HDMZers are passionate — not just about science and communication, but also about creating a diverse and socially responsible work environment. That’s why we have several employee resource groups (ERGs), connecting colleagues to support one another and to advocate for causes they care about. Plus, our ERGs were created for employees by employees: They’re led entirely by volunteers within HDMZ. Not to brag, but we’re pretty proud of what our ERGs have accomplished this year. Check out what they’re all about, and what they’ve achieved in 2023!

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion ERG works to foster a supportive environment in our agency to push the boundaries of inclusivity and representation as it relates to scientific marketing and communications. We led multiple company-wide educational presentations on topics such as healthcare accessibility and inequality specific to the Black community in the Chicagoland area, and spotlighted volunteer opportunities to support visually impaired communities both locally and globally. Another important effort was solidifying the ERG’s mission and vision to effectively focus initiatives and activities going forward.

HDMZ Gives Back
This ERG schedules and organizes group events for volunteering, charity drives and other local initiatives. This year we partnered with Cradles to Crayons in Chicago to provide 20 backpacks for students in need, filled with an assortment of school supplies to help kids have a strong start to their school year. For our yearly HDMZ summit, the entire company packed food for the Greater Chicago Food Depository. We raised money for Venezuelan migrants in Chicago, as well as for bulk item donations to a shelter. And we donated, volunteered for, and participated in the American Lung Association’s annual Fight for Air Climb!

IMG_8774.jpgIMG_1930.jpgIMG_8763.jpg

Sustainability
The Sustainability ERG promotes efforts to create a more eco-friendly and sustainable world in the office, our homes, and our neighborhoods. We led a company-wide educational presentation about how to be more sustainable over the holidays, and established a channel for ongoing discussion on gardening and growing food. We also volunteered in our communities: One member planned and ran a fundraiser 5K for the Illinois Green Alliance, while another volunteered with Rhythm Seed Farm, an urban seed farm that aims to promote sustainable agriculture and biodiversity.

Women in Business
Women in Business is dedicated to promoting an environment in which women succeed at all levels by providing resources, connections and development opportunities. Our primary accomplishment, this year, was working with management to add a formal parental leave policy to the HDMZ employee handbook, and increase the number of paid weeks for maternity leave.

LGBTQ+
The LGBTQ+ ERG specializes in education and events supporting the LGBTQ+ community. This year, we used HDMZ’s social media platform to spotlight scientists and employees in the LGBTQ+ community. In honor of LGBTQ Pride Month in June, we also arranged a gift exchange that supported local LGBTQ+ owned businesses, and organized a trivia night hosted by a drag queen.

New year, new opportunities
This year has been a fantastic learning experience, as our ERGs have grown and explored the various ways we can make a difference — both within HDMZ and our communities.  We can’t wait to see what opportunities the next year holds for our ERGs!

Topics: HDMZ