International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. In honor of this important day, employees from We Energies and its parent company, WEC Energy Group, share 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

 “The celebration of women in all phases of education, work force and politics. Empowering women to realize that they can do anything they put their minds to.”

Cindy Gaffney, We Energies — IT

“It’s a celebration of all women, everywhere. Women should be celebrated in every phase of life, in every position in life and every occupation. Women are responsible for the creation of all life.”

Jessica Fuchs, We Energies — Electric Distribution Controller

“International Women’s Day reminds all of us that women are often the thinkers, the planners and the doers of work teams, but are not always recognized for their accomplishments.  We continue to perpetuate the myth that men are the primary bread-winners, and deserve the larger role and the higher pay.  In fact, women hold families together and investment in women and their careers means that money goes back into communities and makes them stronger.  The inequities in pay structure and leadership assignments continue to disadvantage America.  It is time we aggressively target these issues and bring change to our nation!”

Clarice Zellmer, We Energies — Engineering Manager

“My mother was a tremendous influence on me.  As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate the great examples that she set for me more and more.  To me, International Women’s Day is a chance to thank and celebrate the amazing women in our lives, our mothers, wives, daughters.  They have all made me a better person and enriched my life at every turn.”

Kyle Hoops, We Energies — Vice President Power Generation

“International Women’s Day has been around for more than a century.  The United Nations officially recognized it in 1975.  Yet, the majority of American women have only started hearing about it recently.  To me, that means we still have a long way to go.”

Francesca Ricchio, We Energies — Senior Training Consultant

“It’s a day for me to celebrate the women in my life that showed me how to have courage, strength and leadership.”

Amy Jahns, WEC Energy Group — Corporate Communications

“It means highlighting the achievements of women around the world that are breaking through glass ceilings and blazing new trails for the next generation of strong, smart, talented and independent women.”

Zach St. Martin, We Energies — Field Service Supervisor

“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 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

 “International Women’s Day means a day to celebrate the victories, big and small, of women everywhere. It is also a day to reflect on how far women have come in such a short time. In America, it’s hard to believe women have had the right to vote just over 100 years. I also see today as a day to discuss the battles still ahead for women in our world. Be it equality for women in other countries, or equal pay right here at home, the war to properly represent women wages on and we all must stay vigilant to fight the inequality in all its forms.”

Robert Steinhoff, We Energies — Customer Care

“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

“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 — Information Technology

 “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 & Investor Relations

“International Women’s Day is an opportunity to highlight and acknowledge the important, and unfortunately all too often overlooked, role women have played and continue to play in our society.”

Brendan Conway, WEC Energy Group — Corporate Communications