How employee resource groups cultivate diversity and inclusion at Schwab.

How Employee Resource Groups Cultivate Diversity and Inclusion at Schwab

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By Brenda Smull on 10/30/2018

Trust, respect, and inclusion.  While these values may seem to be waning in American society today, they are valued more than ever by employees who yearn to be part of collaborative teams that make a difference and positive impact in their organizations and communities.

In a time of increasing disunity and fractured social groups, it is heartening to know there are companies and employee networks that promote inclusion and diversity with the benefit of development and engagement in our communities. Like many people today, I crave a sense of belonging to something greater than myself that shares a common vision and objective. With Charles Schwab and its many Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), I am one connected and happily engaged team member.

As a U.S. Army veteran, I am proud to say that Schwab walks the walk when it comes to fostering and supporting diversity and inclusion networks. Our ERG teams meet frequently and have strong executive support to provide a wide array of programs, events, and services.

What many veterans miss most from their time in the military is the sense of camaraderie, cohesion, and support from their units and teammates. These bonds are strong and are established all over the country in Schwab's Military Veterans Network (MVN) of over 550 members.

This sense of belonging and connectedness is important to me since, as an IT professional, I have relocated many times and always felt welcomed, appreciated, and assisted by the local MVN chapters. These groups come together with shared experiences and unite under common goals and priorities. The teams work together as a cohesive unit to actively engage with the community and nonprofit organizations to help fellow veterans and their families.

The trust, respect, and inclusion the MVN fosters continue to grow, and we are strengthened by the feeling that "we are all in this together," or, as my Navy friends tell me, "we are all in the same boat."

Being of service to others and giving back is another key driver for many members of the MVN, and our volunteer efforts are supported by all levels of management. Whether it be serving Thanksgiving dinner to homeless veterans at the Phoenix U.S. Vets facility, assisting at the annual Arizona Stand Down, or painting rooms to shelter those in need, our motivated MVN team is ready to answer the call.   

Charles Schwab has given me the opportunity and the honor to work with many veteran-focused nonprofits including Project Sanctuary, the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Heal the Hero.

Through solid action and commitment, employers that walk the walk on supporting veterans will gain something back-the loyalty and positive engagement of those former service members. Trust, respect, and inclusion are wonderful gifts that keep on giving.

This quote from Air Force veteran Terrance Purcell sums up what I think is the most important impact of ERGs: "All of these things really touch my heart and make me proud to be a Schwab Military Veteran Network member."

Looking to join a company where you can unleash your passion to help others? Learn more about how you can start your Schwab Story.