Putting a Spotlight on Progress’ Employee Resource Groups

Putting a Spotlight on Progress’ Employee Resource Groups

Posted on December 22, 2023 0 Comments

In honor of our recent recognitions by The Boston Globe, we're highlighting all the great work our employee resource groups did in 2023.

Progress was recently named a Top Place to Work in Massachusetts and a 2023 DEI Champion by The Boston Globe. We are so ProgressPROUD of these recognitions because they highlight the amazing work of the people who make up Progress, or “Progressers” as we like to say. Many Progressers contribute to the inclusive workplace culture and uphold our company values in their day to day. One group that always comes to mind when we think about inclusion and diversity (I&D) at Progress is the employee resource group (ERG) leaders.

Our seven ERGs lead grassroots efforts throughout the year to help build a workplace culture that celebrates our differences and encourages allyship. Moreover, they continuously support their respective communities outside of Progress who may be impacted by targeted violence, economic disadvantages or climate crises. Each ERG is led by employee volunteers as well as two CEO staff members who serve as executive sponsors, offering guidance on ERG programming, encouraging attendance of ERG events and working on addressing key I&D topics raised by the ERGs. And of course, our phenomenal I&D team, Shirley Knowles, CIDO and Inclusion and Diversity Manager, Courtney Gagne, provide their ongoing support to ensure the ERGs have what they need to make an impact on the Progress workplace culture and their respective communities.

Because of everything our ERGs do for Progress, we wanted to put a spotlight on their work that helped us secure the recent accolade of DEI champion.

ASPIRE – Connecting Asian Pacific Islanders to learn, grow and make a difference.   

  • Co-founders: Koyin Shih, Senior Director, PMO and Soofia Shaik, Principal QA Engineer
  • Current Leaders: MeiLani Dumont, Sales Engineer, Senior and Sai Tharun Kollampally, Software Engineer
  • Executive Sponsors: John Ainsworth, EVP & GM, Application and Data Platform and Sundar Subramanian, EVP & GM, Infrastructure Management

ASPIRE aims to:

  • Connect APIs and allies to exchange ideas, share challenges, collaborate and provide support in a safe environment​
  • Celebrate and promote the unique cultures, traditions, voices and viewpoints of the API community ​
  • Counsel APIs in career growth and advancement, leadership and networking​

Highlights from their 2023 programming include:

  • Coordinating Lunar New Year, Ugadi and Gudi Padwa celebrations at our offices in the U.S. and India 
  • Hosting a workshop titled “Telling Our Asian American Stories” with Dr. Tommy Chang, in which attendees learned more about Asian American history and had open conversations about their own cultural identities
  • Promoting educational resources during AAPI Month, including works of fiction and non-fiction from Asian American and Pacific Islander writers

Blacks@Progress - Nurturing an environment at Progress that will strengthen the recruitment, retention and professional advancement of Black Progress employees at all job levels. 

  • Co-founders: Rochelle Wheeler, Campaign Manager, and April Turner, Senior Manager, HRIS
  • Current Leaders: April Turner, Janelle Richey, Customer Success Manager and Errin Staunton, HRIS Specialist, Senior
  • Executive Sponsors: Yogesh Gupta, President and CEO, Katie Kulikoski, EVP & Chief People Officer

Blacks@Progress’ mission is to:

  • Foster and sustain an environment at Progress that will advocate for the recruitment, retention and professional advancement of Black Progress employees at all job levels
  • Create opportunities for leadership development, networking, mentoring education, service and community outreach

Highlights from their 2023 programming include:

  • Hosting a fireside chat with Dr. Vanessa Hintz on racial identity and its impact on mental health 
  • Coordinating a session titled “Global Mental Health and the Impact on People of Color: Understanding Challenges and Barriers” with Dr. Kyaien O. Conner, focused on the impact of mental health challenges on people of color 
  • Promoting resources and books discussing the Black experience in places around the world

ENABLE - Supporting people with disabilities and differing abilities. 

  • Co-founders and current Leaders: Erica McShane, VP, Corporate Communications, Sheila Kelley, VP & Deputy General Counsel and Mariya Kabaivanova, Counsel Director
  • Executive Sponsors: Dinara Doyle, Chief of Staff

ENABLE aims to:

  • Focus on education, collaboration, process, technology adoption and support to ensure Progress is a place where people with differing abilities feel welcome, safe and appreciated.
  • Create a safe space for education, raising awareness among all employees about the challenges faced by those with disabilities with the goal of overcoming stereotypes and stigmas.

2023 program highlights include:

  • Hosting a session called “Navigating Neurodiversity” with Matthew Cicanese, in which attendees explored why neurodivergent people are critical to our future 
  • Publishing a blog post spotlighting neurodivergent people who have made a significant impact on the tech industry 
  • Curating a reading list for employees that celebrates diverse minds

Plus - Fostering the Progress LGBTQIA+ community. 

  • Co-founders: Mariyan Vasev, Talent Development, Sr. Manager and Todor Todorov Totev, Information Developer, Principal
  • Current Leaders: Dale Foster, Workplace Services Coordinator
  • Executive Sponsors: Jennifer Ortiz, EVP, Marketing and Jeremy Segal, EVP, Corporate Development

Plus’ mission is to:

  • Foster an LGBTQIA+ community at Progress
  • Build bridges across the company to connect and represent the voices and stories of the LGBTQIA+ Progressers
  • Promote visibility and awareness into the social issues that affect the community and ensure a space to discuss and inform into the I&D efforts at the company. ​

2023 Program highlights include:

  • Hosting a session with Monica D. Livingston titled “All the Letters: Understanding and Supporting our LGBTQIA+ Colleagues and Communities,” in which participants learned more about the spectrum of LGBTQIA+ 
  • Coordinating Pride Month events across Progress offices
  • Producing a LGBTQIA+ Inclusion Handbook consisting of Pride Month history, LGBTQIA+ flags and symbols, words and meanings, benefits at Progress and more 

Progress for Her - Empowering Women at Progress

  • Co-founders: Courtney Gagne, Inclusion and Diversity Manager and Danielle Sutherby, Marketing Communications Manager
  • Current leaders: Jennette Skaggs, Field Enablement Manager, Senior, Angela Campbell, Senior Director, Transformation and Terrie Butcher, Director, Technical Support
  • Executive Sponsors: Loren Jarrett, EVP & GM, Digital Experience and Jeremy Segal, EVP, Corporate Development

Progress for Her’s mission is to:

  • Empower women at Progress by providing leadership and networking opportunities, as well as the tools needed to create substantial influence both in and out of our professional network
  • ​Create a supportive space to amplify women's ideas and concepts to ensure an inclusive environment within Progress and beyond.

2023 program highlights include:

  • Hosting an interactive session with Kim Meninger on self-promotion and building visibility for women in the workplace 
  • Organizing International Women’s Day celebrations around the globe 
  • Coordinating a “Reset and Re-Engage Yourself” session with Cheryl Jones to create a sense of balance and well-being among employees

Unidos en Progress - Fostering intercultural understanding and empowering Hispanics to overcome the challenges they face.   

  • Co-founders: Ramiro Millan, Director, Partnerships and Fernando Murillo, Field Marketing Specialist, Senior
  • Current leaders: Fernanda Murillo and Barbara Gurgel, Customer Account Representative, Senior
  • Executive Sponsors: Jennifer Ortiz, EVP, Marketing and Loren Jarrett EVP & GM, Digital Experience

Unidos’ mission is to foster intercultural understanding and to empower Hispanics to overcome the challenges they face.

2023 program highlights include:

  • Hosting “Sponsors for Career Success”, an event highlighting the importance of sponsorship in the context of career development, hosted by Tammy Ramos 
  • Promoting a curated collection of works from Hispanic and Latino authors during Hispanic Heritage Month 
  • Screening a selection of films that highlight the stories and experiences of Hispanic and Latino communities

Veterans@Progress – Cultivating an inclusive community of veterans, reserve servicemembers and military families at Progress and in our local communities. 

  • Co-founders: Glenn Mulno, Senior Manager, Technical Support and Steve Southwell, Principal Consultant
  • Current leaders: Christopher Cunningham, Network Engineer, Senior, and Erica Flynn Financial Analyst, Senior Principal
  • Executive sponsors: Anthony Folger, EVP & Chief Financial Officer and Dinara Doyle, VP, Chief of Staff

Veterans@Progress’ mission is to foster an inclusive community of veterans, reserve service members and military families at Progress and in our local communities.

2023 Program highlights include:

  • Hosting Notes to Soldiers and Treats for Troops events in Burlington, MA, Morrisville, NC and Alpharetta, GA, writing notes and assembling treat bags to deployed soldiers 
  • Coordinating a session led by Dan Cnossen, gold medal Paralympian and former Navy SEAL Platoon Lieutenant Commander, on what it’s like to navigate work and life post-service and post-traumatic injury 
  • Holding a fundraiser to support Montachusett Veterans Outreach Center, assisting veterans through housing arrangements, mental health counseling and a food and clothing pantry

The above lists just a few initiatives led by our ERGs that aided in cultivating an inclusive environment at Progress where employees can feel a sense of belonging. Of note, all of the ERG leaders raised their hands to spearhead this programming, adding more hours of work to their day so they can support their fellow Progressers and the larger community. Their work will always make us ProgressPROUD.

Danielle Sutherby of Progress

Danielle Sutherby

Danielle Sutherby is a marketing communications manager at Progress, where she supports Progress’ employer brand efforts, raises awareness of the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) and inclusion and diversity (I&D) efforts, assists in PR activities, and strategizes employee engagement activities worldwide. Danielle is also the co-founder of the first employee resource group at Progress, Progress for Her, which aims to empower women at the company by providing leadership and networking opportunities. When she is not at work, you can find her writing, reading, or acting like a tourist in her own city.


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