Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Editor’s Note: One of our core tenets as a company, championing people, is reflected in the diverse backgrounds of our employees. We believe in an inclusive, collaborative environment – one in which all parties involved seek to better their understanding of their fellow human beings. It is with this in mind that, this month, we will be highlighting our employees of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) descent. Stay tuned for this ongoing series.
As we continue with our series of AAPI employee spotlights, today, we would like to focus on Rhona Matthews. Want to learn how to be a better ally? Get to more know about Matthews’ background, traditions, and her ongoing contributions to our company.
Thank you, Rhona Matthews, for all you do!
How many years have you worked at SDG&E? What do you do at our company?
I’ve been at the company for less than a year (I started in January 2021). My role is Customer Assistance Programs Advisor specifically for the Energy Savings Assistance Program where I design and implement contractor learning and development.
What makes you most proud of being part of the AAPI community?
It’s humbling to know there is still so much to learn about my own culture and the cultures of all of those within the AAPI community. I’m proud I get to be a lifelong learner and read about our history, traditions, and contributions to America.
It’s comforting to know we are bonded by very similar experiences rooted in struggle and overcoming. Our experiences provide us with emotional intelligence and an understanding that when the community is doing well, we all do well.
What is a tradition you wish to pass down, that your family has passed down to you?
Our traditions are rooted in virtues and how we treat others and the environment. My mother taught us to always share food, be generous, and only take what we need. Sunday lunches where the family comes together to eat, laugh and exchange stories from the week What has been your favorite project so far? What do you wish other people knew about SDG&E? Our company is filled with genuinely kind human beings. The positive effort everyone puts into their work reflects how dedicated SDG&E is to customers.
What advice would you give people outside of the AAPI community to be better allies?
Try something new! Incorporate discovery into your everyday life whether that’s trying new foods, going into an AAPI museum/building/event (ex. Japanese Friendship Garden), reading books and articles online, and being open to different perspectives. One of my favorite resources for Igorot (an Indigenous Filipino population) history is Ikat Voices https://www.ikatvoices.com/resources.