Last year, Rachel Nichols and I started the Rise Employee Resource Group (ERG). There is so much to learn when it comes to disabilities in the workplace. I am still learning. It’s a journey. After speaking with many employees to hear about their interest, we were able to pull together 50 people as our initial core team. Through grassroots efforts, we ended up with over 600 members in the first six months.
Rise is not just for people that have disabilities but for caregivers as well. We identified early on that caregivers were a huge subset of the organization. I am a caregiver and I self-identify. This inclusive approach is where our vision and focus come from.
The Rise ERG signals that it is okay to be you, you don’t have to change who you are and we want you to be you. I am proud to see the impact we are able to have, the amount of people we are able to connect with, the real conversations that come out of every single one of our events.
I am so thankful that I have engaged my colleagues on a deeper level because I opened up about myself. People are sharing their stories with me, and it is so energizing. We are building this community and giving each other support. Especially in a time when we are physically apart, it is so nice to have a group that we can share these moments with.