My first exposure to cultural awareness began 20 years ago when my family and I moved from ethnically diverse Orange County, California to a small town in central Indiana. It was where the question, "where are you from?" didn't refer to where I had just moved from but referred to my ethnicity. For the first time, I realized I was culturally different--it showed--and mattered.
I graduated from a private high school with a class of 68 students, 2 of whom were Black and I was the only Asian who wasn't a foreign exchange student. When I went to college at Purdue, I had the opportunity to become involved with other Asian students that had similar experiences as I. And at that point, I was able to celebrate what had, until then, been differences--and it changed my college experience.
When it came time to find an employer, one of my needs was to find a company that had a strong culture of celebrating peoples of different backgrounds, which are represented across eight different Business Resource Groups (BRGs) at CDW.
I currently serve as the Chair for CDW's Pan-Asian BRG where 200+ members are enabled and supported to grow their careers and recognize Asian culture--May is the month celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage all across the U.S. and CDW celebrates throughout the month and into June through our work with the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) and other local corporations and non-profits. I’m so proud of our Asian Coworkers who’ve used our BRGs as a platform to lean into their careers and to CDW for making room at the table!
Now when I meet new people at events and I'm asked, "where are you from?" I say, "I'm from CDW!"
Above is a vendor partner of Vietnamese heritage that celebrated Lunar New Year in our offices with a product demo
Above is the annual Dragon Boat race that CDW's Pan Asian Council participates in with other Chicago-area Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and BRGs
Kim is a Strategic Sales Tools Analyst at CDW and Chair of our Business Resource Group, Pan Asian Council.