Employee Resource Groups
Embodying our commitments to diversity and inclusion are our seven Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). We know how important it is to foster connections between our employees. That’s why our Astellas ERGs introduce, coordinate and support employees with shared interests, backgrounds and goals.
Any employee is able to join any ERG, and each one offers resources and advocacy for a core population within the company as well as development opportunities to support enhanced job performance and advancement opportunities.
The seven Astellas employee resource groups are:
Below, we have shared some exciting updates from each ERG in 2016.
Our African-American ERG seeks to cultivate a diverse and inclusive environment that enhances our ability to drive innovative solutions that embrace multicultural opportunities and mirror the needs of our global community. The AAERG is made up of 133 members.
- To kick off Black History Month in February, the AAERG presented a traveling exhibit from the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. The exhibit is titled “A Place for All People.”
- At their annual membership meeting in April 2017, a group of 65 AAERG members volunteered time to assemble 15,210 meals for Rise Against Hunger, a charity dedicated to ending hunger.
The Asian ERG reflects Astellas’ Japanese heritage as well as the cultures of employees across all Asian nations. It has approximately 200 members. The mission is to engage members, through community outreach and professional development activities, in a collaborative environment that fosters new opportunities for networking.
- In May, the Asian ERG supported the Ellen Meadows Foundation, which provides functional prosthetic hands at no cost to recipients, with a volunteer activity through which members assembled prosthetic hands.
- Throughout the year, the Asian ERG hosted a series of meet-the-senior-leaders sessions with Astellas management in a lunch and learn format.
AERG members assemble functional prosthetic hands that were provided to the Ellen Meadows Foundation.
The Hispanic ERG strives to ensure the right conditions are in place for each employee to achieve his or her full potential. The HERG works to create a trust-based environment where everyone feels connected to and part of Astellas' mission to change tomorrow for patients around the world. It has 140 members.
- The HERG continues to raise awareness among employees of the Hispanic community’s contributions to American culture, especially during Hispanic Heritage Month.
- The HERG hosted the first-ever meeting of the Consortium of Latino Employee Organizations (CLEO) at Astellas, which was the first CLEO meeting outside of downtown Chicago in 10 years.
LGBTQA Together as One (TAO) ERG
Together as One (TAO) is Astellas’ ERG for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning community, as well as their allies. TAO’s purpose is to foster an inclusive and supportive work environment that allows members of Astellas’ LGBTQ community to be their whole selves at work, embodying the spirit of One Astellas. TAO also helps to further Astellas’ longstanding commitment to and support of LGBTQ issues and equality. It currently has 57 members.
- TAO members joined with over 100 colleagues, friends and family to represent Astellas for the seventh consecutive year in the annual Chicago LGBTQA Pride Parade.
- In June, TAO hosted Victor Salvo, founder and director of Chicago’s Legacy Project, which recognizes the contributions of LGBTQ individuals throughout history. The event included highlights from the Legacy Project’s memorial wall.
The Astellas Military ERG (MERG) is dedicated to making Astellas the Employer of Choice for military members by increasing awareness of Astellas’ commitment to U.S. military personnel and by providing support for the recruitment, retention and recognition of Astellas employees with military experience. It has 105 members.
- The Military ERG, in conjunction with Stellar Women, welcomed Captain Martha LaGuardia-Kotite of the United States Coast Guard to Northbrook in October for a presentation on women in leadership, breaking glass ceilings and setting and achieving personal goals. Many members of the Stellar Women and Military ERGs attended the enlightening presentation.
- The MERG celebrated Veterans Day by announcing a new Heroes Garden to beautify the Astellas Northbrook corporate offices. It included a commemorative brick program enabling Astellas employees to honor a military service member by purchasing a brick for the garden. Also in conjunction with our most recent Veterans Day, Astellas and the MERG invited all employees to a donation drive to collect items to support U.S. Forces deployed overseas in combat conditions. The donations were shipped to Special Forces and light infantry units currently serving in Afghanistan.
The 11,431 square foot Heroes Garden features a fountain, seating areas and distinct sections devoted to each branch of the armed services. It also features over 290 commemorative brick pavers honoring members of the armed services and first responders communities.
People Living with Disabilities ERG
The People Living with Disabilities ERG (PLWD ERG) is an alliance of passionate and committed employees who aim to raise awareness of the impact that physical, mental and emotional disabilities have on the Astellas community. It has 90 members.
- The PLWD ERG has established a year-long initiative that focuses on mental health awareness. The ERG has partnered with Aetna to conduct a pilot training session called “Mental Health First Aid,” which will focus on helping managers identify when an employee may be suffering from some aspect of mental illness.
- In 2016, we continued our partnership with Have Dreams, an organization that facilitates conducting mock interviews and jobsite tours for young adults with Autism who are working on gaining meaningful employment.
- The PLWD ERG has partnered with Information Systems to contract work to Aspiritech, an organization harnessing the strengths of people with high-functioning Autism/Asperger’s.
Stellar Women ERG
The mission of Stellar Women is to create an environment of empowerment and advocacy to advance and inspire women at Astellas. Stellar Women, our Women’s ERG, is more than 750 members strong, and has a vision to influence and elevate the impact of women at Astellas.
- The Stellar Women collaboration with the Women in Action event brought a renewed focus on the ERG with membership expanding from just over 300 to 700 within a matter of days.
- In 2016, Stellar Women actively participated in Astellas’ national partnerships with the National Women’s History Museum, Women Heart and Dress for Success, with members volunteering more than 120 hours to date.
- Internally, Stellar Women members piloted a formal mentoring program as part of a Human Resources initiative that will launch regionally in 2017. Members also participated in more than 15 educational and developmental activities geared to empower and inspire leadership in both women and men. These activities ranged from hosting guest speakers and health initiatives to Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association events at Astellas. The Stellar Women Male Advocates for Women Leaders workstream hosted the HBA Gender Parity series, increasing awareness and knowledge of gender parity issues for Astellas.