Jump-Start Your Career
That’s what these four executives
did: Alexis Toro, director of revenue
assurance for Verizon Communications; Clay Broussard, a project
manager for supply chain and logistics at PepsiCo; Tracey Rice, director
of technical stewardship for The
Coca-Cola Co.; and Kamau King,
trademark counsel for Coca-Cola.
The companies at which they
work are all listed in The 2007
DiversityInc Top 50 Companies
for Diversity® and are constantly
finding new methods to utilize
employee-resource groups (ERGs)
as a two-way street. Employees
eager to prove their worth develop
additional skills and network with
senior leaders through their participation in ERGs.
Meanwhile, companies use ERGs
as clearinghouses for multicultural-marketing expertise, as program
organizers, and as professional-development organizations.
The result has seen employees
building résumés with leadership
release innovative products and
marketing campaigns and create
more intimate connections within
communities where ERG members
“While I was an intern and
through my participation with the
Hispanic Serving Organization, I
was able to meet the company’s
future chairman and CEO, Ivan Seidenberg,” says Toro, who describes
himself at that time as a preco-
House,” that ultimately aired on
the 2008 pre–Super Bowl show.
Broussard thought a commercial would highlight issues the
deaf community faces while also
showcasing PepsiCo’s products.
Instead of sitting on that good
Executives’ personal stories reveal
the value ERGs bring.
Toro started at Verizon as an
INROADS intern 11 years ago. The
intern coordinator at the time was
a member of Verizon’s Hispanic
Serving Organization (HSO) and
told Toro about the benefits of
joining the group.
cious college student with a type A
personality. His fortuitous meeting
came about because Seidenberg
attended an HSO event.
“That never would have occurred had I not been involved,”
says Toro. “I introduced myself to
him and I think he still remembers that meeting to this day.”
Broussard, who is a member of
EnAble, the company’s employee-resource group for employees with
disabilities, didn’t let his title stop
him and other EnAble members
from venturing into marketing.
They created a commercial, “Bob’s
idea, he and his fellow employee-resource-group members produced “Bob’s House,” a silent
commercial featuring two deaf
PepsiCo employees. Once the
company brass saw the commercial, they bought air time for the
pre–Super Bowl show.
“We’re interested in making sure PepsiCo is the choice
for [people with disabilities]—
employer of choice and partner of
choice. Being that those are our
goals, we thought, ‘What better
way to do it than with advertising?’” Broussard told DiversityInc.