Happy Thanksgiving
We asked the leaders of newly formed ERGs to share their journeys to leadership, as well as how leadership of a company’s internal group...

We asked the leaders of newly formed ERGs to share their journeys to leadership, as well as how leadership of a company’s internal group has helped further their careers. Although most of these ERGs are less than two years old, it is clear that the leadership skills and connections gained have been beneficial for each leader and company.

Adam Jakubiak, Energizer

How were you identified to lead your ERG?
I volunteered to grow it from an idea into a full-fledged ERG with the support of another colleague as co-chair.

How has leading an ERG affected you?
Leading the ERG opens an opportunity to discuss topics of diversity that are very important to the company, but can easily be overlooked if not addressed directly.

Ambreen Rivzi, Fannie Mae

How were you identified to lead your ERG?
I served as a Vice President for the Muslim ERG for a couple of years. When the president left the company, I was chosen unanimously by the other leaders to serve as the president.

How has leading an ERG affected you?
The ERG has helped me develop leadership, time management and both presentation and facilitation skills by organizing company-wide events that top executives attend.

Michele Byrd, Kraft Foods

How were you identified to lead your ERG?
Based on my prior engagement with the WSC, I was selected to lead the group for the 2011-2012 term.

How has leading an ERG affected you?
I’ve become a better leader through working with those in the WSC and influencing those that are seeking professional development.

Helen Drexler, Anthem BCBS CO.

How were you identified to lead your ERG?
I volunteered for a number of opportunities to support WOW which helped promote membership growth in this ERG.

How has leading an ERG affected you?
Leading this ERG has given me an opportunity to display my leadesrhip abilities and promote this ERG with other women in WellPoint. It has taught me how to be a good mentor/sponsor to other women.

Jeremy Davis, Nielsen

How were you identified to lead your ERG?
I had just returned from the Middle East when my manager found out they were planning a military ERG; he recommended me as a good candidate.

How has leading an ERG affected you?
Leading the SERV (Support & Employee Resources for Veterans) group, I’ve had the opportunity to work with senior leaders that I rarely talked to before.

Jorge Davo, Oliver Wyman

How were you identified to lead your ERG?
After a few months of active engagement and building strong connections with several people in the group, I was asked to take on the co-chair position.

How has leading an ERG affected you?
The group’s leadership has direct contact with senior management. Being a co-chair for GLOW allowed me to build a brand for GLOW and for myself and to showcase my work and motivation in front of these key people.

Mary Currier, Allianz Life Insurance

How were you identified to lead your ERG?
Our CEO knew I had a passion for helping women to network more effectively, particularly in their personal and professional development, and asked me to chair the Women’s ERG.

How has leading an ERG affected you?
I have built relationships within Allianz Life and with other women leaders. I am building my leadership skills by creating a strong team of officers and committee members who have passion for women’s career development.

Leanne Thomas, CSC

How were you identified to lead your ERG?
Given my background and passion for the employment and professional development of people with disabilities, I was asked to launch an employee resource group for people with disabilities.

How has leading an ERG affected you?
Leading this ERG has given me the opportunity to network with CSC colleagues in different business units and around the globe. I also have the chance to network with external contacts to discuss best practices around the employment of people with disabilities.

Audrey Gilles, Charles Schwab & Co.

How were you identified to lead your ERG?
I am a supported, accepted and encouraged, out professional, and I want to celebrate and share that. I reached out to the ERG lead of our PRIDE network, asked how I could get involved, and started attending meetings. Our ERG chair asked if I would be interested in stepping in as chair.

How has leading an ERG affected you?
As a new ERG chair, I have stretched the scope of work that I do by engaging cross-functionally within Schwab, and externally with organizations I might not otherwise have the opportunity to work with.

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