When Courtney joined Nuance almost four and a half years ago, she immediately joined the Women in Nuance (WIN) Network to meet people, learn about topics related to women in and out of the workplace, and participate in something she cared about deeply. After that, when our Multicultural Association for Diversity Empowerment (MADE) Network launched, Courtney eagerly joined. As an Afro-Latina-identifying woman, Courtney joined MADE to connect with people on essential cultural touchstones, issues, and resources where she could learn more and explore new ideas. She appreciated the global aspect of the Networks, where you could connect with people who had vastly different experiences from her own all over the world.
However, as time went on, she realized that something was missing: a focus on the Black employee experience. So, to fix that, Courtney planned, developed, and worked to launch the Black Employees in Nuance Group (BEING). “We were looking for more specificity when it came to the things we’re interested in and the things that related to us, and we wanted to be represented,” Courtney said. “I’ve learned a lot from these Networks, and I just want to build upon what we already have.”
Representation was a key factor in Courtney’s journey to launch this group. She reiterated that she was deeply proud of the “tremendous growth and work” Nuance has been doing over the past few years to strengthen our dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. She wanted to make sure that the employee experience reflected that. BEING will act as a place where employees, both Black and not, can come together to focus on supporting professional development and empowerment for African Americans. It will also be a safe place where people can learn, ask questions, and think about what being Black in the workplace and in society means.
However, Courtney doesn’t want the name or the group to deter people who do not identify as African American from joining. As with all Nuance Networks, employees are encouraged to participate if they want to learn more about a specific topic or group, even if they are not necessarily a “part of it.” She sees this group as a resource and as a place of discussion and education.
To better understand why this group is important and what the launch of this Network means to our employees, we talked to a few early members of the group.
Teiharhah, Business Development Executive – DAX
Why did you decide to join BEING?
I noticed a gap in the workplace when it comes to the Black perspective, and I want to be part of the discussions to close this gap. I hope to assist by shedding light on challenges/experiences I’m faced with as being a Black employee and encouraging others to contribute as well.
What do you think the benefits of joining a Network (or Employee Resource Group) are for employees?
I am a big advocate of networking professionally and personally. The biggest benefits I’ve gained since joining a Network are the new perspectives, I now have that are helping me in both settings.
Wes, Regional Vice President, Community Healthcare Market
Why did you decide to join BEING?
I thought it was a great initiative to offer a collaborative space where African American employees of Nuance can come together and have an open forum on many relative topics, networking opportunities, and career development.
Why do you think this Network launch is important?
From my point of view, there is an opportunity to place a much-needed focus on this area. Inclusion and diversity of all ethnic backgrounds are important in any work setting, but having awareness, perspective, and most importantly, a voice in the workplace is really what separates a good company from a great company.
To Courtney, it boils down to investing in her company, and its people and feeling represented. She said that nowhere else that she’s worked has she actually seen herself having a long-term career there. However, Nuance has provided that environment for her, and she wants to make sure that all Black employees, whether current or future, have a place where their voices can be heard and where they feel welcome, included, and celebrated for who they are.