VOICES ‘21 was more than a one-day event—it was (and is) a platform for our employee resource groups (ERGs) to welcome our colleagues back from the winter break, to celebrate all we accomplished in 2020 and to kick off the 2021 work year. It was a day that focused on real issues that impact GPJ employees and how our ERGs support and create a safe space for everyone to thrive.
In 2020, the ERGs at GPJ accomplished a lot, despite the challenges of the COVID pandemic. It was a year of learning and growth. We established a new group for caregivers (PACT), saw a surge in membership, and were able to provide our community with content that fed minds and hearts alike.
Our ERGs now include
• EPIC (Empowered People, Inclusive Cultures)
• GPJ Women
• OPEN (Original Perspectives, Excluding None)
• PACT (Parents and Caregivers Together)
By the end of 2020, the ERGs saw the need to celebrate our (and our colleagues’) accomplishments by creating a first-of-its-kind GPJ community wellness experience to help us all focus with intention as we started the new year.
As our teams worked together on the theme, we recognized the desire to reinforce a central idea of so much ERG work and to elevate all of our teammates – the theme VOICES emerged. With that, we started thinking of actionable conversations we could have about advocacy and empathy, and how to bring those themes to our everyday lives and our client work.
Through live and on demand content, we offered those conversations and more, providing a wellness workshop, a creative exercise, communication advice from an expert, and finishing the day talking about diversity (and dumplings) with a master chef.
We were fortunate to have ImageThink partner with us to help capture some of the fun. Together with those images, below are some highlights from the day.
Drawing with Ben
To bring everyone together, we began the day with a fun, left brain exercise that had everyone smiling and sharing.
Influencing client relationships with diversity, equity and inclusion
Account leads from some of our highest profile clients talked through normalizing conversations around diversity, equity & inclusion and how to infuse work & client relationships with it.
Bringing Empathy to Work
Panelists from all four ERGs discussed how empathy helps us become better colleagues, creates a human-first culture and fuels belonging at GPJ.
Dumplings and Diversity
A popular Boston restaurant co-founder and chef gave a dumpling demo that anyone could do at home, paired with an EPIC chat on diversity, equity & inclusion.
This session explored bringing confidence and authenticity to your communications, being an advocate for yourself and your cause and tips for successfully navigating tough conversations with empathy.
A wellness expert and life coach walked attendees through a self care exercise aimed at finding balance and compassion for oneself and others.
The JOJI Award
We presented the first annual JOJI Award (Joy of Joining In) to a Senior Art Director who’s been an ERG rock star, creating beautiful graphics and assets for multiple ERGs and sharing her perspective and insights on important conversations and activities.
In total there were 274 GPJ employees that participated in one or more sessions, and post-event feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
“I loved the interactive-ness of the drawing session and the dumpling session. And the way the chat just blew up with conversation and questions.”
“I loved hearing from so many different voices at GPJ. I felt the content was very diverse and fresh.”
After a truly challenging year, VOICES served to remind everyone that our GPJ community lifts each other up, and of the multiple resources available through the ERGs.