By Gloria Romano-Barrera
For the fifth year, LATINA Style has selected the top Employee Resource Groups based on corporate leadership, mentorship, and community involvement. With a mission to highlight corporate achievement in the arena of diversity and inclusion, LATINA Style congratulates several companies on providing a positive work environment where talented Latinas shine and thrive. This year, LATINA Style recognizes HACEMOS, ATT’s Hispanic/Latino association as the 2014 Employee Resource Group of the Year. Congratulations to all the companies who made it to the top.
1. HACEMOS AT&T
Since 1982, HACEMOS, ATT’s Hispanic/Latino association and one of the largest employee resource groups in the telecommunications industry serves 28,772 Hispanic employees with a total of 229,920 U.S. –based AT&T employees. The philanthropic organization’s mission is to ‘foster an environment where people support and encourage each other to succeed professionally, personally and in the community’.
“As a global company, AT&T embraces the idea of fostering diversity and inclusion. Having ERGs creates a better global business environment for our employees and business partners,” states Emily Cacciapaglia, HACEMOS National President. “ERGs visibly and actively demonstrate the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and support it through their efforts in the workplace, marketplace and the community. AT&T recognizes the value, goodwill and contributions that these groups provide in furthering the company’s goals, values and interests.”
With three primary objectives: To prepare membership for advancement opportunities; to help AT&T reach its objectives, and to improve the quality of life in the Hispanic community, HACEMOS is an organization where all members of the Hispanic/Latino community can thrive. Today, 50 percent of the National Board is Latina, including its national president.
AT&T demonstrates its commitment to diversity and to the ERGs by hosting its annual National ERG Conference, by promoting education through high school graduation with National High Technology Day, an annual event in which high school students nationwide come through AT&T doors to experience a day in the world of technology.
Another way HACEMOS addresses education is through scholarships. Each year, HACEMOS chapters support these scholarships through fundraiser opportunities ranging from tamale sales to hosting golf tournaments. Profits from these events go to the HACEMOS Scholarship Foundation. HACEMOS awarded more than $185,000 in scholarships in 2014 to deserving students across the country – and has awarded more than $2.5 million since 1999.
“HACEMOS is proud to receive this distinguished recognition. Achieving Top ERG of the Year is an honor and a gift to the many volunteers who contribute throughout the year. HACEMOS members realize there is a greater goal and pursue enriching others through their motto, “Juntos HACEMOS Mas, Together WE DO More!” states Cinthya Allen, Executive Vice President, Operations. “Membership in a Hispanic-focused ERG fosters an environment of support, leveraging our unique culture and voice. Finally, at AT&T, we encourage Hispanics to consider joining HACEMOS because of our collective talent, support of our members and contributions to our community by organizing charitable events and mentoring the Hispanics of the future.”
2. Hispanic / Latino Organization for Leadership and Advancement (HOLA)
Celebrating 10 years in 2015, HOLA is one of Bank of America’s 12 ERGs with more than 200 chapters and 60,000 employees around the world. 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. With over 6500 members across the U.S., organized in 30 geographic chapters and a virtual chapter, HOLA’s mission is to maximize the contributions and enhance the professional development of Hispanic and Latino employees at Bank of America.
HOLA’s objective is to: Enable professional development, networking and mentoring opportunities; Promote inclusion, teamwork, and recognition; Participate and strengthen the bank’s recruiting strategy for the Hispanic/Latino demographic; Contribute to the bank’s product and service strategy for the Hispanic/Latino market; Engage employees in activities to support its communities.
“We are honored to have been selected as one of the top 5 ERGs,” states Silvina A. Salazar, Specialty Servicing Process Quality Executive. “LATINA Style, Inc. has a long trajectory and solid reputation as an independent organization with a clear mission of enabling Latinas in the workforce and in business. Receiving this award confirms us that our efforts are noted, recognized and it inspires us to do more.”
With a vision to attract, inspire and develop the next generation of Latino leaders to lead Cisco as the number one IT company, Conexión, Cisco’s employee resource organization, is measured through the success of its programs.
Conexión created successful leadership development programs for its board and membership. For example, Conexión brings the board together in San Jose, CA 3 to 4 days annually for leadership, professional development and networking sessions. In addition, members can participate in virtual career development cohort programs throughout the year to develop leadership skills and learn how to manage their careers.
Employee Resource Organizations (EROs) help support Cisco’s strategy in the area of Inclusion and Collaboration. “We leverage Cisco technology to support EROs, making them global, virtual groups focused on diverse communities,” states Anne-Marie Azzi, marketing manager, Cisco. “EROs are key to Cisco’s success because employees are able to garner their passion to impact the lives of individuals who cannot be reached through formal Cisco communication channels. EROs provide employees engagement opportunities that strike a balance between business impact and professional development while positively impacting our diverse communities.”
4. Hispanic Business Council
Target’s Hispanic Business Council program exists to help team members develop and refine their overall leadership skills by honing in on strategic planning, operational guidance and business development initiatives that can directly influence our merchandising, marketing and human resources teams. Currently serving 1,453 members, the council supports Target’s enterprise strategy through various angles and lenses.
Here are a few 2014’s accomplishments:
Through the HBC/Segmentation monthly merchandise review meetings, the team has supported more than a dozen merchandise assortments; The HBC has increased its internal feedback council 111% this year, including diverse team members from the field.
The HBC works closely with Target’s overall development and on boarding teams to create events and opportunities that create an inclusive environment, ideally leading to increased retention of diverse leaders for the company.
The HBC inspires TMs to give back to the community by engaging in ongoing volunteer programs that offer a sustainable solution to help close the inequality gap. This outcome ensures high TM job satisfaction.
5. GM Hispanic Initiative Team (GM HIT)
Founded in 1999, GM’s Hispanic Initiative Team serves 434 members across the company. GM has embraced and supported the ERG and other Diversity efforts on a local, regional and national level for many years. The GM HIT mission is to attract, develop and retain Hispanic employees to grow relationships with the Hispanic Community and promote growth of the Hispanic Market Share.
“Employee resource groups provide an avenue to accomplish the important mission of attracting, developing and retaining Hispanic employees to grow our relationships with the Hispanic community and promote growth of our Hispanic Market Share,” states Antoinette Fox, Sr. Program Support Engineer; Powertrain ME President; GM Hispanic Initiative Team (GM HIT). “The ERG grows and fosters important cross functional relationships within the company and leverages our resources to provide a face of the company to our customers and community partners. We can use our ERG groups to drive our passion to Design, Build and Sell the world’s best vehicles while living our Company Values: Individual Excellence.”
Professional Latino Allstate Network (PLAN)
Established in the mid 80s at grassroots level and formally in 1995, PLAN’s mission is to become a trusted advisor for Allstate in advancing Latino talent to drive business results.
- Provide a platform for Latino leadership and talent development acceleration
- Support Allstate’s growth opportunities in the Latino market
- Leverage cultural competency for business development
Sodexo Organization of Latinos (SOL)
Established in 2003 with 90 members, Sodexo Organization of Latinos (SOL) has grown to 398 members and nine chapters over the past 11 years. SOL enhances the quality of life for Latinos and facilitates interaction and communication among our members and community organizations, while promoting external awareness of Sodexo.
SOL’s three key pillars frame the group’s focus and alignment with the enterprise: Professional development for its members; Recruitment and retention of Latinos within the enterprise; the strengthening of enterprise community partner relationships that impact the Latino community.
Established in 1994, Enlace is Sprint’s oldest ERG and recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. Enlace’s mission and vision is to create an environment that fosters the development of employees, drives understanding and awareness of the Hispanic culture, and to contribute to the business success of Sprint, as well as diversity and inclusion goals.
Enlace currently has 866 total members nationwide in 33 different states, including 4 international members in Honduras and Puerto Rico. The majority of the members are located in Kansas, Texas, California and Florida. Enlace continues to experience year-over-year membership growth.
Hispanic Support Organization (HSO)
HSO strives to improve and serve better its stakeholders by continuously looking at opportunities for improvement and best practices. Constantly communicating and sharing knowledge and information with other Verizon ERGs, (HSO) focuses on three major target areas:
Contribute to overall success of Verizon and support of key objectives; Promote professional development, mentoring and networking opportunities for HSO leaders and members; Support Community Outreach initiatives to help Hispanic community in alignment with VZ core areas of focus, such as STEM education.
Hispanic Organization for Leadership and Achievement (HOLA)
HOLA’s mission is to facilitate new and emerging opportunities for Johnson & Johnson, its members and the communities by embracing the Hispanic culture and driving business results through eating inclusive, synergistic work environments; Recruiting, retaining, developing and advancing Hispanic leaders committed to leveraging diversity and driving Johnson & Johnson’s strategies.
HOLA has served as a catalyst to help sponsor and retain employees in the organization through its large network.
Virtually Intelligence Providers, LLC (VIP)
The VIP Education Foundation is a non profit-volunteering collaboration of numerous VIP employees and customers, personally being led by Sonia Clayton, president and CEO of Virtual Intelligence Providers, LLC. The VIP Education Foundation proactively searches the Houston unemployed, veterans, single parents, professionals in transition, relocating foreigners, recent grads and others at the Between Jobs Ministry and at the LDS Employment Services of Spring, Texas.
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