Celebrating Black Success and Development at GF

By Emma Cheer

February is Black History Month in the U.S. The month-long observance is an opportunity to recognize and pay homage to the contributions, innovations, and trailblazers within the Black community who have elevated business, technology, art, music, science and other fields that impact the lives of people around the world.

GlobalFoundries (GF) knows the best ideas come from a diverse team being inclusive, and that our success rests on empowering employees to bring their whole person — 15,000 employees with unique talents and distinctive qualities — to our company. Building a culture of inclusion drives better business outcomes. A critical driver of diversity at GF is our employee-led Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), which foster a diverse, inclusive workplace aligned with GF’s organizational mission, values, and goals.

Established in August 2020, the Black Resource Affinity Group (BRAG) at GF seeks to embrace the diverse experiences of Black employees and provides a safe place to express individualism, while continuing to build upon GF’s inclusive culture. BRAG focuses on promoting the recruitment, retention, and professional advancement of Black employees. BRAG has grown to over 50 members and allies, with hundreds of GF employees in attendance at recent events.

Areleea Hendricks“As an ESG leader for BRAG at GF, I want to foster a network for our Black community and bring attention to the challenges and barriers faced by our Black, Indigenous and People of Color,” said Arleea Hendricks, lead HR business partner at GF and a member of the Fab 8 team in Malta, New York. “Black History Month is a time to commemorate and reflect on the remarkable achievements of African Americans throughout history, as well as an opportunity to increase visibility and have conversations around social injustice and cultural acceptance.”

Through a truly remarkable year for GF, BRAG remained steadfast in supporting its members with networking events, professional development opportunities and outreach efforts beyond GF. Here’s a snapshot of BRAG’s year in review. Developing Black Talent within GF

Providing professional development opportunities is the key to BRAG’s objectives. In September, BRAG hosted a panel on growth, featuring GF leaders across business units and inviting all GF team members to participate in an interactive panel session to gain confidence in their career journey. A main topic of the discussion focused on navigating role changes and exploring career opportunities within GF.

Will BillingsAnother top priority for BRAG is creating networking opportunities for its members, through mentorship activities, meet and greets for GF interns, and presentations from diversity and inclusion leaders such as Dereca Blackmon and Dr. Wanda Heading Grant.

GF’s Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer Will Billings, who joined the company last year, took on the role of BRAG’s new executive sponsor. With more than two decades of experience in accounting and finance, he brings to GF and BRAG a wealth of experience of working on and leading diverse international teams.

Building Relationships through Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

Last February, BRAG partnered with GF’s corporate and employee giving program, GlobalGives, to showcase Black-run nonprofits, including All Star Code, The Hidden Genius Project, Sad Girls Club and Fighting 4 the Tatas. These nonprofits provide medical and professional support for Black men and women. In addition to the 2021 GlobalGives campaign, BRAG members worked tirelessly to support local school and community events throughout the year.

At GF, one of our core values is “Embrace.” Events like BRAG’s Lunch & Learn series allow for engaging discussions on allyship and inclusion in a trusting environment. These are important for reaffirming this value as we take the time to reflect on what allyship and inclusion mean at GF and how we can continuously improve our company culture.

In April, BRAG collaborated with Malta GlobalWomen to host “Preventing Microaggressions in the Workplace.” Collaboration between ERGs opens opportunities for team members to create connections both within our sites and across the globe.

Partnering for a More Inclusive GF

GF believes that a diversity of ideas and backgrounds makes for a stronger culture of trust and innovation. Partnering with organizations such as The McKinsey Leadership Program, AfroTech, the Jackie Robinson Foundation and more enables GF to grow as a diverse yet united ONEGF.

A group of 22 outstanding GF leaders participated in the McKinsey Black Leadership Academy’s pilot Management Accelerator program. The Management Accelerator program is a 6-month practical “mini-MBA” tailored to the unique experience of Black leaders, building foundational skills for early to mid-career leaders, developing core leadership and management capabilities through a case-based approach. McKinsey Leadership specifically acknowledges the unique skills of Black leaders and the challenges they face.

In November, GF was a proud sponsor of AfroTech, one of the largest conferences for Black tech innovators.

Marvin MontaqueBRAG member and Senior Engineer Marvin Montaque attended the virtual event. “The AfroTech Conference of 2021 was an incredible experience. The ability to meet with industry leaders from well-known companies to companies not even on my radar was amazing,” he said.

“We sometimes forget that there is an engine – people- behind every company with knowledge and experiences that can impact your own world,”’ Montaque continued. “AfroTech 2021 provided a unique opportunity to interact with these folks via the metaverse. This technology blows my mind thinking about it. I was able to take friends on a boat ride (virtually) while catching up and meeting new people. I was also able to hop from event to event across campus in a matter of seconds. The content was also amazing, from attending workshops and pitch competitions, meeting with executives from Disney/Slack and picking their brains on what is to come in their industry, to attending DJ/dance parties from my living room. The whole experience was incredible.”

GF continues to build its 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. GF hosted two JRF scholars as interns in the summer of 2021.

“This past summer was one of my greatest learning experiences,” said Mbaba Sow, a JRF scholar at GF. “Being at GlobalFoundries in Malta, New York allowed me to take a deep dive into the semiconductor manufacturing industry. Being exposed to the integrated systems that control the semiconductor chip process, and being able to get up from my desk and go see the process live was amazing. My co-workers in my department were very welcoming and were willing to answer any questions that I had for them. By the end of my internship, I felt like I added members to my family.”

GF is proud of BRAG’s accomplishments and looks forward to the next year of excellent programming and learning opportunities. Interested in learning about other Employee Resource Groups at GF? Read our ERG Round-up: Employee Resource Groups Driving Diversity, Inclusion, and Success at GlobalFoundries