Taking Employee Resource Groups to the Next Level
Employee resource groups or affinity groups have been used by companies in many industries to engage their workforce. However, some companies are taking the next step and leveraging their resource groups as part of their overall business strategy. Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) and Sony Electronics will discuss why they are working with their resource groups in this manner, how they got C-Suite support, their implementation plan, lessons learned, and best practices.  Additionally, Mark Walker, an executive sponsor of SPE's SEAD Group (Sony Pictures Employees of the African Diaspora) will discuss best practices regarding the role of an executive sponsor.

Learning Points:

1.       The importance of resource groups

2.       How to include resources groups in a D&I Strategy as well as the overall business strategy for
          your company

3.       What are some of the lessons learned

4.       How to select an executive sponsor

5.       The role of the executive sponsor 









Paul Martin, Vice President of Global Recruitment & Inclusion, joined Sony Pictures Entertainment in May of 2008.  In this role Paul is responsible for overall management of the professional staffing function as well as diversity development enterprise wide. As a team leader as well as a working recruitment professional, he is responsible for planning and implementing all activities relating to staffing strategy, sourcing, recruiting, candidate development, selection, and hiring for all levels of candidates for the Company. Prior to joining Sony Pictures Entertainment, Paul was the Vice President, Worldwide Recruitment for Warner Bros. Entertainment. In this role, he was responsible for strategically aligning the Corporate Recruiting Function with the needs of all the client business units.  Paul provided leadership to the Worldwide Recruitment Team, overseeing all recruitment, selection and job placement activities for the company. Paul first joined Warner Bros. Entertainment in January of 2003 to lead the staffing function for the Studio Facilities’ Division (WBSF).  He was promoted in February of 2006, to lead the Operations and Research Team for Worldwide Recruitment. Prior to Warner Bros. Entertainment, Paul was the Human Resources Manager at LRN, The Legal Knowledge Company, which at the time was a flourishing start up organization specializing in legal research, and web based compliance, governance & ethics training. In this role Paul was directly responsible for the strategic planning, implementation, leadership and daily management of Human Resources and Employment programs and policies. Paul spent the first four years of his career in the financial services industry as the Executive Recruiter for Merrill Lynch’s Private Client Division.  At age 23, he not only was recognized as the youngest professional to hold that position, but also lead the division 2 out of 3 years in number of total hires and highest diversity placement percentage.  In June of 1996, Paul joined Johnson & Johnson as their Sr. Recruitment Consultant supporting their Engineering and Operations Divisions. Paul earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in International Politics from Wesleyan University and also received his Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Southern California Law School. Paul currently resides in Marina Del Rey with his wife Laury and two dogs Symba & Buster.  Paul enjoys playing basketball, reading and mentoring inner city youth. 







Monica Pool Ross is curre
ntly Director of Diversity and Inclusion for Sony Electronics.  Sony Corporation, with global headquarters in Tokyo, is a full service entertainment company with electronics, pictures, music, and gaming products. In her current role, Ms. Ross develops and leads the diversity and inclusion strategy across Sony Electronics, ensuring diversity and inclusion initiatives from various functions including Marketing, Sales, Community Affairs, Human Resources and Supplier Diversity are aligned, leveraged and driving organizational growth.  She also  identifies diversity and inclusion initiatives that can be leveraged across various Sony divisions and drives for best practice and information sharing across the Sony global community including Europe, Japan, and Latin America. She currently serves as Chair of the Sony Electronics Executive Diversity Board. In her previous role with Sony, Monica led the human resources organization as Director of Human Resources for Marketing and Operational divisions, driving business performance through initiatives in areas such as talent development, performance management, and talent acquisition. She is credited with influencing change broadly across the organization in the areas of Performance Management and cultural transformation, winning an award for Human Resources Excellence in 2006 before being promoted to her current role in 2007. Prior to Sony, Ms. Ross honed her business acumen over a 16 year career at Fortune 50 companies including GTE, Verizon, the Walt Disney Company and PepsiCo, serving in various leadership roles.   On the international side, Ms. Ross has lived both in Germany and Puerto Rico. Through her non-profit endeavors, Monica has worked in Ghana, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Israel.  She reads, writes and speaks Spanish. Monica is a Life Time Member of the National Black MBA Association as well as a founding member of the San Diego NBMBAA chapter.  She also authors an advice column for mid and executive level managers for Diversity MBA Magazine and has been a featured national speaker for venues such as the Multicultural Forum and the Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit.  Lastly, Ms. Ross is a contributing author of the popular business book released in August 2006, Minority Rules: Turn Your Ethnicity Into a Competitive Edge. Ms. Ross has a BA from the University of California and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin in Marketing. She is an alum of the Consortium for Graduate Studies in Management and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.












Mark Walker is Vice President of Print Advertising Worldwide Theatrical Marketing at Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE). Mr. Walker has held this role since 2001, he is responsible for the management and production of all theatrical print advertising campaigns worldwide up to and including; Outdoor, In-Theater, Newspaper, Magazine and Digital. Mr. Walkers group works very closely with several departments within marketing, Media, Creative, Exhibitor Relations Logistics and Legal Clearances. He has taken SPE print advertising into the digital age with the  development and implementation of a workflow management system that utilizes the most advanced print technology which vastly improved upon quality of product, timeline efficiencies and costs savings, while at the same time remaining conscious of our environment by only using eco friendly materials in his print campaigns. Further, Mr. Walker accomplished this leap forward in 2003 (4 years prior to industry standard) and has a cost savings record of nearly 34 million dollars. Mr. Walker joined Sony Pictures Entertainment in 1989 and has held each position in his print advertising group (Assistant, Coordinator, Manager, Director and VP). 

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