In 1992, May was officially designated Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM), spurring the annual month-long recognition of Asian Pacific American culture in the United States. APAHM celebrates the contributions, traditions, history and cultures of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders while encouraging all Americans to learn about and appreciate the rich diversity of Asian and Pacific cultures.
Claire Ivory, a member of CDW's Pan Asian Council Business Resource Group, shares her traditions and thoughts on what APAHM means to her.
How do you celebrate your heritage during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month?
As a member of the Pan Asian Council (PAC) leadership team, we have a ton of great relationships with other Asian BRG’s in the Chicago area as well as the NAAAP organization. I like to attend as many APAHM events as I can to network and hear other leaders speak on their heritage and path within leadership.
How have your personal experiences shaped your life and career?
Through great mentors of mine, I learned early on to embrace my soft spoken approach to leadership but to also be sure I was communicating what I wanted. My approach has been two-fold: to lead by listening and observing and to create experiences in all my roles that I could be passionate about. My journey is constantly changing and I owe a lot to the people at CDW who have given me feedback, support and advice along the way.
What is your favorite thing about your culture?
I would say a tradition that I have created for myself is to go back to South Korea every 5 years to immerse myself in the culture. I know it will get harder as I get older but I hope I don’t lose sight of this!
Why is PAC involvement important to you?
PAC has been an important part of my leadership path at CDW. While I was in an individual contributor role, the platform allowed me the opportunity to build my leadership skillsets to prepare me for my (now) manager role. It has also allowed me to not only mentor other future leaders but also connect with Senior leaders within the company that I would have not otherwise come across.
What are you most proud of working at CDW?
I am proud of the inclusive culture that many coworkers and departments are constantly focusing on. You can see constant evolution to find new ways to get more diverse viewpoints within project groups or teams. I truly believe that if you work to increase diversity of thought, you can keep a company one step ahead of the competition. We have so many great leaders that work hard to continue this being a part of the culture at CDW!
CDW encourages coworkers of all backgrounds to take an active role in their own personal and professional development. The Pan Asian Council Business Resource Group seeks to support and further the careers of Pan Asian coworkers while exemplifying inclusion and impacting CDW’s business objectives.