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When it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion, or DE&I, the value that representation can bring to an organization is invaluable and necessary. DE&I is not just an industry buzzword, it represents tangible action items that cultivate belonging and opportunity while enhancing business performance. Now more than ever, critical conversations are happening around DE&I, especially through Black History Month where amplifying Black voices and DE&I is key to moving the industry, and society, forward.
We sat down with Erica L. Burton, CRP, Client Account Manager for Chase, to get her perspective about her role as the first Black President of the Corporate Relocation Council of Chicago (CRC), and learn more about what this means for representation of Black professionals in relocation and the path forward for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Burton: Honestly the path found me. I have been working within the banking industry for just over 20 years. I started my career as a Mortgage Processor, then switched positions to become a Relocation Processor which led to me managing a Relocation Closing Team for about 5 years. Through this position, I learned further about the relocation industry, which became my passion. An open position for a Client Account Manager became available, and that was the path I chose. I have since managed the Midwest accounts for our firm for the past 8 years. In this role, I love the relationship building and being a trusted advisor for my clientele.
Burton: I noticed almost immediately that most of my industry peers do not look like me. I attended one of my first regional ERC conferences, and realized that I was the only minority in a room of 225 other attendees. I have always felt welcomed by my industry peers, but I would love to see more diversity within the relocation space. I have since been able to connect with other female and black professionals in the industry who have shared similar experiences when they entered the industry. I am also proud to say that plenty of people welcomed me to the industry and continue to support me as a black professional.
Burton: It is still hard to believe that I am CRC President, but it shows that we are making positive strides in the industry and allowing ourselves to diversify. The accomplishment proved to me that if you put yourself out there, volunteer, and utilize your resources within an organization like CRC, you will receive the support of your peers, no matter what color your skin is. It is truly an honor to lead this esteemed organization, and I am grateful for the opportunity. I feel tremendous support from our Board, and our membership, and love bringing my perspective to the organization.
Burton: There continues to be a real opportunity for organizations like CRC and Worldwide ERC® to diversify their membership and leadership base. I am seeing more and more Black professionals being hired into key mobility, human resource or leadership roles, and seeing those thought leaders then engage and participate in larger numbers in these organizations has been refreshing. I would love to challenge these diverse leaders to further participate and step into leadership roles within our industry associations, and help navigate the conversation to ensure further equity and inclusion. I can tell you from experience that their participation is what will drive this change, and I look forward to the day when I walk into a relocation conference or meeting, and do not even notice I am one of a few minorities in the room.
Erica L. Burton, CRP, is a Client Account Manager at Chase and President of the Corporate Relocation Council of Chicago (CRC) and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What does Black History Month mean to you, and how can mobility and relocation amplify and support diversity, equity, and inclusion? We want to hear from you! Connect with us and other mobility peers and start a conversation in our Community. You can see the latest discussions, news, and events from Worldwide ERC® as we continue to connect and strengthen the workforce mobility industry. Join us!
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