An Inside Look into Employee Resource Groups | Fidelity
7:01AM Aug 25, 2021
employee resource groups
employee resource group
Hi, thanks for joining us today. I'm Dawn from fidelity. And I am so lucky to be here with three of my colleagues today. We've got Kristin, from North Carolina, we've got Chad, also from North Carolina, and Kate from Salt Lake. So we're actually here in Boston today. So it's, it's good to see all of you in person. And we've all been here for the ER G summit. What your G stands for is employee resource groups. And that's what we're here to talk about today. A little bit more about employee resource groups, what they are, what they mean to you, as employees of fidelity, and really just to give people an introduction into life at fidelity. So let me just give a little bit of introduction on er, G's at fidelity, diversity inclusion is so, so important. For us, it's really just about how we're showing up for our customers, right, it's, you know, we've got to reflect our customers, we, you know, we have to understand what they want, we have to understand what their life is like. And for us to be able to do that we have to have people we have to have talent that represent different backgrounds, different experiences, different perspectives, different points of view. So the Employee Resource Groups really help for fidelity employees who are off similar experiences similar backgrounds, to come together to really share their experiences network, and actually drive a lot of value for the business to as of last year, 14,000 of us are members of one er G or another. That's a huge number. So that's one in three fidelity employees. And we have six employee resource groups. We also have other networking groups. We've got groups that represent our black and Latino, black and Latino communities. We have an Asian Employee Resource Group, which is self explanatory, I think. We've got pride that represents our LGBT plus community. We've got five that represents military veterans who have served our country. We've got a spire, actually, I talked about Aspire it. Yeah. Right. And we've got an enable that represents disabled people. And we've also got the women's leadership, the women's leadership. Absolutely, yeah. They're also other special interest groups, as we call them, women in technology, working parents, Young Professionals Network, so a ton of networks, a ton of groups, for fidelity associates of all backgrounds and cultures and experiences and, you know, different, different worlds. But we all come together to really drive the best experience for our customers and for our for our employees, too. So that was a long introduction. I just wanted to kind of go around the table and have all of you introduce yourselves. Maybe Also, if you Kristen, you're from Aspire,
yes. So Christina Radek, I'm from Aspire, which is the African American Latino employee resource group, out of the North Carolina site. And Aspire is basically a place to create a community for our African American and Latino employees. But also Anyone have that interest. And we've been around at fidelity for about seven years now. And I've been with fidelity for over 10 years, actually. Yeah,
that's a really good point. You don't have to be black or Latino to join a spire. You don't have to be LGBT to join pride, like all all employees are welcome. Whether you you just want to learn more about the community, or you're an ally. That's that's a great point. And Chad, you're wearing a Marine Corps tie today, even though we said casual,
I had to represent. So my name is Chad Johnson. In the veterans, er g I'm also based in North Carolina, I've been with fidelity for about 15 years and I've been with five since the beginning. One of the great things about being in ER g with other veterans is that every once in a while we can get together and we can kind of share some of our stories from our time when we were in the military together and it gives us an opportunity to bounce some ideas off each other whether it's you know, for career or you know, you're handling a difficult situation and I want to you know, kind of get mad or something like that. I can always talk to somebody and say okay, how should I handle this more appropriately? So it helps me kind of get back to center and in be more professional. So yeah, it's been a really good Really nice ride along the way. And, Kate, you're from pride.
I am Kate, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, representing our pride group today, I love prior to helps me just bring my whole authentic self to work, it helps me bring my queer community from outside the office in the office, vice versa. Again, the cool thing about our resource groups are all allies of each other. So even though you may align with one or two, or just a few of the groups more directly in your life, you get to join all of them and just meet a ton of people and really help your career and personal life.
And we talked about all the employee resource groups coming together over the past two days. And there was a lot of talk about intersectionality. Right? That as as a person you have most you can have multiple identities, you know, you can be a gay woman, and therefore, there are a lot of associates who are members of our women's leadership group. And also members of pride. Are you Are any of you members have more than one employee resource group? There you go, I am to actually, so full disclosure. So what other employee resource groups do you do you represent? Oh, are you a member of at least
I was gonna say, I believe I'm a member of all of the employee resource groups, even some of the special interest groups, I get emails from all of them. But one of the reasons why I decided to join all the energies is going back to what Kate said, You know, I am an ally, for all of my underrepresented, you know, fellow colleagues. And I think being a part of all of the Employee Resource Groups helps me get a better grasp of the world as a whole as well. And then it allows me to be a voice for five, you know, I had a chance to meet Chad from, you know, doing I think it was a membership drive, and our tables were side by side. And I was like, are you with five? No, you should sign up. Okay. And so I signed up, I mean, for five. And from that, you know, I'm able to help support him when they have an event and vice versa. So I think it is important, whether or not you identify with their group or not to think about becoming an ally. What about UK,
all of them to date. So every single group actually impacts me personally, or that of my immediate family or close community. But again, just be an ally for everyone, it really expands your network, your point of view, your diversity of thought, absolutely.
And that's such an important point. Sometimes it's about learning other groups and other communities, not for yourself, but for your family and friends, too. And you learn so much. And you take home so much from these employee resource groups.
Yeah. And kind of back that point up, I think, for me, it was about how do I better align myself with the values that the other args bring to the table? And how do I more closely walk in their shoes, like I didn't grow up, you know, I was a white, you know, middle class individual, when I grew up, I didn't grow up in a black community or in an Asian community. So in order for me to truly understand how some of the struggles that those folks may have faced, like, I have to spend time with them, and I have to really get to know them better. So that you know, when they have struggles in the workplace or outside the workplace, that I can help better understand and help them through some of those things. And it really does help broaden horizons and you know, build friendships and things like that. So it's been a tremendous asset. And resource to me is, as an individual and as a professional,
are also great resources for, again, all of the employees, we have people who will have a child who's transitioning or a sibling who's coming out, and we're able to help them through that process, answer their questions, connect them, again, inside work, but also outside, what are your local resources. So we take advantage of a lot, but we also make sure that we're out there for everyone and giving back. And that's good.
So going off on a tangent a little bit. We're all fidelity employees. We've been here. Many of us many, many years. I think I have like the least tenure of all have less than five,
so and a half.
Oh, okay. Okay. We might we might we might be there might be competition. What has been your favorite moment? Working on fidelity was? Maybe not moment. What's it? What's your? What's your favorite part about working at fidelity that
I can add? Okay, good. It is by far, my colleagues. Fidelity is a great job of hiring awesome people. And these are people who I have relationships even outside of work, because you spend so much time with your colleagues at work. So you build more close knit relationships, sometimes in your very own family. And I can't tell you how many long lasting relationships I've made from working here fidelity. But again, it's the it's the colleagues it's the people. Yeah,
I second that it's definitely the people but it's also the like, I can't To fidelity rate out of the Marine Corps, so I was like less than 30 days removed, I moved to Raleigh, and I interviewed on a Thursday and I was hired on a Tuesday. But for me, it's been I didn't know anything about investing at all. But through all of the resources and things that fidelity offers to the associates. The reality is, I'm probably going to be able to retire by the age of 55. And that is such a comforting feeling, knowing that I knew nothing about investing, but because of strategic advisors and things that they offer us as employees, that dream is going to become reality. And for me, I'm on that downslide. So I'm like really happy and what are you talking? Oh, right. Yeah. Okay, what about you don't see people five seconds. The people are great as you just listening to me, but okay.
Now, honestly, the career impact has been incredible. Again, no background in finance, when I started at fidelity started on the phones, helping our customers, fidelity licensed me or series seven and 63 are the financial licenses that you get. I'm in tech, now I'm learning how to code. I'm doing development. I'm doing UX design. I've discovered all these passions, and fidelity has helped me get the tools that I need. You probably never thought you would end up in tech. No, that's crazy. I love it. I never thought I would end up in finance. And then where are you going to be in five years? Like, I can't wait to find out? Yeah,
yeah. So moving the conversation back to er, G's? You know, I, we talked about what's your favorite part of being at fidelity? You think about four and a half years ago, 15 years ago, 10 years ago, when you first joined fidelity? What was the feeling like? was it was it exciting? Was it nerves? overwhelming? And then and then, to add to that question, how did Employee Resource Groups help you get over any kind of emotions you may have had about joining fidelity?
Got me to think this one? Yeah. So I again, I literally joined right out of the military and my colleagues at the time would said I was rough around the edges. I started with my arms crossed a lot. I walked down the hall, like a drill instructor, and I saw I needed to loosen up, I was very fortunate that the group that of individuals that I was with, at the time, were also former military, so they kind of understood what I was going through. But when when five started, it brought a lot of folks that I didn't know were veterans into the same space and really allowed me to sit down and have conversations and say, you know, again, how would I better handle this situation, and there was a lot of senior leadership that came in and did that for us. And now I'm in the mentoring space. So I've meant to rip, I have seven mentees. I've been mentoring for over 10 years, and I provide the same kind of experience for them, when they get out to help them with resumes and how to be professional, what it means to you know, have dressed to show up to work in an interview and not stare through the person, because that's not looked upon favorably. So things like that it's really given me an opportunity to hone my own skills, but then also allowed me to give to give back in the same exact space forward. Yep, absolutely. What about you?
I'm trying to think back, you know, you said 10 years, I have a blessed memory. I'm trying to think back, you know, how did I feel coming into fidelity. And I think for me, the way I came into fidelity, my cousin worked for fidelity. So I had family within fidelity. So I didn't feel out, you know, on the outskirts or anything of that nature. But Aspire wasn't even around when I started with fidelity. But I gravitated towards what I knew. And I think by the time Aspire came about, I was looking for more of that community, and more of people that I can network with and connect with. When I started with fidelity, I started as a contract worker. So I was really just focused on making sure that I stay with fidelity, go green, right, I wanted to become permanent with fidelity. And so I think back to if Aspire was around at that point in time, all of the resources that might have been available to me to be able to help me hone those skills. But now that we have a spire now that I'm a lead within aspire to have some mentees and I'm helping to lead and guide and give those resources and give that backing and support on how to navigate their careers here within fidelity.
So also a story of giving back to Yes, yes. Okay. What about you four and a half years ago, you must remember, I can't remember things yesterday,
but there's that. Yeah. Honestly, I was terrified to start at fidelity. I didn't really see myself reflected. But as soon as I started, I had queer mentors who sought me out took me under their wing, I had allies reach out. Just absolutely fantastic that you can be a career professional and I love giving back. We we actually volunteer a lot with our resource group so able to go out in the local community and let kids play Like me, it even just young ages know that they can have a future and they can do whatever that they want. Yeah.
And it's so important. You said that you have people seek you out. Yeah. Because a lot of times we talk about how you've got to take the initiative to join er, G's employee resource groups, you've got to take the initiative to network. But the people here are so great that if they see that you need like a helping hand to get to the next up, they will reach out to you. Like, it's it's not like you're sitting there on your own, and feeling like you're completely lost. And everyone's just like, off you go, do whatever you need to do to succeed. You know,
I can't tell you how many sidebar conversations I've had just walking past someone like, did you know that we have a spire, and we'll have a small chat. And then as soon as I get back to my desk, I send a quick email as follow up to our conversation. Here's the link for you to be able to. So he follows up and I follow up. Oh, by the way. Exactly.
Yeah, that's good. And we talked a little bit about this, you know, an employee resource groups helping you sort of get over the first day or first week jitters. What other sort of personal development, Korea Development, benefit or value, have you guys taken from your participation and employee resource groups,
leading with influence? For me, my current role within fidelity is a team lead. So I lead a team, but we all serve the same manager, but I need to be able to hone the skill of directing my associates and giving them coaching and use my power of influence to get them to the place that I want them to be. And I think Aspire has helped me hone that skill, because it's the same thing, everyone who was a part of this employee resource group, now a Business Resource Group, they do it on their own time, this is all volunteer work. So how can you, you know, force a volunteer to volunteer more, you know, you have to lead through influence, and I think that's a skill that aspires helped me home.
Yeah, and that's a really important point, because Employee Resource Groups are, you know, we have the blessing, if you will, from from the from the company, but these are self organized groups, these are people who are passionate about their community, their experiences, and they want to share and they want to help other people. And that's how, you know, that's what powers these employee resource groups. Chad,
I think is networking, like the word in in and of itself, you know, we always say you got to network, you have to network, you have network, but we don't really teach people how to do it effectively. And I think being in ER G, it because it's natural, right, it becomes a conversation, more than just you're in it for something to get out of it, you develop relationships, and then out of those relationships, other relationships are developed. And the next thing you know, it's kind of like this big spider web of context that you have to be able to get things done. And most of that probably would never would have been possible had I not gotten into a lead role where my exposure to other other leads and other args has really helped me to expand the capabilities of what I can do in the workplace. And in some cases outside the workplace as well.
That's, that's important, because it's, it's, it's sort of, it's not like you sign up for a networking class, like, there's no sign up for this training. And we'll teach you how to network and how to hold your glass how to hold like, avoid champagne, and all of that. But it's getting out there and learning and sort of like the Employee Resource Groups giving you a safe environment. Can you talk a little bit more about that? Because, you know, we have to side before we started, we talked a little bit about like how, five give you a safe space, if you will?
Well, I think one of the things is, you know, you can be put in a position where I like to call it failing forward where if you fall down, you still went, you know, a step forward, and then you stood back up. And we give some folks an opportunity to maybe run an event or do something a little bit smaller scale, where maybe it wasn't successful by their standards, and but they've learned from it and they get immediate feedback from their peers and from others. And it allows them to, it didn't really cost fidelity anything other than the time. So it wasn't that they had this massive business decision that went south. They may have you know, learned a lot from it. And then the next time around there, you know, much more prepared to handle that adversity, adversity as it comes. So I think that's one of the things that that also is is kind of a sidebar that happens organically.
Kate, what about you in terms of what you think you've gotten out of being a member of an employee resource group,
I think the biggest skill, definitely leadership but also advocacy. Joining pride taught me how to advocate for myself how to advocate for others turn Not around and advocate for my career, learn how to talk to directors or vice presidents people that might be intimidating, especially if you're new to a company and organization, a team, just learning how to make sure that you know what you want, and then find a strategic way to can convey that and communicate that.
I love that because I sort of in the past had seen myself as a wallflower that, like, didn't know how to like advocate for yourself. So I totally I totally relate to that. You know, the Employee Resource Groups provide a lot of value to you, as employees as you develop as you grow. Over the last few days, when we're here meeting with the other drgs, we also talked about how Employee Resource Groups are actually providing value back to fidelity as a business. It's kind of odd to think of employee research groups that way, because I think when we say employee, resource groups, people think networking events, champagne, cocktails, dinners, it's just a way of getting to know your partner. But but it's, it's, it's moved, like we pass that, like we were past that, like years ago, talk a little bit about how Aspire five pride helps fidelity as business.
So I, we I just mentioned this a few minutes ago, I think it's it breaks down barriers, it allows us to have sometimes conversations that we otherwise may not have, but it also helps us build bridges. So although you know, we sometimes have to be vulnerable, and nobody really likes to be vulnerable. But it gives you that opportunity to do that in, in and around your peers that understand what you're going through. And then it allows us to work to find a common solution to a potential problem. But it also helps to really understand another group of individuals that you probably wouldn't otherwise, all within the, you know, the walls of where you work. But it goes much beyond that, because you take that same experience, and when you you know, work with folks outside, whether we volunteer, or it's just friends or family that maybe you had a hard time in that area with those individuals, it really has, it does give the opportunity to learn and do those things. And then it you know, it goes, you know, reaches out really far and really allows us to be more inclusive of all of the people that we come in contact with.
I think another way that we as er G's now be or G's are able to help fidelity is we're able to help them identify and tap the talent from diverse backgrounds that fidelity may not be able to find on their own, we're able to identify those that may look like us or have similar backgrounds and we know are fit for the role. And this comes about from various ways, whether it be having discussions with hiring managers, or working with our talent acquisition or, you know, going to different festivals to represent fidelity and letting them know, hey, fidelity wants you, you know, we are interested in hearing about you and you come into work for us at fidelity. What do you say, you know, so those opportunities come about from our HR group, partnering with the ER G's.
Yeah, because it all starts with the recruitment, if we want our employee population to look like what the country looks like, we've got to start with recruiting. Right? And, and Kate, we talked over the past two days about pride and pride really helping fidelity understand the LGBT plus market.
Well, and I love that comment, because the more diverse our employees and our business is, that's injecting diversity, diversity of thought diversity of experiences into the business because we're able to say, Hey, this is what my community needs. This is what my girlfriend would want in, you know, a client experience or an account. And this is what we actually need to make sure that we're there for our customers, we represent our customers, our customers diverse, we're diverse. We just advocate for each other,
and we can't assume that everyone has the same needs. Absolutely. And for us to have a diverse set of employees with different walk from different walks of life. That way we can understand our customers better. Going back to maybe a more lighthearted or even more personal moments. What is maybe one moment in your entire participation with employee resource groups that really stood out to you that's really stuck with you can be an interaction. It can be a networking event. No champagne, no champagne, champagne meal, cocktails. Anything one experience that has touched you so much. Wow. Don, there you go tapping into my memory you want to start as
well. No, I may have mentioned it earlier. But being able to just be myself at work and having the I guess freedom and tools and even just skills to advocate represent myself. The more you do that the happier are, the more successful you are. And I find that when I'm able to be vulnerable thanks to my participation in these groups, I have this family, I have this network, people come up to me and I'm able to be a resource for them. And that's just the most rewarding thing if I can do anything to help somebody else and to share my journey. That's great.
It's your personal, it's your personal reflection, right. So what about you? Okay, where do we get a shout out? Okay.
So last summer, I got invited to a diversity inclusion talk, it was fast, rapid fire. So it was five, we all got five minutes. But there were several groups represented. And so I represented the veterans group, and it allowed me to, in a very broad spectrum, kind of speak to what I was doing at fidelity and how being a LEED for five helped me get to where I was in my career. And I think the coolest thing at the end was everybody actually stood up and clapped and gave me a standing ovation. So that was one of those things that really stuck with me as like, I'm getting chills. I'm like, wow, you know, it's so that was definitely that moment for me where I was like, Alright, we're making some some difference. And I think that's important. So
nice. Well, I guess I should begin the fun aspect into it, then. Hmm. So for Aspire, we do try to have a signature summertime cookout annually. And I think that is something that a lot of our members look forward to, because it is an opportunity for us to engage in with their families as well. So just planning those events, and seeing the kids come out and you know, seeing them play, and we're playing music, and we're eating, you know, chips and hamburgers, and just having a good time and enjoying each other. And I think that that is something else that fidelity er G's provide is that sense of community, the sense of home and family, because where I live, I'm away from my family. My cousin no longer lives nearby. So fidelity is my family. Yeah,
well, we're going to be really offended if we don't get an invitation to that this summer. You got it. You're saying You got it? That's true. Okay. So thank you so much for being here with me today. And thank you so much for watching. So thank you, Kate. Thank you, Chad. Thank you, Kristen. If any of you have any questions, we'll be sure to get in touch with you and answer them after this.
So thank you very much is your time for one more closing thought. So it was brought up in our summit today that, you know, it's out of out of many. We're one. So we're we're one fidelity. But there's so many of us that make up that one fidelity but through the resource groups and through our ability to be more diverse and inclusive. It brings us together under one roof and it makes us a much stronger company and stronger as individuals. Well, what a way to finish. Thank you guys for joining again.