Innovation starts with I: Driving ERG excellence at Micron

Michelle Hicks | July 2023

Each year, Micron’s employee resource group (ERG) leaders from around the world gather to reflect, recharge and refresh. As our company’s ambassadors of inclusion they help unlock the creative potential of all our employees, who we call team members. The tireless efforts of our ERG leaders shine a light on the limitless possibilities for our diverse workforce and the communities we serve.

This year’s theme is focused on four “I”s that are critical to elevating the global effect of ERGs in our company and in the communities where we work and live: inclusion, innovation, intersectionality and impact. These four powerful words encapsulate the work of our ERG leaders and members, whose passionate advocacy for their communities ensures that all Micron team members, vendors and customers experience a culture of respect and connection. As poet Maya Angelou once said, “People may not remember what you did or what you said, but they always remember how you made them feel.” Our ERGs are charged with helping Micron ensure that everyone we interact with feels seen, heard, valued and respected.

We start with inclusion, which has a lasting and sustainable impact on how Micron shows up in the world. We recognize that all companies in the semiconductor industry must do more to increase the diversity of our workforce. We are also committed to ensuring that as people from all backgrounds and experiences walk through our doors, we offer an inviting place for them to share their unique perspectives and insights. Our ERG leaders and members produce programming that raises awareness about the challenges their communities experience, reinforcing our collective understanding and empathy. These team members exemplify our core value of people, which defines how we empower and care about each other.

Inclusion is critical because it creates a safe working environment to challenge the status quo as we share the ideas that will accelerate our innovation. According to McKinsey research, racially diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform less diverse companies. The summit’s keynote speaker, respected DEI thought-leader Dr. Robert Rodriguez, shared powerful ideas to help our ERG leaders advance their impact on our business, such as participating in diverse conferences to support inclusive hiring. When he joined us at our first summit two years ago, he helped us integrate his industry-leading 4C ERG Model to ensure ERG programs strategically align to culture, career, community and commerce. This year, he shared even more innovative ideas that ERG leaders can bring back to their members to ensure their work each day contributes to advancing Micron’s diversity, equality and inclusion commitments.

Our ERG leaders, ranging from newer chapter leads to seasoned global leads, delighted us by sharing the ingenious splashes they have made in creating a more inclusive workplace. Each story showcased their passion and commitment to fostering a culture where every individual feels valued and empowered. These leaders have introduced creative programs, initiated conversations and championed initiatives that have had a profound ripple effect across our organization, reminding us that even the smallest steps can create powerful change.

As we focus on where innovation and inclusion meet, we must also remember that we all have multiple diversity dimensions, called intersectionality. Understanding our own intersecting attributes and those of others helps us address unconscious bias and make room for everyone to feel a sense of belonging. To that end, ERG leaders participated in an immersive workshop to explore intersectionality, experiencing the world in someone else’s shoes and how the concept influences the way we each see and experience the world.

Finally, this work is all about elevating the impact of our ERGs within our business as our ERG leaders explore new avenues for excellence. More than 40% of Micron’s global workforce belongs to at least one of our 10 ERGs. These growing levels of participation are helping drive change across Micron — from ensuring accessibility for people with hearing loss using digital tools like closed-captioned Zoom meetings — to supporting mentors who provide wise counsel to new team members and each other. Our ERG leaders are committed to a growth mindset and the continuous improvement that strengthens their impact and the outcomes of our diversity, equality and inclusion programs.

Micron also believes in rewarding our ERG leaders for their service. We are proud to be one of only 6% of companies who recognize their service through stock grants. In our ever-changing world, we need their commitment and focus to continue more than ever. As Micron’s Vice President and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Fran Dillard challenged, “Together, let’s strive for breakthrough innovations that inspire positive change and create a truly inclusive and equitable future for all.” In coming together, our leaders connected and recommitted their talents to elevating their impact on Micron and the world around us.

Director, Diversity, Equality & Inclusion

Michelle Hicks

Michelle Hicks serves as director of communication, strategy and engagement for the Diversity, Equality and Inclusion team at Micron. In this role, Michelle works to elevate Micron’s DEI voice with leaders, team members and external stakeholders to drive greater diversity and inclusion at Micron and across the global semiconductor industry. Michelle has received multiple journalism and communication awards. She is passionate about creating a safe and inclusive workplace culture where employees are empowered to have a positive impact. Michelle is a dog mom who volunteers as a youth mentor. You may catch her trying to stay out of the kitchen on the pickleball court.