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Celebrating Inclusion Every Day Through ERGs

5 minute read
Pam Fitzwater-Johansen

During the month of March, we celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. “Inspire inclusion” is the International Women’s Day theme for 2024, and in honor of that, we surveyed members of the BMC Women in Technology and Business (WiT&B) employee resource group (ERG) about inclusion and mentorship. Establishing ERGs is a powerful way to foster open discussions and promote inclusion by creating safe spaces for employees to have open, authentic conversations, and the WiT&B ERG has had a significant impact on its members.

For Brianna Steensen, who manages the BMC Champion Academy sales training organization, it’s been integral to building a stronger and broader network. “I’ve made great connections with female leaders and have been able to tap their time and expertise for my program,” she shares. She also appreciates the support that comes with that, specifically, “seeing female leaders like myself being supported and promoted by others in the organization. Recognition for hard work goes a long way, even if it’s on a call or in an email.”

Gina Fevrier, a senior program manager in the Beta program at BMC, highlights communication as key ingredient of inclusion. “Inclusion, for me, means being listened to and being asked for my input during meetings. It’s about being invited to meetings, including lunch and extracurricular activities, and not feeling left out due to my gender,” she explains. “It’s being given opportunities to lead and participate in special projects. It’s being asked for my feedback on team, organizational, and corporate initiatives.”

Fevrier also appreciates the inclusion that the WiT&B ERG affords her as a remote worker. “I’ve liked our live webinars with internal and external speakers, like Carla Harris, who talk about their real-life experiences in their careers,” she says.

“I loved our book club, where a smaller group of us met on a monthly basis to talk about the books’ themes and how they relate to our lives. These smaller, non-recorded groups are really helpful to people like me who work from home and miss out on the “water cooler” and lunch conversations in the office. I like being kept up to date on women’s work issues and opportunities.”

Deepak Chopra, a senior manager of product development at BMC, says the ERG has helped broaden his understanding and awareness about issues related to inclusion, and where he can help foster discussions. “Inclusion is including anyone and everyone in [the] mainstream, everywhere, which can be home, community, workplace, etc. There is no reason not to follow inclusion,” he shares.

“I started becoming more vigilant towards inclusivity and making sure I remain supportive and help in this area. [Through the ERG I have] learned lots of best practices, which I am implementing in my day-to-day life.”

ERGs give their members a safe space for genuine dialogue, and Rebecca Beatty, a senior solution engineer at BMC, says that’s the very definition of inclusion for her. “Inclusion in the workplace means that I get to show up to work as my authentic self and be comfortable with it,” she explains. “[I have a] community of coworkers who I know I can reach out to for mentoring or advice, as well as [gain] access to information and meet new people.”

Sheila Mullen, a global strategic account manager at BMC, shares that inclusivity spans everything from elevating your presence where key business decisions are made to sharing and learning from diverse views, including, “celebrating our differences and actively learning about people who are different from you.”

She adds that the ERG helped her grow personally and professionally. “No matter what is going on in my world, every time I join a WiT&B call, I am energized, inspired, and in awe of the talented women at BMC. I leave the call knowing anything is possible,” she says. “Participating has allowed me to advocate for myself, be a sphere of influence in my piece of BMC, and positively support the promotion of women in the workplace.”

Rosie Huth, a global alliances manager at BMC, says inclusion is about “collaboration and mutual respect for your professional counterparts.” “No one has to prove why they should have a seat at the table because we are already here together,” she shares. “[With the ERG], I have built a community with professionals that span region, departments, and roles, which, by default, helps to foster a rich sense of inclusion across traditional silos.”

Each of the members also shared how mentorship relationships have been instrumental for them. “I have an incredible mentor at BMC! She is someone who listens, gives great advice, and continuously advocates for me,” says Steensen. “We’ve had crucial conversations about career trajectory and paths, which have helped shaped my own professional goals.”

Fevrier has had a mentor for two and a half years and been a mentor for two years, and both have been enriching experiences. “My mentor has helped me affirm my value at this time of my career where I’ve had some self-doubts, and she helped me rebuild my self-confidence. She has helped me with networking across the company, which has led to new opportunities at BMC that match my skills and interests,” she explains.

“As a mentor, I’ve been there to listen and provide career guidance. My mentee knows that she has a safe place to talk about her concerns. There have even been moments of reverse mentoring, which I’ve really appreciated. My mentee has been someone I could rely on for confidential discussions about any work issues and career advice.”

Chopra is also on both sides of mentoring, explaining. “I am mentoring individuals for their personal and professional growth, including their career and helping them in their day to day life.”

Beatty benefitted from mentoring earlier in her career, sharing. “[Years ago], I had the opportunity to complete a leadership training academy at a previous employer and be mentored by my then manager, who was also the only female leader in my organization.”

Mullen is both a mentor and mentee and she loves it. “I have mentored several women. I love to see them grow and progress in their careers. I have been mentored and supported by some amazing professionals in my career. Each one added to my professional toolbox. I am the woman I am today because of each of their gifts. I am truly fortunate and grateful,” she says.

“[As a mentee], I learned that I did not want to be a leader or manager, in a see-try-learn way, where I found out that my strong skillset and what motivated the best version of me was in the weeds working with customers versus leading a team of people who do that. I feel very fortune to have a supportive mentor willing to grow with me and help me figure out which direction I wanted to go, even if it wasn’t the same path they were on.”

Huth has enjoyed being a mentor, particularly for women transitioning into the tech sector. “I have had the absolute pleasure of mentoring professionals at BMC [to whom] I can transfer my knowledge, insights, and experiences,” she explains. “Especially where they have come from non-tech backgrounds or veterans. It has been a joy to help them recognize they have a fresh perspective to business discussions and the industry because it’s not all they have known. They don’t have to unlearn anything and their resiliency to adapt is what is most valuable.”

If you’re looking for ways to expand inclusion across your business, and build employee resource groups, check out our DEI blog series on these topics and more, and to learn more about International Women’s Day, visit

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About the author

Pam Fitzwater-Johansen

Pam is the AVP of Worldwide Product Sales and Ecosystem at BMC, where she provides best practices and sales operations leadership to the sales specialists and ecosystem operations teams that support the field with forecasting, coverage, pipeline, and programs. Leading the WW Partner Program and interim North America Channel Leader, she co-leads the BMC Women in Technology and Business organization and sits on the Women of the Channel Advisory Board.