Worcester Business Journal

September 5, 2022

Issue link: https://nebusinessmedia.uberflip.com/i/1477926

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Page 19 of 39

20 Worcester Business Journal | September 5, 2022 | wbjournal.com F O C U S D I V E R S I T Y & I N C L U S I O N Special Sponsored Section Member FDIC. Rev. 8/22 berkshirebank.com With Berkshire, you are doing business with a socially responsible and community-oriented bank supporting equity in all of our diverse communities. We offer the premium service big banks provide mixed with smaller bank attention while fostering small businesses and growing local economies. The simple decision of where you bank and how your bank deploys your money can have a big impact on your community. Where you bank matters. Your community depends on it. We're proud to support equity. H ow does Berkshire Bank support your representation as an employee and member of the LGBTQIA+ community? Representation is all about community visibility and support. Chad Stier says, "Berkshire allows LGBTQIA+ staff to make decisions on sponsorships and grants and we sit on local decision committees, allowing for direct representation in these important conversations to focus the Bank's efforts where it makes the greatest impact." Chad sees firsthand the impact that Berkshire has on our communities. "To have the support of Berkshire shows the community that the Bank is true and authentic, not just simply raising the rainbow flag for one month each year," Chad explains. Vanessa Pesa adds that "the Bank incorporates more and more diversity into our advertising. As an LGBTQIA+ person, it resonates with me to see ads from a large-scale company like Berkshire featuring someone that represents my community. It makes me feel we are included, and Berkshire works with and supports all walks of life." Scott Gillanders shares that "the Bank's policies, benefits, and commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) from its annual report to signs in our branches acknowledging 'all wallets welcome' makes me feel proud to work at a company that embraces the LGBTQIA+ community." What is your moment of PRIDE in being a member of the Employee Resource Group (ERG)? "The moment I reflect on seems to be recurring; with our visibility at work and in local communities, it is common for someone to confide in me that a member of their family is newly LGBTQIA+. They are always positive and seeking advice on how to be a more supportive ally or how to help their family member find connections. It's a chance to pass along my "PRIDE" to the next generation," says Chad. For Vanessa, her biggest moment of pride is "seeing the changes I am pushing for getting accomplished. It is realizing the work our ERG is putting in is being heard and positively impacting our company and being part of something so significant to the LGBTQIA+ community which needs a voice. Being able to provide insight to help make those individuals feel included, supported, and accepted is important. I have been a part of the Pride ERG since its inception, and I can say with confidence that we have already made headway in our efforts to make positive change. I can't wait to see what we do next." Scott adds that "it is rewarding to have a place that our LGBTQIA+ team members and allies can join forces to celebrate diversity and affect change from the customer-facing financial centers up to the executive suite." BERKSHIRE BANK: Q&A with the Pride Employee Resource Group Co-Chairs Chad Stier, Vanessa Pesa and Scott Gillanders W

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