July 13, 2021
The Middle Eastern Resource Group (MERG), one of over a dozen employee resource groups (ERGs), was formed to engage and empower members of Team Caterpillar in an inclusive environment while also driving business results.
Global Chair Sami Lasassmeh sees an opportunity for MERG to power an increase in presence of Middle Eastern employees in leadership employees. “We have mentoring and development plans to put people on track and connect them with leaders and non-leaders to gain valuable experience and learn soft skills along with technical skills. This development drives a lot of benefit to Caterpillar,” Sami says. He understands this connection as vital to not only driving a culture of inclusion and diversity in the workplace, but also opening the door for growing Caterpillar’s business opportunities in the Middle East.
Sami shares that Caterpillar’s presence in the Middle East is currently heavily dealer focused. MERG is supporting Caterpillar’s efforts to expand the business’s presence in the Middle East. “We have ambitions and goals to connect with our customers and dealers in the Middle East since we know there is a lot to offer in the Middle East on the business side,” he says.
MERG’s member base is representative of a multitude of functional areas, which brings employees with different skillsets together. Though one of the smaller ERGs in Caterpillar’s roster, Sami has big plans to increase MERGs membership count by sharing the value of forming community. A strong proponent for inclusion and diversity in the workplace, Sami joined MERG as a member to build his community of friends and peers in the States. He increased his involvement when he saw that the relationships forming between members could be used as a tool for the business and for working against the misinformation surrounding Middle Eastern culture that Sami says he’s experienced. Through participation in MERGs social, cultural and volunteer events, Sami shares that members often become friends. Because not all members are of Middle Eastern descent, bonds form between different cultures that drive a more enriched working environment. As Chair, Sami believes that highlighting fun and meaningful MERG events will help grow membership interest and the ERG will continue to add value to the enterprise.
We know that the backgrounds and experiences of Caterpillar employees are the driving force behind an inclusive environment. MERG is one of several ERGs that celebrates and elevates each employee’s unique experience and culture to form connection and growth that benefits the business and enterprise. Learn more about our commitment to inclusion in the workplace and join the team today.