Diversity & Inclusion

Williams embraces pipeline of diverse suppliers

Williams’ dedication to diversity goes beyond our commitment to an inclusive workplace for employees. We also evaluate ways to support suppliers from underrepresented groups.

One such supplier is Steel Forgings in Shreveport, Louisiana. The company’s CEO, Alex Souter, is the fourth generation in her family – and the first woman – to lead the company.

Founded in 1947, Steel Forgings manufactures pipeline fittings, including those being produced now for Williams’ Regional Energy Access (REA) project. Cherie Humphries, vice president and chief procurement officer, and other Williams employees visited the business recently to meet Souter and see how our products are made.

Humphries said she was impressed with the company’s leadership and commitment to safety, quality and customer service. Many of our distributors also purchase from Steel Forgings for Williams projects.

“You can tell that she has gained her team’s respect as a young female business owner,” Humphries said. “They have a great tradition to build on and are looking to new innovations in manufacturing while maintaining high standards for materials.”

Souter, who became CEO in 2017, said she’s proud to support the natural gas industry and employs about 75 workers, many who have worked there for decades.

Souter, who co-owns the company with her mother, obtained certification as a woman-owned business from the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.

“I had been working here for a number of years assisting with sales, engineering documentation and expediting shipments when my father passed away,” she said. “It’s been a lot of fun getting in on the operations side and learning more about our manufacturing processes.”

Souter said Steel Forgings shares core values with Williams, including the safety of employees, quality and reliability of products and attention to customer service.

“We are a huge stickler for shipping out products on time, whether it’s a part that fits in the palm of your hand or a fitting 6-feet tall and weighing two tons. And all our materials are made in America.”

About 15 percent of Williams suppliers are diverse and certified as such. They include small businesses and companies owned by women, minorities, military veterans and other underutilized groups.

You can learn more in our 2023 Diversity & Inclusion Report.