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Ashley Robinett: Collaboration at the heart of energizing Alabama’s future – 2024 Women of Impact

Ashley Robinett’s appreciation of community and collaboration has led to a career of tangible impact. 

When looking to the early moments that shaped her interest in her field, she is drawn to the memory of her late high school calculus teacher, Bev Wilkin.

“She saw something in me that I, quite frankly, didn’t see myself,” explains Robinett.

She cites the encouragement given by Wilkin to pursue a career in STEM and her introduction to the concept of engineering as an early inspiration and driving force for her career. She found herself well suited to the field on account of her love for problem-solving and the creative solution-seeking required to find success.

“I love to be challenged, and in an industry that is ever-changing, that’s an integral part of the work I do every day.”

Robinett attended Auburn University, where she was granted the opportunity to intern with two Southern Company subsidiaries: Southern Nuclear and Southern Power. She was later recruited to begin a full-time career with Southern Power after graduation.

“And the rest, as they say, is history.” 

Over 23 years at Southern Company, Robinett has held a variety of roles across the system. Each role has allowed her to develop and strengthen a range of skills and given her access to knowledge from a diverse group of managers as well as the opportunity to lead impressive teams.

“Eventually, my path led me to Alabama Power, and it has been a wonderful place to continue growing my career.”

In terms of enhancing and refining her professional skills, Robinett speaks to the importance of collaboration. In her position, she is fortunate to work with talented individuals day in and day out. She credits her interactions with this incredible group as the source of much of her ability.

“We all have different experiences and skill sets, so collaborating and relying on the expertise of others is critical to getting results.”

She finds a great sense of accomplishment in her relationships.

“I believe my most significant professional achievement lies in the impact I’ve made by investing in others, inspiring them, and fostering a culture of collaboration and innovation within our teams.”

Her transition from an engineering mindset to one of leadership was seen by Robinett as a major adjustment but considered one of the most formative moves she has made over the course of her career. Through this experience, she has learned the great extent to which she enjoys investing in others. 

“It’s about seeing individuals evolve and achieve milestones in their own careers, and I hope I’ve been able to do that during my time at Southern Company.”

On the topic of inspiration, Robinett’s is singular: Her 16-year-old daughter.

“The steps I’ve taken in my career have often been guided by the desire to be a role model for her and to show her that she can make an impact in whatever she does if she works hard, values others, and puts her mind to it.”

Robinett hopes her daughter, and other young women, will be confident that they, too, can do hard things. She believes there is nothing more fulfilling in life than seeing perseverance pay off. Robinett notes that mothers have a range of duties and maintaining balance is not a simple task to be accomplished, but she wants her children to know that being a mom is the most prestigious title she will ever hold. “It’s an honor and a privilege,” shares Robinett.

Looking to the future, Robinett is less focused on achieving a specific goal and instead is more interested in driving value for the company.

She’s in a position that allows her to foster integration and collaboration among business units across the company. She hopes to help Alabama Power chart a strategic path forward, “to align our values with the ever-evolving landscape of energy needs and identify ways to provide affordable energy solutions across Alabama.”

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