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At Sprint, we take great pride in our inclusive workforce made up of diverse, talented people. At the forefront of our inclusion efforts are Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). ERGs are voluntary groups that any employee, regardless of race, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, past or current military status, or physical location, may join. ERG members learn and practice leadership skills, network with diverse groups of people both inside and outside of the company, and get insights into new areas of the business. ERGs also provide members with mentoring opportunities and ERG-sponsored professional development. ERG programs ultimately benefit Sprint as a whole by strengthening the skill sets of individual employees. From an external perspective, ERGs help Sprint identify and contact diverse groups of customers. In addition, ERG-run community-service projects strengthen Sprint's presence and reputation in key communities.
Sprint's ERGs are a crucial component of our overall inclusion strategy. ERGs are self-initiated, voluntary groups of employees who come together to support common goals and interests, which are aligned with our company's vision and values. All ERGs promote inclusion, open dialogue, learning, and constructive contribution. ERGs are open to all Sprint employees, and many employees belong to more than one.
The core objectives for each ERG include:
In addition to receiving support from the Office of Inclusion and Diversity, each ERG receives leadership and assistance from executive champions.
Sprint has six ERGs, each with a different cultural focus and open to all employees:
Our participation rate at the end of 2011 was at an all-time high, with combined membership of 5,570 participants, representing nearly 14% of our employee population. ERGs play a significant role promoting inclusion both within Sprint and externally. Examples of their activities include the Sprint Beyond Borders Executive Speaker Series, an in-person and online event where Sprint employees can hear from diverse corporate leaders on relevant and timely business topics ranging from diversity in the workplace to the latest in marketing or doing business internationally. In addition, ERGs help their fellow employees celebrate culturally relevant holidays and events.
ERG members have access to a number of professional-development programs. Two of the most popular are the ERG Mentoring Program and the ERG Officer Development Program.
The ERG Mentoring Program provides exempt employees an opportunity to work with an experienced executive mentors within Sprint leadership team. The program gives ERG members training and guidance they can use to advance their careers and broaden their professional networks.
Each ERG is led by a team of four employee officers (President, Vice President, Operations Officer and Regional Officer). The ERG Officer Program is a two-year development program that provides curriculum, professional development, mentoring and feedback to further develop the officers' leadership skills and increase Sprint's talent pipeline.
Workplace culture is driven in large part by the unique values and practices individual employees or groups of employees bring into their work environment. Sprint ERGs recognize and celebrate these differences through relevant cultural events throughout the year. The events are generally scheduled at convenient times for employees and offer employees both entertainment and education. Each event provides information about specific cultural events or activities and a lesson about the importance of inclusion in both our professional and personal environments.
Some of the events celebrated by Sprint’s ERGs include: