The creation of the Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) was driven by PTC’s goals to enhance the employee experience, empower our employees to make a difference in their communities, and embrace our differences that make us unique. The ERGs give our employees a safe space to discuss important topics and celebrate culture.
For the month of June, we are celebrating and honoring Juneteenth and Pride Month. We spoke to the Leaders of two ERGs, the Black Empowerment Council (BEC) and the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, and queer/questioning plus allies (LGBTQ+) ERG about what being an ERG leader means to them, their proudest ERG moments, and hopes for the future.
BEC promotes the growth, success, and retention of Black employees across all job functions, levels, and locations to serve as leaders and valued contributors to the growth of PTC through recruitment, advocacy, and career development.
This month, the BEC is celebrating and educating their colleagues on Juneteenth, a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. It is also often observed for celebrating African American culture. Originating in Galveston, Texas, it has been celebrated annually on June 19 in various parts of the United States since 1865.
Jessica Moore, Manager, Talent Management
For Jessica Moore, being an ERG leader means many different things: Having the opportunity to empower others, creating a safe space for those that want to share their stories, and speaking for those who may be afraid to speak.
When it comes to thinking about the future of the group, Jessica says, “Oh, the places we could go! There is so much to do and so much we can accomplish if we are strategic in our vision. I get excited when I think about it.” BEC’s goal is to drive education and awareness of the group, sponsor educational programs to highlight diversity amongst the black diasporas, and to deliver community programs focused on lifting those in need in underserved communities.
“I am proud of the impact we have made already throughout the organization,” says Jessica. “Especially the safe space we have given for those to share how they feel and the ability to make a difference within the organization and in our communities.”
Nicole Risher, Senior Manager, Pharmacology
“Being an ERG leader means making history,” says Nicole Risher. For Nicole, being a leader means having the ability and power to change, encourage acceptance, and strive for diversity.
The mission of the BEC is to foster an equal, diverse & inclusive workplace, share feelings, and promote awareness of the Black PTC community. This was made especially clear for Nicole when George Floyd was killed: it was a sign that there needed to be awareness of how the Black PTC community felt and discussions of what needed to change.
She hopes that in the future, PTC will attract more diverse, specifically Black talent – for Black employees to look up and see themselves in the room. “When I started 19 years ago, I was the only Black scientist in the company,” says Nicole. “I did not feel I had a voice and was hesitant to speak up. I don’t want anyone else to feel that way. This is why the Black Empowerment Council is so important.” She is most proud of the work BEC has done in such a short period of time. “We have support from the top and I can honestly say that our voices matter and we are making a difference.”
By partnering with other ERGs, engaging the entire company, including upper management, she hopes to make PTC stronger for diverse employee engagement and retention. “Our ancestors who fought for equality paved the way for us to be in this position today. We are the future.”
The lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, and queer/questioning plus allies ERG works to create an environment that embraces and celebrates diversity in a wide range of sexual orientations, family arrangements, and gender identities through supporting the needs of the whole employee, the corporation, and the community.
Pride Month is celebrated in June each year. This month, the ERG is planning a number of educational events and activities, including assembling a Spotify playlist to share, marching in the Amesbury Park Pride parade on June 5, holding internal educational events and resources (including an article highlighting the importance of allyship, particularly with respect to the trans community), and launching the LGBTQ+ REG community on Yammer.
Cassie Saitow, Associate Director, Investor Relations
“It’s an honor to be able to help craft a space where PTC employees can come together and support one another,” says Cassie Saitow. Being an ERG leader and supporting the ERG helps employees to feel supported and seen, while also providing a mechanism for education and outreach in our communities. Cassie also enjoys meeting people that she wouldn’t necessarily see in her day-to-day work life.
Within the LGBTQ+ ERG, Cassie notes there is an incredible sense of trust, support, and the real sense that folks are listening to one another. She is also pleased to see enthusiastic crosstalk between ERGs, like hosting joint events and attending events across ERGs. “There is always someone new to meet and something new to learn!”
For the LGBTQ+ ERG, Cassie hopes that in the future, they can facilitate helpful conversations around LGBTQ+ identities, participate in fundraising for LGBTQ+ at-risk youth, and encourage allies to join and support. “The culture at PTC is to be open, kind, and respectful of everyone,” says Cassie. “I think that by organizing these ERGs, we are better able to communicate these values to people outside the company as well.”
Steven Faulkner, Senior Analyst, People Systems
For Steven Faulkner, being an ERG leader means so much – because for him, it’s also about just being involved, helping to form and be part of a safe space, and building a community. He feels strongly about having a place of total understanding and acceptance of all…LGBTQ+, Family, Friends, and Allies.
When thinking about the future of this ERG, education is most important aspect for Steven. “The more people outside the LGBTQ+ community learn, the better it will be for everyone. This includes family and friends that are in our group, that aren’t LGBTQ+ themselves, but have the heart to join us. That means a lot.”
He is most proud of the way the group has come together to learn and accept, and encourage connection and growth. “One of my personal favorite moments was having a straight parent join our ERG to learn and grow, because they had an LGBTQ+ child.”
Dr. med. Christian Werner, Executive Director, Global Medical Affairs – Global DMD Lead
Facilitating connections with others in a safe space across the company who share similar experiences and identities is a highlight of being an ERG leader for Christian Werner. He is proud to be part of such an amazing LGBTQ+ community in PTC and hopes the group can foster awareness, community spirit and belonging.
In the future, Christian hopes the ERG will continue to provide resources, tools, and discussions on LGBTQ topics relevant for the workplace. He is also looking forward to hosting regular events where employees can meet each other and exchange ideas and stories, all the while encouraging inclusiveness and diversity, and always welcoming allies to join.
“There is a great energy, trust, and openness within the LGBTQ+ ERG and beyond,” says Christian. “The ERGs are becoming an essential asset in the culture at PTC fostering equality, diversity, and inclusion.”
All of this and more will continue to be our focus for diversity throughout 2022 and beyond. Stay tuned for more updates from ERG leaders across the company and read more about our ED&I initiatives here.