Employee Resource Groups: ‘A Voice for Underrepresented Minorities’

Sherita Golden, vice president and chief diversity officer for Johns Hopkins Medicine, says she could not be more pleased with the accomplishments of The Hopkins Diaspora.

“My goal has been to motivate our systemwide Employee Resource Group (ERG) leaders to plan impactful programs to bring the voice of our underrepresented employees to our JHM leadership; address the concerns of our marginalized patient populations; and to support our communities,” she says.

The Hopkins Diaspora ERG operates within JHM’s Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Health Equity. Created to help foster an inclusive workplace, ERGs are made up of staff members — typically from under-represented groups and their allies — who volunteer to come together, based on a common purpose or background or on shared interests.

ERGs provide opportunities for employees to help their communities; to contribute to patients’ experiences; and to develop their existing talents through activities such as seminars, panel discussions and community events.

With its members spread across the enterprise, The Hopkins Diaspora ERG holds Zoom meetings every other month. Over the past year, co-chairs Regina Gail Malloy and Bishara Bates, a director who recently left Johns Hopkins, led volunteers in many initiatives.

Providing guidance, support and mentorship to the co-chairs are executive sponsors Renee Blanding, vice president of medical affairs at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center; Alicia Wilson, vice president for economic development at The Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Health System; and David Simpkins, vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine’s marketing and communications for the National Capital Region.

Johns Hopkins Medicine employees can also join Hopkins Familia, a group for Hispanic/Latinx employees and their allies, led by co-chairs April Lugo, program coordinator for Diversity, Inclusion and Health Equity and Wilson Lamy, senior quality innovation coach for Johns Hopkins’ Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality.

The Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Health Equity is currently working to relaunch Hopkins Veterans for former, retired and active military staff members, their families and allies. Efforts are also underway to launch two other employee resource groups: one for LGBTQ staff members and their allies and one for staff members with disabilities and their allies. In addition, an Asian American and allies ERG will debut in 2021.

For additional information about an ERG, or to learn how to join or start one, please email [email protected].