Employee Resource Group Spotlight Series: Alfredo Corona
Employee resource groups (ERGs), also known as business resource groups (BRGs), are gaining popularity in many large corporations. These groups of employees come together based on shared characteristics, such as ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, or disability status. The groups originated as a way to enhance professional development and provide support. Now, companies realize their benefits and are leveraging them to drive inclusion efforts throughout the organization.
Disability:IN strongly believes that recognizing and celebrating an individual’s differences allows their peers to learn from them. This is why we created the ERG/BRG Leadership Committee. Knowledgeable representatives from partner companies share challenges, strategies and best practices for developing and supporting a disability-focused ERG that offers business value to the company and professional growth to its members.
One such ERG/BRG Leadership Committee partner company is McKesson. Last year McKesson launched ABILITY, a new employee resource group for associates with disabilities, and those who provide care for people with disabilities. Through ABILITY members like Alfredo Corona, a senior service level analyst for McKesson U.S. Pharmaceutical, McKesson plans to empower its members and foster awareness about its efforts in diversity and inclusion.
Alfredo’s leadership role with the McKesson ERG is truly remarkable. As the National Director of Membership Engagement, Alfredo hopes to bring awareness to different disabilities that exist. ABILITY’s mission is to spread awareness about the fact that a disability is not always physical or apparent; a disability can be anything from autism to surviving cancer to battling anxiety or depression. “So many individuals automatically assume that if a person does not show a physical disability, they must not be disabled. There are countless disabilities that are not visible.”
ABILITY also hopes to foster awareness about caregivers for people with disabilities. “I’m glad that the ERG also expands to include the caregivers for those with disabilities. They are often forgotten yet are in many cases the ones who have the most impact; they often put their careers and lives on hold to care for others.”
To help others feel like they can bring their whole selves to work, Alfredo shares his passions outside of work, one of which being sled hockey. Alfredo explains, “Sled hockey is different than any other disabled sport, as it gets you out of a wheelchair and into a sled, which requires much more coordination and a different set of muscles.” Once he got the hang of it, there was no stopping him.
Alfredo has enjoyed remarkable successes on the ice, among them the honor of being named 2017 Disabled Athlete of the Year by USA Hockey. According to Alfredo, however, his true victory lies in doing what he loves. “Hockey has taught me several skills in the areas of leadership, public speaking, networking, and working with teams.
And while Alfredo counts on his hockey teammates on the ice, his McKesson team encourages him from the sidelines. “I have definitely been supported within my department. My team organized an outing to one of my tournaments, and I’ve had numerous colleagues come out to charity games that we have hosted.”
Through the McKesson ABILITY ERG, Alfredo was able to connect with other employees with disabilities and allies and build a sense of community both within and outside of work. The Disability:IN ERG/BRG Leadership Committee is an opportunity for companies like McKesson to share with other companies how employee resource groups are giving employees like Alfredo a larger sense of belonging. Visit usbln.org for more information about the committee, and the many ERG/BRG sessions available at the 2018 Disability:IN Conference.
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