in a highly-skilled staff allows ISO New England to actively pursue innovations on behalf of the region to help create a more efficient, responsive, reliable power system that can handle smart grid technology, as well as the integration of more demand resources, renewable generation, and other new and emerging technologies.
As an organization, we are committed to teamwork and believe that sharing ideas within our business units and with our stakeholders leads to the best possible outcomes. We know how to get the job done, and keeping the power system reliable and the wholesale electricity markets running efficiently and impartially speaks volumes to our diligence and determination.
Describe the employee benefits that positively impact women who work at ISO New England.
Our benefits include continuous career development, paid professional association fees, a paid maternity and paternity leave policy, part-time return to work post-maternity leave (where feasible), a flexible and remote work schedule policy, and private on-site lactation facilities.
What career development opportunities can women job seekers expect at your company?
There are plenty of opportunities, including in-house training around business acumen, professional development opportunities, tuition reimbursement, paid professional association and organization fees, and on-site professional women's meetings and speakers. Many departments have documented career paths, so employees know what they need to do to get to the next level.
Is there anything else women should know about pursuing a career with you?
The women at ISO New England are engaged and supportive. Our recent efforts to increase the number of women in the organization have been met with enthusiasm; everyone is spreading the word about the exciting work they do—work that has a purpose.
What are some unique benefits or perks your company offers employees?
Some of the unique benefits include:
Flexible work hours and location
Clear career paths
Training on the industry and various business acumen topics
On-site cafe with free coffee
On-site fitness room with locker rooms and showers
Safe, gated campus
Regular employee activities planned by our activities team (A group of employee volunteers)
Sports leagues such as Wiffleball, golf and basketball
What’s something you think most people (perhaps even current employees) don’t know about ISO New England that you think they should?
Our work is ever-evolving, bringing with it new and interesting approaches in the way we carry out our responsibilities. We are embarking on the path to clean energy because our changing climate won’t wait. The time is now to set the region on the right course and ensure that as our economy is decarbonized; it’s supported by a reliable, cost-effective and clean energy grid.
For our employees, the Council for Diversity and Inclusion (CD&I), established in 2020 by ISO’s senior leadership, is a working group of ISO colleagues charged with suggesting and implementing actions that promote diversity and inclusion within our workplace. The Council generates programming based on each member’s unique ideas, fresh perspectives, and experiences. To further inclusive participation on the council, some members rotate off and new members join each year.
What’s one thing your company does that you think is particularly unique or unexpected?
ISO New England’s unique role gives it an objective, bird’s-eye view of trends that could affect the region’s power system. We are proud of the strong foundation that has been built and we’re committed to partnering with the New England states and stakeholders, as well as delivering the expertise to solve the pressing challenges facing the region. We also fully recognize that when the region achieves its clean energy goals, it will be the result of leveraging and maximizing the strengths of a region, and responding to the power of change.
What do employees say about working at your company?
“I really enjoy my job! The work that I do makes me feel like I am contributing to something that can ultimately keep the lights on.” - Rachel Wilkins-Thurman, Lead Outage Coordinator, System Operations and Market Administration—11 years of tenure with ISO New England
“I enjoy how collaborative our work environment is, with folks being open to sharing ideas and expertise with one another. The work itself is also challenging, making for an exciting work environment, too.” - Mariah Winkler, Manager, NEPOOL Market Services, Participant Relations and Services—14 years of tenure with ISO New England
What else would you like us to know?
To succeed at ISO New England, staff has to be highly skilled, committed and adaptable professionals. As the region makes the changeover to clean energy, it will be ISO New England's employees working in crucial, behind-the-scenes roles to make that happen, ensuring power grid reliability is sustained and wholesale pricing continues to be competitive. We are ready for—and already working on—that challenge.
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