The ERG Fac­tor

Working Mother - - 2018 Best Companies For - by bar­bara frankel

“Fos­ter an en­vi­ron­ment of in­clu­sion for each other.”

Em­ployee re­source groups (ERGs) of­fer mul­ti­cul­tural women the op­por­tu­nity to de­velop skills, be­come lead­ers, and meet men­tors, spon­sors and al­lies. Four women who have ben­e­fited—at 2018 Best Com­pa­nies for Mul­ti­cul­tural Women Ac­cen­ture, Gen­eral Mo­tors, KPMG and Wal­mart Inc.—share their sto­ries.

Her Story: When her son was 6 weeks old, this sin­gle mom with an aero­space engi­neer­ing back­ground started a new ca­reer in tech­nol­ogy at An­der­sen Con­sult­ing, which even­tu­ally be­came Ac­cen­ture. As the first per­son in her fam­ily to at­tend col­lege, and a Latina in a white male-dom­i­nated field, she found that join­ing in­dus­try groups was key to learn­ing and build­ing con­nec­tions. Twelve years ago, she at­tended a con­fer­ence spon­sored by the His­panic-Amer­i­can ERG, and was “blown away” by the tal­ent and lead­er­ship. “It was an im­por­tant mo­ment for me. I be­gan to dis­cover what my roots re­ally are,” she re­calls. Her fam­ily was from Ecuador, but she grew up in Los An­ge­les with­out a big em­pha­sis on be­ing part of the His­panic com­mu­nity. She’s also been in­volved with the women’s ERG.

What She’s Learned: “The ERGs helped me see how who we are im­pacts our de­ci­sion-mak­ing and our di­ver­sity of thought,” she says. The group en­ables her to “open doors for peo­ple.” The His­panic-Amer­i­can ERG has be­come a key part of her life. “We re­fer to each other as fa­milia.”

Ad­vice for Mul­ti­cul­tural Women: “Fos­ter an en­vi­ron­ment of in­clu­sion for each other through the ERG. It’s im­por­tant to be sup­port­ive and share our back­grounds so we can all do bet­ter.”

The com­pa­nies on this list all have strong em­ployee re­source groups, which help mul­ti­cul­tural women build con­fi­dence, de­velop re­la­tion­ships and learn how to be lead­ers.

Rosa Bravo Business Devel­op­ment Direc­tor, Ac­cen­ture Na­tional Co-Lead, His­panic-Amer­i­can ERG

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