2016 Top 15 Employee Resource Groups of the Year.
By Diana E. Martinez
We began in 2010 to recognize the LATINA Style Employee Resource Groups of the Year (ERGs), and since then we have seen an increasing number of new ERGs emerge. ERGs can play a vital role within a company and this year, LATINA Style Inc. is proud to recognize the top 15 ERGs that have made a significant impact in the workplace by creating opportunities for new and existing talent. The ERGs mission is to develop a connection between the company and employees by empowering, nurturing and retaining talent. ERGs have also proven to be essential in business impact by building a relationship with the consumer for businesses throughout the nation. The top 15 ERGs finalists listed are selected based on business impact, excellence in corporate leadership, mentorship, and dedication to working with our communities. This recognition also showcases ERGs that are making an impact in career outcomes and overall diversity accomplishments for respective companies. The winner of the LATINA Style Employee Resource Group of the Year will be announced at the LATINA Style 50 Awards and Diversity Leaders Conference on February 9, 2017 in Washington D.C. This year we have added a new component to the selection by letting you, our readers have a voice by voting for your favorite at ERG@latinastyle.com. Email your vote and have your voice heard.
Central Intelligence Agency
The Hispanic Advisory Council (HAC) at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was established in 1988. The HAC was created to foster a diverse and inclusive workforce at CIA by providing guidance to senior management on topics such as recruitment and retention. Today, the HAC is a model for other employee resource groups as it was the first ERG within the CIA to make this strategic move to increase the representation of minority officers at the senior most ranks. Their programming consists of workshops over interview skills, writing appraisals, as well as cultural awareness through diversity discussions, networking events, and food tastings. HAC has established a mentor/shadowing program where currently 100 members have been paired. HAC founded the Latino Intelligence Network (L.I.Nk) to bring together Latino ERG’s from across the intelligence community to share best practices and network. Members include the Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Security Agency, State Department, National Reconnaissance Office, and the White House. HAC has also been essential in providing mission critical Spanish translation/ Leadership Presence in the workplace.
HACEMOS means “We Do” to best describe what the group is about. HACEMOS was officially formed in Texas in 1989 with the mission to provide value to its members by developing trainings, identify employment opportunities, creating mentoring circles and facilitating networking and fellowship to foster an environment where people can succeed professionally, personally and in the community. HACEMOS is a philanthropic organization supported with monetary funds from AT&T to help with their goals and initiatives throughout the year. HACEMOS has 11,000 members that contribute to AT&T by serving as a corporate resource with 41 chapters nationwide. HACEMOS transforms lives through their annual scholarship program and student mentoring. HACEMOS’s flagship event, High Technology Day (HTD) – hosts about 2,300 high school students nationwide in 32 AT&T facilities for a day of technology immersion and role models. HACEMOS members have contributed 33,040 hours of volunteer work in 2015 and in 2016 awarded $156,000 Scholarship to youth in local communities. HACEMOS was ranked in the LATINA Style top 10 ERGs in 2015.
Johnson & Johnson
The Hispanic Organization for Leadership and Achievement (HOLA) is in its 15th year since being established in 2001. HOLA has approximately 1,000 members who participate in the mission to facilitate new and emerging opportunities for Johnson & Johnson members and the communities by embracing the Hispanic culture. HOLA is strongly supported by Johnson & Johnson with $100,000 per year for national strategic initiatives and each affiliate chapter receives a budget ranging from $2,500 to $10,000. HOLA members have the opportunity for leadership training, networking, recruiting, mentoring circles, and exposure to senior leaders. HOLA supports more than 100 community outreach activities every year benefiting over 3,000 people per year. HOLA’s signature outreach program “Project Perfect, Just the Way You Are”, focuses on proactive wellness and empowerment of children and their families to promote wellness and elevate self-esteem in an effort to combat bullying. HOLA has also contributed just below $1,000,000 in donations to advocacy groups for anti-bullying initiatives. HOLA ranked in the LATINA Style top 10 ERGs in 2015.
General Motors’ Hispanic Initiative Team (GM HIT) is celebrating 17 years of reaching the community and connecting with schools. With currently 957 members, GM HIT’s membership increased by 25 percent from 2015. GM HIT’s mission is to attract, develop, retain Hispanic employees and grow relationships in the Hispanic Community. General Motors Foundation provides GM HIT with an annual budget of $15,000 to support business objectives and align with specific business metrics set by Global Diversity. GM HIT members benefit from the support of the Hispanic Leadership Team (HLN) which consists of 31 ‘Hispanic Executives’ who help find, grow, and keep Hispanic talent at GM. GM HIT contributes in areas of the company such as marketing reviews for ads in Spanish, technical contribution to voice recognition, and cultural awareness. Through its 11 chapters, GM HIT has given 9,000 hours of service to the local communities and talent pipeline by raising money for charities, school and reading programs. GM HIT ranked in the LATINA Style top 10 ERGs in 2015.
Established in 2009, Wells Fargo’s Latin Connection’s mission has been to develop diverse and inclusive leaders and assist in business development, which is accomplished through development activities, collaboration with business partners and community outreach. Today, Latin Connection counts with an annual budget of $44,588. Latin Connection currently has 45 chapters nationwide with 9,484 members including 250 members who serve various leadership roles that support their local chapter. Latin Connection provides professional and career development, mentoring, leadership and community outreach opportunities. Mentorship programs help members become emerging leaders like the Latino Leaders Program. Since the program was implemented in 2005, 998 Latinos have graduated to date. Latin Connection also spearheaded the six-month program which helps bring together groups of mid-level professionals across all lines of business and partners them with an executive leader. To date (June 2016) Latin Connection members have contributed over 1,000 volunteer hours to the communities across the nation. Latin Connection ranked in the LATINA Style Top 10 ERGs in 2015.
Founded in 2004, Walmart’s Hispanic Latino Associate Resource Group (HLARG) has more than 905 members that benefit from numerous opportunities including developing and strengthening their leadership skills. The Corporate Office of Culture, Diversity & Inclusion provides funding as well as leadership, organizational, administration, and communications assistance for the HLARG. The HLARG’s mission is to create a diverse and inclusive workforce and workplace by developing Hispanic Latino leadership capability and to better serve customers and communities. HLARG serves the community with programs like “Mi Futuro Youth Mentoring” which partners with local schools to mentor up to 30 students in a one hour monthly session with monthly curriculum provided by the Mi Futuro Leadership Team. Currently, there are 2,300 students in 29 states through 87 mentor teams. HLARG also supports the “Made in US” initiative and has exposed 43 Hispanic vendors to the merchant community. HLARG ranked in the LATINA Style top 10 ERGs in 2015.
United Technologies Corporation
The Hispanic Leadership Forum (HFL) was formed in 2002 and currently has more than 500 members. HLF was organized to address all opportunities to help United Technologies attract, develop and retain Hispanic professional talent across the enterprise. HFL also seeks to strengthen the bonds within the Hispanic community where P&W employees work and live. United Technologies Corporation supports HLF by appointing Executive Champions that provide leadership and financially by assigning funding to ensure the ERG can meet their mission. HFL focuses on the growing population of Hispanic/Latino employees and helps to foster a sense of family and pride to the Hispanic heritage while learning and embracing others. HFL provides support to all levels of the business in career fairs, conferences to attract talent for the company. HFL helps develop multiple events to promote training, business events and Executive Speaker Series. HLF members also give back to the community by volunteering in events like Relay for Life, Career days at local schools, STEM initiatives, and various fundraisers.
Crecer was established in 2012 with the vision to make UPS the company of choice for Latinos. With the mission to empower individuals through leadership, professional development, and to accelerate business growth for UPS through its customers and communities. Crecer receives funding through the UPS Foundation and currently has over 400 members and is continually growing with chapters initiating in Panama, Mexico, Portugal, and Brussels. All chapters share the same pillars of Community, Careers, Culture, and Commerce and their activities seek to accomplish the same overarching goals. Crecer fosters a culture through programs which enable opportunities for development and professional growth to all members. Crecer has strong commitment to serving the Hispanic community and in 2016 Crecer volunteered 6,589 hours to events such as the 2016 Annual Regional Student Symposium and various mentoring programs. The Crecer team exposes all facets of UPS to the youth and college students at career fairs and has given $2 million in grants. Crecer members also raised awareness of Hispanic market opportunity and supported the launch of UPS.com and My Choice products in Spanish.
Established in 1997, The Latin Diversity Network Employee Business Resource Group (LDNEBRG) is comprised of 544 employee members from all areas of the company. Their mission is to promote an environment that facilitates the hiring, professional development and opportunities of Latin employees while enhancing American’s global competitiveness and its image in the Latin community. LDNEBRG at American Airlines is fully committed to a culture of service for and by Latinos, investing their time and energy into the Hispanic communities in which they live and work. LDNEBRG supports various organizations through donations such as donating 250,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles towards Medical Wings International and volunteer work with Ronald McDonald, Mission Mexico, Healing Hands Ministries and many more. The LDNEBRG hosts regular career mixers, lunch-and-learn sessions, promotes leadership opportunities, and shares knowledge with new employees. The LDNEBRG provide counsel on cultural appeal and decorum to the Diverse Segment Marketing team in Latin America and also helped launch routes to Colombia, Brasilia, Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo.
Founded in 1999, with 1,300 members across nine chapters, Conexión members benefit from professional development opportunities such as career coaching, access to Latino leaders at Cisco through webinar sessions, and opportunities to attend trainings and summits. Cisco supports the ERG through executive sponsorship, allotment of funds, and board engagement. Conexión’s work is based on three pillars; Professional Development, Talent Pipeline and Community Development. Members benefit from volunteer opportunities, mentoring, networking, recruiting opportunities and travel. Conexión engages in a variety of activities that serve the Latino communities, mainly through student outreach – elementary to college – to promote higher education and careers in STEM and technology. Conexión impacts the lives of many students through Conexión’s flagship “Program Escuela”, where Cisco partners with multiple Title 1 Schools Districts across the U.S. to build STEM related programs. Conexión’s impact can also be reflected through their recruitment of Latino talent around the world more specifically in Europe and the U.S.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Since 2013, the mission of Latinos in Philanthropy (LIP) at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is to support Diversity & Inclusion at the foundation by raising awareness of the Latino culture and relevant issues, connecting with colleagues, fostering engagement with local organizations and the broader community. The ERG has a dedicated budget, access to a director-level advisor and can utilize the foundation’s time and resources to meet, plan and execute activities. LIP strives to advocate for recruitment and retention of Latino talent at the foundation as well as provide networking and professional development opportunities for its members with other Latino ERG’s from other companies in the region. LIP has been an impactful voice that gives an insightful perspective on projects that the organization hosts in Latin and South America. In 2016, LIP hosted the first ever Pacific Northwest Latino ERG Forum, with participants from leading Northwest companies such as Boeing, Starbucks, AT&T, Microsoft, Amazon, and others.
Ford Motor Company
2017 will mark 25 years for Ford Hispanic Network (FHN), one of Ford’s oldest employee resource groups, established in 1992. With 600 members and 150 paid members FHN’s mission is to drive corporate efforts in promoting diversity by continually enhancing Ford’s image in the Hispanic community as well as fostering professional opportunities for Hispanics within Ford. FHN is supported by Ford with $16,000 annual budget but is encouraged to function as a non-profit raising its own resources. FHN emphasizes on community outreach through mentoring, financial workshops, supporting small business entrepreneurs and scholarships to local High Schools. In the past eight years FHN has provided over $22,500 in scholarships and has donated more than 11,000 volunteer hours since 2010. FHN has also established professional development opportunities through their Executive Shadowing programs, mentoring circles, lunch-and-learns, and Amigo events. In 2016 FHN contributed to the Ford Driving Dream Reading Program with Oscar de la Hoya which donated 10,000 books to 10,000 kids throughout Michigan.
Hora del Café was founded in 2007, with the mission to provide an inclusive partner network that celebrates the Latino culture, develops partners and positivity impacts their customers and communities. Hora del Café has 3,000 members nationwide with nine chapters, eight future chapters being established, and nine sub-chapters. Their main goals are to help develop their partners (employees) and develop their future leaders. In 2016, the ERG was allocated more than $40,000 by submitting their yearly proposal. Hora del Café provides members opportunities to lead events, speak in public, present in front of executives, and VIP guests. Every chapters elects a local organization with whom they work with such as the HQ chapter, who works with El Centro de La Raza where they mentor students, conduct mock interviews, workshops, provide scholarships, devote their annual day of service, and participate in their Gala. Hora del Café is a source for market intelligence and has participated in tasting new products such as the “Chile Spiced Latte”.
Since 2012, Unidos has been dedicated to attracting, developing, retaining and promoting Hispanic talent within Comcast NBCUniversal. With 3,001 members and 15 chapters nationwide, Unidos drives the company’s engagement with the broader community internally and externally through partnerships and community involvement. Comcast NBCUniversal supports the 15 Unidos chapters financially and through learning and development opportunities. Unidos provides professional development opportunities throughout the year including training, mentoring, executive lunch-and-learns, and networking. Developmental programs include the Latino Panel Series and a Summer Career Development Series. The promotion rate for Unidos mentees formally involved in the ERG Mentorship Program is 58 percent. Unidos supports the company’s annual corporate day of service, Comcast Cares Day, where Unidos spearheads projects in partnership with Telemundo and NBCU news stations. Together, employees, friends and families have contributed more than 600,000 hours of service – the equivalent of $15 million worth of volunteer work in 2016. Unidos was ranked in the LATINA Style top 10 ERGs in 2015.
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
Founded in 2005, LACO is committed to promoting the rich Latin-American culture, heritage and history, and to educate and help all Latin-Americans at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) in their endeavors toward success. LACO is funded annually by the Diversity Department as well as the Horizon Foundation to support their initiatives. In addition, the company matches funds raised by LACO for organizations they support. LACO members benefit through opportunities for professional growth, reinforcing a spirit of giving back through community outreach, playing a key role in growing Horizon BCBSNJ’s business, and positively impacting the retention of Hispanic employees. LACO’s volunteerism as well as its commitment to assisting member address their healthcare needs are just a few examples of the benefits LACO offers the community. LACO’s impactful work is seen at Horizon in helping to bridge that gap by helping tens of thousands of people gain access to healthcare that was previously unavailable or inaccessible due to language and/or trust.
2016 ERG Honorable Mention:
MUFG Union Bank, N.A. – Adelante, Hispanic/Latino Enterprise Resource Group
Kaiser Permanente – KP Latino Association, (KPLA)
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