Business Events Blog by Maritz

Harnessing the Power of Another Incredible Employee Resource Group

As Black History Month comes to a close, we want to highlight another one of our incredible employee resource groups (ERG) at Maritz – the Race & Ethnicity group. We asked the two co-chairs, Richard Medina and Li Statler to share a few thoughts on the work of this committee.

What’s the main purpose of the Race & Ethnicity ERG?

The main purpose of this group is to develop a culture that supports and celebrates diversity, equity and inclusion. Our goal is for this ERG to be a safe place for people to have open and honest conversations about the impacts of living and working in a diverse multicultural world.  Being able to celebrate each other’s backgrounds, while also tackling difficult topics are core values of this group and we are learning how to have those conversations. I think that desire alone makes us better as individuals and as one Maritz.    

What initiatives are happening now?

In February, we posted weekly articles and videos internally to promote Black History Month, and we’ve received a lot of positive feedback. For Chinese New Year (Feb. 10), we posted a video to celebrate the occasion. Looking ahead, we're preparing programs around the “World Day for Cultural Diversity” in April, as well as other days of celebration.

What do you most want to accomplish this year? Or next year?

Our group hopes to increase representation and continue to enhance cultural competency, while developing and honing an environment of cultural inclusion. We aim to create more opportunities for learning about and celebrating different cultures, as well as fostering a sense of belonging for all employees. We have already seen an increase this year in our group size, and we hope we continue to see more colleagues join in on the conversation.

Why did you want to become a co-chair of this ERG at Maritz?

Richard: I wanted to become a co-chair of this ERG because I saw it as an opportunity to serve, grow and enhance my experience. We can learn so much through the eyes of others and I saw this as an opportunity to get with my coworkers, hear their stories/struggles and work together to build solutions. Our group does this primarily through the education and celebration of our not-so-shared experiences. In short, I wanted to do this is because it’s hard. Having tough conversations about topics like unconscious bias, micro aggressions and discrimination are difficult to have, but we spend too much time at our jobs to sweep them under the rug. Instead we should embrace them in the proper context, and I think we will all be better for it. 

I wanted to become a co-chair to help create a more inclusive environment in our workplace. It provides the opportunity to share my own culture, as well as learn more about different cultures all over the world, which is always interesting.

What has been your favorite moment/experience so far?

Richard: One of my favorite moments was last May when the Race & Ethnicity ERG hosted the World Culture Day event at the Maritz Fenton campus. We collaborated with other ERGs and showcased different cultures, including Chinese, Black, Mexican, Filipino and Puerto Rican. We also collected materials from Maritz employees, such as recipes, to display online. It was a great event that brought people together and highlighted the diversity within our organization. It’s been an honor to work alongside my co-workers and I look forward to continuing to do so in the future.