TOP COMPANY FOR EMPLOYEE-RESOURCE GROUPS
NO. 13 ON THE DIVERSITYINC TOP 50 LIST
American Express has been a leader in both the types of employee-resource groups it has offered and in the effective ways it uses those groups to find and build talent, create an inclusive workplace, promote engagement, retention and productivity, and reach new markets. American Express has 15 employee-resource groups with more than 70 chapters globally. The company has had groups for more than a decade.
Groups are funded through a mixture of funding from executive sponsors, diversity councils and the diversity department. Membership in these groups is available to all permanent AmEx employees. The employee groups provide development and networking opportunities and support key business imperatives.
They play an important role in diversity recruiting efforts, often attending events and providing referrals for top talent. They also frequently greet new employees upon hiring and offer a sense of community. The groups are used for mentoring programs, sponsorship initiatives, development offerings and networking opportunities. They also play a critical role in creating marketing strategies and business solutions that appeal to a diverse consumer audience. Examples include the Felicidades and Lunar New Year gift cards that were created in partnership with the Global Prepaid Business and AHORA and ANA employee networks.
Award accepted by Anré Williams, president, Global Merchant Services:
“Diversity is a business imperative, but not everyone believes that and it’s great to be in a room full of people that do. We [at American Express] recognize that diversity is important but try to think about it beyond the way people normally do—beyond race, religion, gender. We try to think about it globally. We have 15 different networks in 80 chapters throughout the world to create a sense of unity and community. It’s important for talent, not just in attracting people but to find and identify people who might be great assets to the company … Bringing people together gives a sense of belonging and lets people know they can do more. If you don’t see it, you can’t believe it. We are all on this quest to build diversity together and we can learn a lot from each other.”