January 28, 2021
We believe that representation matters within an inclusive culture.
That belief changes how we work – and how we develop our team. It’s also the reason for our strong network of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), including the Caterpillar African American Network or CAAN. The group is the oldest in Caterpillar’s network and is making a positive impact on the company while creating lasting connections for its members. Here’s how…
CAAN connects Black employees to a global network of members, mentors and available work opportunities, ultimately supporting a sustainable working environment where all employees can find success. Kenneth Jackson, Global Chair of CAAN, is focused on the group’s lasting impact.
“CAAN offers an opportunity for employees to be exposed to the work being done around the enterprise and the people doing it in a way that inspires members to understand what is possible for them,” Kenneth explained. “It also encourages members to take pride in the work that they do every day and understand how it fits into the bigger picture.”
Kenneth’s career journey is an inspiration to many. Just two and a half years ago, he rejoined the company – this time as an assembler. His rich experience and background soon opened the door for Kenneth to move into his current quality analyst role. “I share my work experience openly with people so they can find hope and opportunity. I began my journey with CAAN to serve those who remind me of who I was 30 years ago. CAAN creates opportunities and cultivates connection, which results in a spirit of belonging throughout the enterprise.”
Another part of the CAAN experience is bringing group members together with executive leadership. According to Kenneth, “Having a voice to our Executive Sponsors is invaluable. We are given insight into the business and can share concerns and ideas. They give time and attention to the issues we bring forth.”
Caterpillar recently announced its partnership with OneTen, a group focused on employing and retaining Black Americans . “As an ERG, we work hard not just to be visionaries, but to do real work. We have gotten more widely involved in recruiting, hiring, career planning and advancement. It made sense for us to be involved with OneTen, too. We have the opportunity to make sure that these efforts are measurable, lasting and impactful.”
Black History Month is a time to pause and reflect on the many contributions of our African American team members past and present, and others all over the world. CAAN, Kenneth and all the ERGs at Caterpillar work to strengthen our team by appreciating our different experiences.
At Caterpillar, doing the work that matters is more than fulfilling the obligations of your job. It is connecting with and inspiring others to build a career they are proud of. Are you ready to join the team?