At Odyssey Day 2020, Sherri Madison, Chief Operations Officer for Intel Data Center Group Sales, shared the importance of employee resource groups. Sherri is a strong advocate of groups and the impact they can have on employees and an organization at large. When speaking about organizational success, she pointed out, "It's about the people, more so than the charter or the strategy. People are really what make a company excel. So if the people don't feel good inside the company, then I don't think you're going to succeed long term, so diversity and inclusion is a way to get us there."
Sherri also credits groups for helping Intel achieve its goal of gender and minority representation.
In 2015 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the CEO of Intel proclaimed that they would meet their goal of representation for women and underrepresented minorities, within 5 years. Sherri credits the company's employee resource groups with helping them not only meet their goal, but helping them beat it by 2 years. The groups did so by helping the organization decide what programming was needed to attract and retain the demographics they sought after.
Regarding strategy, Sherri offers this bit of advice: when doing events, open them up to the broader employee base, not just to group members. She believes that doing this will not only increase the group's appeal to a larger number of employees but also help to build bridges and attract allies. She also encourages participation in groups as a means of both networking and career advancement. And while she acknowledges the difficulties in staying connected in a COVID-19 world, she also stresses the importance of continuing to persevere, reiterating that it's worth the work.
To cap off her insightful segment, Sherri closed with the following quote: "I am not different from you, I am different like you," emphasizing the need to value each other's differences." Let us celebrate our differences as we continue to network and work together in this ever-changing workplace.