I recently joined my company’s Black Employee Network (BEN). BEN is an Employee Affinity Group for employees of Black/African heritage and their supporters. The purpose of the Network is to inspire members to achieve their full potential as committed and motivated employees through informal networking, career advancement, mentoring and social/community opportunities. Even though quite a few of the former purposes don’t apply to me because I am winding down my careeer in the financial services industry. I fully endorse the initiative for the younger BE.
General networking events are held regularly to provide a forum for members to hear from motivational speakers and learn from each other through building professional connections and social events. Educational workshops are also held on a quarterly basis, which are aimed at supporting members towards advancing their education while developing their communication and networking skills.
To help build a more collaborative, harmonious and dynamic workforce through Celebration, Awareness and Advancement of Black Employees.
Celebration: Participate in corporate, communal and historic celebrations of key milestones and events that promote black history, culture and achievements, and charitable causes and community involvement.
Awareness: Execute initiatives to promote BEN and increase membership, membership value, and the engagement of black and non-black employees.
Advancement: Facilitate corporate dialogues and provide resources that equip qualified black employees to manage their current and long term career objectives.
Pan Fantasy: BEN has had a relationship with Pan Fantasy over the last few years sponsoring them for Caribana as well as other activities within the community.
Commendations to the company. There are other associations in the company such as the Asian Employees Network, the Native People Employee Network.
I am by no means advocating separatism, but rather identification.