Best Places to Work in IT 2011 Employer Profile

No. 18

Southern Co.

Atlanta [South Atlantic]

Why you want to work there

Communication keeps the wheels turning at this Atlanta-based energy firm. CIO Becky Blalock and her leadership team hold weekly conference calls and monthly meetings in person or by videoconference. Following each meeting, notes are shared with all IT employees. On the company's social networking tool, Yammer, IT's employee council created the Shout IT group, where employees are recognized by co-workers for going above and beyond their regular duties. The IT organization also has a weekly e-newsletter that shares departmental news. Also, IT employees are invited to a quarterly IT luncheon and live webcast where IT leaders talk about key projects and current events. IT leaders regularly hold informal chats with employees throughout the organization. In 2010, the IT organization held 15 chats that were attended by 160 employees. IT regularly conducts a survey that asks employees what IT does well and where IT can improve. Better health The SouthernLifeStyle health and wellness program includes an annual company-paid health and lab profile, health education, customized wellness and health management programs, and a bevy of other health-related benefits. Employees can qualify for a 2011 medical premium reduction of up to $15 per month, or $20 per month with a participating spouse. The company's large corporate offices have low-cost gyms on-site that offer fitness classes.

Rank by company size:
Large, No. 12

Employee Statistics

Total U.S.-based employees: 25,832

Total U.S.-based IT employees: 1,019

IT employee turnover in 2010: 4%

IT promotions in 2010: 8%


Training days offered per IT employee in 2010: 3

Training budget per IT employee in 2010: $1,713

Women in IT

Total percentage of women within IT: 24%

Percentage of IT managers who are women: 30%

Percentage of IT staffers (non-managers) who are women: 23%

Minorities in IT

Total percentage of minorities within IT: 21%

Percentage of IT managers who are minorities: 15%

Percentage of IT staffers (non-managers) who are minorities: 22%