National ERG Day

One of the ways that Walker Edison has been able to provide support for its employees in the last year and half is through community building with employee resource groups (ERGs). ERGs are formed by and for employees who share a common characteristic – ethnicity, gender, generation, religious affiliation, etc. An ERG is based on providing support, enhancing career development, professional networking, and overall contributions to personal development in the workplace. An ERG can also develop future leaders, increase employee engagement and expand marketplace reach – all benefits for the employee and employer alike.   

Walker Edison currently has three established ERGs: Women of Walker Edison (WOWE), WE Pride & WE Veterans. Additionally, at the beginning of 2022, WE Latinx will launch to support Walker Edison’s Latinx employees, who are the 2nd highest employees' racial group within the company. As a response to employee interest, we are also in the process of developing ERGs for parents, employees with different abilities, and wellness. 

Our ERGs at Walker Edison have helped drive and integrate diversity, equity and inclusion into the company’s DNA. They have provided insightful learning opportunities with speakers and trainings as well as empowered our employees to drive change, as well as social connections. Our ERGs are a strong force in Walker Edison’s diversity and inclusion journey.  

A few of our ERGs recent initiatives include: 

  • Hosting WEchats that provide an open discussion on topics such as imposter syndrome, gender equality, allyship, and other topics relevant to our employees’ needs 
  • WE Pride has developed a partnership with Utah’s LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce and Project Rainbow Utah. As well as advocating and auditing our benefits package to be inclusive of transgender health.  
  • WE Veterans hosted a storytelling event to allow our WE community to honor the veterans in their lives on Veterans Day 
  • WOWE hosted their second annual all-day, companywide women in leadership summit to elevate and empower WE’s women employees and allies. 

These initiatives and events would not be possible without our amazing ERG leaders, who not only volunteer their time but are committed to the growth of their ERG and Walker Edison’s diversity and inclusion goals. Here is the why behind their efforts: 

 

“As the WE Veterans group develops and takes shape, I look forward to building and connecting with fellow veterans at Walker Edison. It is my hope that the Veterans ERG can play an active role in supporting the success of Veterans at Walker Edison.” 
- Garret Gileno, employee lead for WE Veterans 
 
“I believe that the business community has the power to help lift LGBTQ+ voices and be an advocate for equality and I am so excited to see Walker Edison joining those efforts. A diverse workplace where employees do not fear discrimination, and one that encourages everyone to contribute their full potential, will help us become proven innovators in the industry.  
The courage of LGBTQ+ individuals to live proudly as who they are continues to inspire me, both professionally and personally.  I hope that WE Pride becomes an opportunity for us as a community and allies to work on mutual respect, education, and build a loving place of acceptance.” 
- Kayla Thomas, employee lead for WE Pride 
 
“The last year I have gone from feeling a little lost and needing connection to being a part of the WOWE Committee and stumbling into the role of Co-Chair. It has given me a sense of purpose and community that I was looking for in my career. The summit was so fulfilling and an amazing learning experience overall. I am excited to see where WOWE takes us all in 2022” 
- Lacey Poulsen, employee lead for WOWE 
 
“Having the chance to start up the LatinX ERG and participate in the other ERG’s means so much to me! Being a woman of color and part of the LGBTQ+ community, it feels amazing knowing my place of employment supports and sees me. I look forward to the growth of our ERGs and creating more to educate and make others feel safe.” 
- Vanessa Ripley, employee co-lead for WE Latinx 
 
“Being a part of WE LatinX, to me, means having a space to acknowledge an already diverse community and to foster belonging among coworkers. As someone who joined Walker Edison after being an international student, I never had the opportunity to be in such a space. I expected to always feel foreign and for all my associations to be transient. I'm grateful for an opportunity to help others feel accepted and valued at WE” 
- Heilly Galvez, employee co-lead for WE Latinx 

 

We are thankful for the amazing work our ERG’s have accomplished. On this National ERG Day, Walker Edison wants to thank ERG leaders and participants in Walker Edison and in companies around the world for making our workplaces inclusive and inviting for all! 


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