The Rise of the Hispanic ERG

Guest Editor's Note

IMG_0844To say Hispanic employee resource groups (ERGs) are alive and flourishing would be an understatement. Over the past four years, Hispanic ERGs across corporate America have broadened their appeal and increased impact. (See our roster here.)

I’m proud to be the guest editor for this special issue of Hispanic Executive as it places a spotlight on the factors driving Hispanic ERG proliferation and enhanced value proposition.

As you read, you’ll notice that as more and more Latinos perceive their ethnicity and Hispanic heritage as an asset, they are joining Hispanic ERGs in greater numbers.

The growing Hispanic purchasing power in the United States is another factor contributing to Hispanic ERG growth. Corporations looking to better understand and connect with Hispanic consumers are engaging Hispanic ERGs by turning to them for guidance.

As Hispanic ERGs become more strategic and sophisticated, they simultaneously become more relevant to their senior leaders. Increasingly we are seeing senior-level Hispanics assume ERG leadership roles, enhancing group performance.

If you are looking for a blueprint to elevate your Hispanic ERGs, pay special attention to the five highlighted in this issue. To me, when you talk about top-tier Hispanic ERGs, you have to include those at AT&T, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Kaiser Permanente, and McDonald’s.

I have had the privilege of studying and working with all of them, and I can tell you from first-hand experience that they truly are special. After reading the profile on each, you’ll understand why.

However, with increased visibility comes increased scrutiny and responsibility. It is my hope that in this issue you will learn some secrets to help you sustain the success of your Hispanic ERGs, replicate that success among your Hispanic ERG chapters, and ultimately scale those efforts across your entire organization. If this special issue of Hispanic Executive helps in your stewardship of a Hispanic ERG, then I will gain great joy in knowing I contributed to your efforts.

The Hispanic ERGs I was involved with early in my career created a strong foundation for my current career success. The tremendous impact they have had on my personal and professional achievements cannot be understated. Hispanic ERGs and their enormous potential have a special place in my heart. I commend those of you who have dedicated your time and energy toward your Hispanic ERGs. I can assure that you are making a bigger impact in the lives of Hispanic professionals than you realize.

Enjoy the issue.

Dr. Robert Rodriguez