Employee Resource Group Spotlight Series: Multicultural Resource Group

Employee Resource Groups are a core component of our diversity and inclusion program and provide a meaningful support system for our team. As Black History Month draws to a close, we’re spotlighting our Multicultural Resource Group, an ERG that serves to attract, retain and develop people of various cultures and empower all employees through networking, mentoring, career development, information sharing and community involvement activities.

We recently caught up with Ana Peterson, Vice President of Project Operations Support at DZ MC and Co-Chair of the MCRG, to better understand her role and the contribution of ERGs to a more diverse and inclusive workplace. 

Learn more about Ana!

What’s your role at Day & Zimmermann?

“As the Vice President of Project Operations Support for D&Z Maintenance & Construction, I am responsible for leading the business support organizations of Estimating, Project Controls, Staffing & Recruiting, and Commercial Management.”

What’s an average day like at work for you?

“There’s not really an ‘average day.’ Each day brings unique challenges as we try to support our internal and external customers and keep the business running. My job is largely about putting people in the right assignments and continuing to advance our growth strategy.”

What do you like most about your job?

“I enjoy and respect the people I work with, both on the leadership team and throughout the organization. I also love the challenge of steering the company in a new direction with new cutting-edge technologies and new market segments.”

What makes you proud to work at Day & Zimmermann?

“I am proud to work for a company that lives its values, particularly Safety and Diversity. I have worked at companies where the values and purpose are just words on the wall, while at D&Z we truly promote them, and our decisions are guided by these values. I think our company purpose is extremely compelling – ‘We put people to work, we protect our freedoms, and we help our customers power and improve the world.’”

What’s a fun fact about you many people don’t know?

“We are a musical family, and I greatly enjoy singing along as my children play piano, guitar, bass, and saxophone. We’ve set up a stage in our backyard where the kids perform for parties and events.”

Learn more about the Multicultural Resource Group!

How did you first get involved in the Multicultural Resource Group?

“When I was relatively new with the company, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and I became isolated working from home, unable to meet new people. I wanted to get more involved at D&Z, meet other employees and serve in some way. I saw an opening for an MCRG chairperson in the DZ Digest newsletter and told Regina Blair I wanted to volunteer. I felt like my background – being born and raised in Latin America – could lend itself well to promoting diversity and exemplifying the impact people of any background can make in an organization.”

What perspective or viewpoint do you try to bring to the group?

“A continuous message that people of any background can contribute and grow at D&Z. I want employees to know not only how they can improve themselves, but also how they can give back. I also want to be an ambassador of my own culture and educate others about my heritage.”

What do you hope to get out of your participation in the group?

“Meaningful, trusting relationships that empower each member to be the best they can be. The greatest reward for me would be to see someone I have mentored become what they want to be at D&Z.”

Why are these kinds of groups and conversations important in the workplace?

“These groups allow people of all different backgrounds to share their stories, break down barriers and unconscious biases, and have open and honest conversations about difficult social issues that plague us today. As these discussions unfold, it is rewarding to see how we build understanding among employees who think differently or have different life experiences. We all become more tolerant and inclusive human beings when we put ourselves in other people’s shoes.”

What advice do you have for people looking to understand more about diversity and inclusion in the workplace?

“Join an Employee Resource Group or maybe a few! While diversity and inclusion are commonly discussed in company settings, the ERGs provide a direct line to activities, panel discussions and community service geared toward building a more inclusive and tolerant work environment – and world!”