Skip to main content

Employee resource groups: ‘Keepers of the flame’

Key advisers. Partners. Keepers of the flame.  

These are some words Phillips 66 President and CEO Mark Lashier used to describe employee resource groups at a candid and upbeat discussion at Houston Headquarters hosted by the Black Employee Network.  

Inclusion and diversity are increasingly becoming part of the fabric of Phillips 66, but the company still has a way to go, he said. “We’ve got to make sure that the intentionality is there, that it becomes like living and breathing, just part of who we are,” Lashier said.  

The meeting included members of five ERGs, including the Black Employee Network, Asian American Network, Hispanic Network, Native American Network and Women’s Network. 

The discussion focused on career development and keeping inclusion and diversity at the forefront amid other projects and initiatives.  

Lashier told the panel about his own inclusion and diversity experience when his family moved from Oklahoma to Singapore in 1999 — moving from a small community to a multicultural island with about 4 million people, where less than 3 percent of the population looked like them or had the same background. “We were a little bewildered,” he said.  

Lashier said he sees ERGs as key advisers and “keepers of the flame” in efforts to promote diversity through mentoring and professional development.  

Rametha Nair, a member of the Asian American Network, said all employees, regardless of background, are welcome to become members of ERGs and “come to the table” to learn and support each other. Her hope is that someday all 1,200 or so employees at Houston Headquarters will join the Asian American Network 

Krystal Braden, who is the steering committee chair for the Black Employee Network, said that Phillips 66 is serious about inclusion and diversity. “It is not a box that needs to be checked off,” she said. “It is truly wanting to understand different perspectives through different voices and different experiences.” 

Lashier said that ERGs create a strong fabric that makes Phillips 66 a better company and a better place to work.  

“If you feel like you belong somewhere, you’re a lot less likely to leave,” he said. “That’s a good thing for us and a good thing for our future.”