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Celebrating Black History Month

New ESL Employee Resource: Group African American Women

February 2023

In recognition of Black History Month, we would like share information about our newest Employee Resource Group (ERG). Employee Resource Groups at ESL are part of our workplace culture. They help foster professional development and learning through mentoring, networking, open dialogue, and the exchange of ideas. Our newest Employee Resource Group is the ESL African American Women Employee Resource Group. In a recent interview, the co-founders of the group, which is open to all ESL employees, shared some of their goals for this new support system.

Q&A with Founders, Terri Reddix (Consumer Lending Processor) and Sonja Walters (Project Manager)

“I think it is important to provide everyone the ability to let their hair down and be themselves.” Terri Reddix, Co-founder, ESL African American Employee Resource Group

Terri Reddix & Sonja Walters

What is the focus of the African American Women Employee Resource Group (ERG)?

The African American Women ERG works to further the mission, values, and Purpose of ESL, represent the interests of African American Women, and support ESL’s overall diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. We plan to do this through initiatives such as:

  • Creating a womanhood of professionals to support each other, to praise and uplift other women, be a sounding board, and to help pave the way to success and GREATNESS at ESL
  • Providing a safe workplace to share professional and personal experiences
  • Growing communication and leadership skills
  • Providing Educational Opportunities and Offering Events

What was the motivation behind starting this group? 

I (Sonja) wanted to provide Black women with an opportunity to have a safe haven within the workplace: to share personal and professional experiences, best practices, or anything to help with expanding thoughts, growth, and confidence.

Why is it important to have this new ERG?

I (Terri) think it is important to provide everyone the ability to let their hair down and be themselves as there are times where we hold in so much for appearance’s sake. We would also love to be able to go out and encourage our young people to learn more about professional careers.

What are some thoughts that go through your mind as you think about the support of having this ERG?

We are hoping members think of this as an opportunity for learning from each other’s experiences.

What else do you think is important for employees and the community to know about this ERG?

We think it is important for all to know about any ERG that if they can relate in any way to join, be a committed participant because learning comes in different ways, and this could be an opportunity you wouldn’t want to miss.

Thinking about joining our team? Visit our careers page at!