2019 EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS OF THE YEAR
By Gloria Romano-Barrera
Since 2010 LATINA Style, Inc. has recognized and honored the best Hispanic Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) in the country. The Top ERG finalists listed here (in no specific order) are selected based on business impact, excellence in corporate leadership, mentorship, and dedication to working with the Hispanic community. This recognition also showcases ERGs that are making an impact on career outcomes and overall diversity accomplishments for their respective companies.
Comprised of approximately 2,700 members (500 more members since 2018), Accenture’s Hispanic American ERG (HAERG) began as the Hispanic American Interest Group in the late 1990s. With membership in 25 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada, HAERG has grown by two new chapters. HAERG includes individuals of all ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, education levels, gender, and all areas in business. Their commitment to inclusion and diversity is unwavering and is a key part of what makes Accenture a great place to work. Accenture provides the HAERG with governance, sponsorship and funding as part of the overall inclusion & diversity strategic plan. Further, Accenture senior leadership supports the ERG at a national, regional and local level through their own participation at events (internal and external) as well as by taking active roles as executive sponsors, coaches, recruiters and mentors. Members of the ERG are empowered to bring new opportunities and clients to Accenture. ERG members have ample opportunity through their professional memberships and community involvement to create new connections and opportunities for the firm. Some executive memberships are Hispanic IT Executive Council members, board members for key organizations (Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Prospanica), business advisory council members in their jurisdictions, and participants in local government. The ERG also serves as advisors to our national leadership team and provides counsel during events that impact the community. At every level of business and government, members are engaged and committed to LatinX advancement.
Established in 1997 with 1,722 members, American Airlines’ Latin Diversity Network (LDN) Employee Business Resource Group (EBRG) promotes diversity and inclusion for all employees through a grassroots approach. LDN believes diversity and inclusion should be explored, appreciated, and thoroughly celebrated. Employees’ unique perspectives are valued, and members have ample opportunity for engagement in diversity of thought. Service to the community is in alignment with the values and priorities of LDN, as well as the company. By forging meaningful bonds with community stakeholders, LDN prioritizes the unique needs of others to create positive social change. To that end, LDN leverages partnerships to broaden reach and scope of support, often collaborating with other EBRGs, departments, companies, and nonprofit organizations. In doing so, the aim is to equip community members with the tools needed to sustain change, well after LDN volunteer groups have left. LDN has 17 chapters worldwide that support the global Hispanic/Latinx community. The EBRG’s initiatives and projects assist the business in fostering trust, brand loyalty, and inclusive practices. Additionally, LDN has been particularly beneficial in fostering a relationship with the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), both on the local and national level, and has supported American’s supplier diversity efforts.
Established in 1988 and currently with over 10,000 members throughout the country, AT&T’s Employee Resource Group, HACEMOS, provides professional development via webinars and mentoring circles; volunteer opportunities supporting the many community projects/non-profit organizations members support; supports AT&T initiatives that provide opportunities to promote the AT&T brand. HACEMOS began as the employee resource group dedicated to Latino/Hispanic employees; however, membership is now open to all employees. HACEMOS is required to abide by AT&T values, no exceptions. All projects, regardless of national or local, must meet not only the values of AT&T, but also AT&T’s corporate Code of Business Conduct policy. AT&T leaders support HACEMOS in various means from golf tournament sponsors, mentoring circles, event speakers. This year Hispanic leaders from across the country were brought to Dallas for a meeting to discuss ways to increase AT&T brand in heavily Latinx cities. Meeting resulted in the A Ti y A Ti (AT&T) marketing strategy; cultural product and job fairs, and improved focus on commercial strategy. HACEMOS is the number one ERG within AT&T in awarding scholarships to local students in various communities. This year, HACEMOS awarded 147 scholarships totaling $357,000 to students across the country.
Bank of America
Established in 2003 with more than 15,602 members throughout the country, Bank of America’s ERG, HOLA, is committed to making Bank of America the best place for Hispanic/Latino employees to work and grow professionally by inspiring and fostering an inclusive environment for all employees in support of the bank’s purpose and strategy. HOLA is proud to have broad representation across all lines of business and levels of the company, including mid-to-upper senior management, and consistently provides feedback and is invited to engage in internal and external diversity issues. Externally, HOLA was instrumental in testing the mobile app in Spanish and reviewing translated pages, ofbettermoneyhabits.com. For internal employees, input from HOLA was used to inform the bank’s statement and positioning around the DACA program. With 34 percent of new checking accounts opened by Hispanic/Latino clients, HOLA has advocated for resources to be available in Spanish. The Bank of America mobile app is now available in Spanish with close to 2 Million active users on the Spanish Mobile app. In July, Bank of America proudly signed the Hispanic Promise, launched by the We Are All Human Foundation as a further way to show their commitment to create an inclusive workplace and take positive actions to hire, promote, retain, and celebrate Hispanics as employees, customers and citizens.
CVS Health established a Latino Mentoring Group 31 years ago, which later combined with the Portuguese Empowerment Group to form the Portuguese and Latino Empowerment Group (PLEG), one of 15 Colleague Resource Groups (CRGs) at the company. Aetna’s Hispanic CRG, AHORA, was established in 2006. CVS Health acquired Aetna in late 2018, and the two CRGs combined and rebranded as JUNTOS Latin Colleague Resource Group in 2019. This integrated CRG is open to all CVS Health and Aetna employees and includes members and leaders from both sides of the combined company. With a mission to further CVS Health’s purpose of helping people on their path to better health, JUNTOS helps the company foster and celebrating the unique Latin cultures, and supporting the recruitment, retention and development of Latino and Portuguese colleagues. CVS Health is committed to cultivating and fostering a positive ecosystem that promotes inclusivity through partnership opportunities in Latin communities, colleague engagement, and the enhancement of CVS’s competitive advantages in the marketplace. JUNTOS: Latin Colleague Resource Group, has grown to over 1,600 members in 37 states and 1 U.S. territory. Led by two National Co-Chairs: Lisa Martinez and Veronica Medina, JUNTOS engages in company events and CRG fairs, as well as the annual Diversity Leadership Forum, held by the Strategic Diversity Management Team. JUNTOS helps the company promote a work environment where employees can bring their whole selves to the workplace. The group also supports the company by providing marketplace insights and fostering a strong local and community presence.
Fannie Mae Hispanic ERG
Established more than 20 years ago and with a membership of approximately 225 in five states, DC, MD, VA, CA, and TX, Fannie Mae’s Hispanic ERG seeks to increase cultural awareness within the organization and to provide members with professional development opportunities. This community also helps support business partnerships to impact minority homeownership, employee recruitment and retention. The Hispanic ERG is one of Fannie Mae’s 12 ERGs. These ERGs are employee-initiated and employee-led, and are fully supported by the company, through the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, which provides a budget, event planning support, compliance, and general advice on activities and events. The Hispanic ERG is supported by dual executive sponsors, based in Plano and Washington, to raise the visibility of this ERG across the company. The ERG provides a forum for members to come together to support professional growth and development, cultural awareness, education, community service, and network across the organization. Members also have an opportunity to interact with leadership and build mentor/mentee relationships. The ERG seeks to provide a forum to educate and promote awareness of the Hispanic culture across the organization. Specifically, in 2019, the Hispanic ERG sponsored a Hispanic Heritage Cultural Fair to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month, sponsored several meetings with external speakers, including most recently, with Manolo Sanchez, Fannie Mae Board Member and former President and CEO of Compass Bank, who discussed how diversity matters in an organization.
Johnson & Johnson
Established in 2001 with 1,647 members throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada, Johnson & Johnson’s ERG’s – HOLA – Hispanic Organization for Leadership and Achievement-mission is to facilitate new and emerging opportunities for the company, its members and the communities by embracing the Hispanic culture. This is by focusing on: driving business results through initiatives connected to diverse and underserved communities, creating inclusive, synergistic work environments, and recruiting, retaining, developing and advancing Hispanic leaders committed to leveraging diversity and driving Johnson & Johnson’s strategies. HOLA provides opportunities for leadership development, networking, and exposure to senior leaders across all functional areas and business units of Johnson & Johnson. HOLA members enhance their leadership and communication skills by envisioning and implementing initiatives which involve the recruiting of new members and employees, influencing business partners for their support/engagement, and maximizing the impact/benefit on the business and community. Through the exercise of these activities and interaction with various business partners, members gain exposure to senior leaders within HOLA and Johnson & Johnson, enabling further opportunities for development. HOLA provides its members with a safe platform through which they can showcase their expertise, strengths and commitment to the Johnson & Johnson Credo (company values). Thanks to this exposure, HOLA members are recognized as top Hispanic leaders and tapped for developmental opportunities. HOLA interacts with the Hispanic community in many local and national conferences (USHCC, NHMA, and UnidosUS, among others) and in a number of local Hispanic-related events such as the ADA Tour De Cure, health fairs, Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations (NYC Hispanic Day Parade), among others.
The Latin Heritage Leadership Council (LHLC), one of eleven Business Resource Councils at Northern Trust, held its first meeting in June of 2006 with a relatively small group of partners (employees) at the organization. Since that time, the Business Resource Council (BRC) has grown to over 400 members across nine states in the U.S. and has chapters in the EMEA region as well. Established to address the needs of Northern Trust partners with Latin Heritage or those with interest in Latin Heritage, LHLC’s mission is to help create opportunities at all levels for its members. The LHLC represents a variety of cultures, raises awareness and facilitates training and development opportunities through workshops, networking, community events and mentoring programs. Additionally, through signature programming, such as activities during Hispanic Heritage Month, LHLC cultivates awareness of the Latino culture at Northern Trust. LHLC member benefits include a platform through various pillars (drivers) to interact with partners in different Business Units and teams, opportunities to network, professional development sessions, leadership opportunities outside of the daily work functions, exposure to Senior leaders, opportunities to serve local communities and the ability to showcase additional skills (speaking, creative, collaboration, etc.). In addition to internal activities, LHLC also focuses on having a presence in Hispanic communities, creating awareness to establish and build new relationships while promoting and advocating the Northern Trust brand. LHLC has been previously recognized externally for their work by LATINA Style in 2016 and 2017 and recognized internally with Northern Trust Chairman’s Awards (2012, 2017, and 2018).
Pratt & Whitney Hispanic Leadership Forum
Established in 2002 Pratt & Whitney’s Hispanic Leadership Forum is a self-empowering support system organized to address all opportunities to help attract, develop and retain Hispanic professional talent across UTC and Pratt & Whitney (P&W). The HLF also seeks to strengthen the bonds within the Hispanic community where UTC and P&W employees work and live. With 600 members in Connecticut and locations in Florida, and Georgia, board members and participants have opportunities for professional development of soft skills, communication skills, project management, budgeting, teamwork, and team management. It also provides a sense of family to those that moved from out of state and creates an atmosphere of belonging. The HLF has been a champion for cultural change at P&W and UTC. This year, HLF Executive Champions spearheaded the UTC Hispanic Professional Summit with the mission of bringing together Hispanic leaders across UTC in order to facilitate professional development, relationship building, and ultimately building a pipeline for Hispanic Leadership at all levels of the corporation. The impact of the HLF is noted by the supportive presence of senior leadership across the company, and the evolution of their signature Intern-Executive Dinner into a corporately sponsored event. During the beginning of each year, the HLF strategizes new initiatives that revolve around the values of the core business along with HLF’s mission.
Southern California Edison (SCE)
At Southern California Edison (SCE), Resource Groups are employee-led, voluntary organizations that promote cultural and organizational awareness through events, celebrations, resources on corporate strategic initiatives, and professional growth and development opportunities. Through these groups, employees also engage with multicultural communities and provide them with important energy-related information, including electrical safety, conservation, assistance programs, and the availability of advanced technologies and distributed energy resources. Founded in 1992, Latinos for Engagement, Advancement & Development (LEAD) is one of 12 SCE employee-led Resource Groups (RGs). Over the past several years, LEAD worked deliberately to transform itself from an Employee Resource Group (ERG) to a Business Resource Group (BRG) that serves as a resource to strategically contribute in the areas of recruitment, retention and talent development in our communities. In 2016, LEAD successfully transitioned into SCE’s first BRG. The transformation occurred by aligning their mission and vision to the 4C ERG model, which includes community, culture, commerce and careers, and by engaging stakeholders at all levels of the organization, from senior executives to front-line employees, on the value a Resource Group could provide. Latinos make up 34 percent of SCE’s workforce and 46 percent of SCE customers. Given these numbers, LEAD has a unique role to play in partnering with the company on internal and external strategic initiatives and in expanding its membership to include Latino employees from across the company.
Established in 1994 with a current membership of 910 in 36 states throughout the United States, Italy, and Colombia, Sprint’s Employee Resource Group, Enlace, creates an environment that fosters the development of its employees, drives understanding and awareness of the Hispanic culture; and contributes to the business success of the company, as well as their diversity and inclusion goals. With a membership comprised of 55 percent female and 45 percent male, Sprint supports Enlace by providing its members professional development opportunities, funding to support cultural events, and an opportunity to attend conferences and community events. In addition, it provides exposure and networking opportunities and supports all ERG activities. The ERGs are directly supported by executives at the Director, VP/SVP level and the Chief Diversity Officer. Enlace is involved in community events as part of its objectives and mission. Members participate in several community events supported by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and other community partners. These range from donating, fundraising, coaching/mentoring and sharing best practices with other ERGs in the community. Most recently Enlace joined the other six ERGs at Sprint and raised nearly $300K for the Employee Giving Campaign that supports organizations such as the 1Million Project Foundation and United Way. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Enlace helps Sprint drive a strong message of diversity and inclusion for all. It helps address employee issues via a constructive feedback approach and provides a wealth of cultural awareness to all employees.
Wells Fargo Bank
Established in 2009, Wells Fargo’s Latin Connection Team Member Network (LCTMN) consists of 15,220 members located in 28 states throughout the country. Currently, there are over 47,000 Latinos at Wells Fargo, representing the largest minority group and approximately 18 percent of its workforce. LCTMN is a voluntary association of team members from diverse segments and cultures with an interest in the Hispanic/Latino culture. Its mission is to empower and develop Latino leaders at Wells Fargo, educate team members on Hispanic marketplace opportunities, and build Wells Fargo’s reputation as one of the world’s great companies among Hispanic communities. The LCTMN Enterprise Leadership Team aims to rebuild trust in Latino and ethnically diverse communities across customers and team members, engage and develop LCTMN through renovated experiences to evolve with organizational change, and strengthen its operational efficiency and leadership agility for the continued development of talent. Members of LCTMN deepen Wells Fargo’s footprint in the community by volunteering for national and local events, non-profit organizations and other entities. In 2018, over 1,500 LCTMN members contributed more than 5,400 volunteer hours across our nation. Within Wells Fargo, LCTMN is an instrumental resource leveraged for innovation to drive go-to-market strategies for products and services. For example, Spanish-speaking members contributed to Wells Fargo’s voice biometrics program to refine Spanish voice matching technology used to help advance consumer-related initiatives.
Established in October of 2019 with 136 members in the Florida corporate campus, Office Depot’s ERG – SOMOS brings Latino/Hispanic associates and allies together to encourage positive change and strengthen the culture by promoting the brand and connecting with the Latino/Hispanic markets and communities they serve. SOMOS promotes professional development opportunities through meetings scheduled with company leaders from different business areas. They also promote networking through quarterly member meetings, as well as through volunteering initiatives. SOMOS exposes their members to community events with partner organizations, such as Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Education Coalition, YMCA, and Milagro mentoring center among others. The ERG lead and co-lead represent and participate in the Diversity council. This has allowed SOMOS to voice concerns and suggestions about the importance of addressing certain issues related to the lack of D&I awareness in their organization, as well as promoting a diverse workforce across all levels in our organization. They plan to expand throughout the United States next year.