At a recent National Academy event in New York, 30 girls—mostly freshmen and sophomores—came to learn from Verizon employees about careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Though some of the young girls were skeptical about a future in STEM, women leaders from Verizon inspired them to pursue their interests and seek opportunities within this growing field.
These women leaders represent the thousands of Verizon employees who are members of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)—employee-led volunteer groups that, through individual objectives and affinities, support the company’s strategic business initiatives focused on diversity and inclusion.
Building an inclusive culture
There are currently 9 Verizon ERGs, many of which are 30 to 40 years old. Leveraging their heritage and history, each ERG helps employees better identify their own talents, make connections to professionals who share similar interests, and channel their talent for a greater societal cause.
ERGs empower employees through mentoring, leadership training, professional and personal development seminars, and networking events.
Reaching the community
The various ERGs have different focus areas in different communities, but all are committed to supporting Verizon’s outreach efforts.
Many groups are involved in mentoring at-risk schoolchildren after work. Others collect and donate school supplies for underserved students, as well as clothing for domestic violence shelters and other segments of the population.
Serving a diverse customer base
ERGs also provide high value to Verizon and its relevance as a business to an increasingly diverse customer base.
These groups have played an integral role in identifying in-language, channel marketing reach. DIAL – an employee group focused on disability issues— was particularly instrumental in addressing the need for a disability call center for Verizon customers with virtual, hearing or cognitive disabilities.
Depending on the initiative, an ERG and its volunteers support corporate goals involving employee engagement and retention, diversity awareness and recruitment efforts, understanding Verizon’s broad customer base, and demonstrating corporate responsibility.
Advancing the importance of diversity & inclusion
Verizon employees foster professional and personal growth through 9 common-interest Employee Resource Groups:
- Asian Pacific Employees for eXcellence (APEX)
- Consortium of Information and Telecommunications Executives (CITE)
- Disabilities Issues Awareness Leaders (DIAL)
- Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Employees of Verizon and their Allies (GLOBE)
- Hispanic Support Organization (HSO)
- Native American People of Verizon (NAPV)
- South-Asian Professionals Inspiring Corporate Excellence (SPICE)
- Veterans Advisory Board of Verizon (VABVZ)
- Women's Association of Verizon Employees (WAVE)