Black History Month a Time of Celebration, Learning at GLOBALFOUNDRIES
By Emma Cheer
Global Diversity & Inclusion Leader, GLOBALFOUNDRIES
As Black History Month draws to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to reflect upon the incredible month of celebration, learning, and engagement we had at GLOBALFOUNDRIES (GF).
To kick off our celebration of Black History Month, GF was proud to welcome back Dereca Blackmon, CEO of Inclusion Design Group, to speak about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and how his life offers us a blueprint for unity and justice in building community.
In her amazing presentation, Dereca said:
“This conversation is about: how do we build something together that creates a space for everyone to be honored? That creates a space for a true meritocracy? Because meritocracy is based on the idea that there’s a level playing field for people to start … What we want to agree to is removing any obstacles that have ever been in place that create less opportunity for women in the workplace, or less opportunity for people of color, or less opportunity for people who spoke different languages or didn’t go to elite colleges.
Whatever those barriers are that created less opportunity, well, then we really didn’t have a meritocracy. Now, as we remove those barriers, now everyone can start on a level playing field, and we can consciously create that playing field. That’s what I see happening at so many corporations now.
That the consciousness has been raised to say, “Hey, maybe we have actually been giving preference to people who are like us ... And here’s an opportunity for us to open up the doors, open up our mindset, and open up the possibility of engaging with folks who are different than us.
That’s what the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement is.”
One way GF fosters diversity and inclusion is through employee-led resource groups. Our newest group, Black Resource Affinity Group, or BRAG, is dedicated to promoting the recruitment, retention and professional advancement of Black employees. BRAG co-sponsored Dereca’s presentation in partnership with GF’s Diversity & Inclusion team. This month, BRAG also hosted an excellent and impactful mentorship panel discussion for GF employees, with several black colleagues and BRAG members sharing stories of how mentorship has played a positive role in their career journeys.
Advancing Opportunity and Community
This month, GF announced a new partnership with the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF). This partnership focuses on advancing higher education opportunities for underrepresented minorities, by providing multi-year scholarship awards to highly motivated college students with an interest in STEM – science, technology, engineering, and math. In addition to scholarships, the JRF Scholars Program provides these talented young people with mentorship, networking, and leadership development opportunities.
GF is proud to support the JRF, a national nonprofit organization founded to perpetuate the memory of Jackie Robinson, a pioneer and civil rights activist, who broke the color barrier, becoming the first African American in professional baseball. As the JRF says:
“When we overlook the talent, skills, and efforts of some, we impede the progress of all of us. Jackie Robinson demonstrated the transformative power of inclusion.”
GF believes strongly in philanthropy, and our employees around the globe make a difference by volunteering their time and donating money and goods to support a wide range of causes. For Black History Month, GlobalGives and BRAG collaborated to showcase several nonprofit organizations that offer opportunities and resources for Black Americans in different aspects of their personal and professional lives. The nonprofits support programs include computer science education and training for young Black men; providing mental health support for women of color; and offering support to Black cancer patients.
Black Leadership at GF
At GF, we embrace diversity and inclusion as a competitive advantage. Leveraging the unique perspectives and talents of our employees allows GF to better compete in the global marketplace and better serve our customers. We are committed to expanding the diversity of our team, which will only lead to greater success.
That is why, last year, GF partnered with McKinsey Black Leadership Academy. McKinsey’s program acknowledges the unique skills of Black leaders and the challenges they face. The Academy offers two programs, a three-month Black Executive Leadership Program with a focus on real-world challenges and driving transformation, and a six-month Management Accelerator to build foundational skills for early- to mid-career leaders.
So far, more than 30 outstanding Black leaders at GF have participated or are currently participating in these programs. One GF colleague, Amin Glass, senior section manager of Factory Automation Engineering, and a co-founder of BRAG, had this to say of his experience participating in the McKinsey Black Leadership Academy:
“The program has been great so far. One area in particular is on the technical side regarding problem solving. The class has taught and provided me with tools to approach and solve problems in a variety of different ways.”
Even as GF’s celebration of Black History Month draws to a close, our company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is expanding. We are taking a bold approach to the recruitment, development, and advancement of minority professionals at our U.S. facilities, with a focus on growing representation both within GF and more widely in the semiconductor industry. We are investing in our team and our future.
At GF, one of our core values is “Embrace” — a reminder of the strength that comes from a culture of inclusivity, empathy, and respect. Our company and its culture are the sum of each and every employee. We are ONEGF, and the path before us is more diverse, more inclusive, and more successful than ever before.