Since 2016, one Employee Ambassador Group (EAG) has been striving to integrate the perspectives of McCormick’s young professionals and new-to-the workforce employees into the business strategy and culture of our company.
McCormick Young Professionals (McYP) EAG is a way for employees to network, participate in career development activities, offer insights to research and development, serve the community, and get to know their coworkers. McYP, like the rest of our EAGs, acts as a catalyst for our Power of People principle, which places high importance on respecting and valuing each employee.
“When you’re new to a job or company, especially when it’s your first job or you’re younger and new to the area, having a group like McYP helps to create a cohort to turn to and have as support,” says Rebecca Salzman, project manager and co-vice chair of McYP. “It’s comforting to know you have others who are experiencing similar things as you are, like getting your own insurance or going back to school for your MBA.”
Susan Zheng, manufacturing technical leader and co-founder of McYP, says she and the other co-founders decided to pursue a Young Professionals EAG because they wanted to network and bond with other employees who were early in their careers.
“We knew of other young professionals within the organization,” says Zheng. “We just didn’t know where to meet them. Being in the manufacturing environment, we were mostly exposed to employees who were much further in their career. We wanted to build a community of folks that were similar to us in terms of years of experience and interest.”
Currently, McYP has 306 members. The group meets once or twice a month for professional and social events like resume workshops, financial planning seminars, networking happy hours, and more recently, a lunch and learn with TALLsmall Productions focused on mental health, anxiety in the workplace, and addressing your inner critic.
Last year, the EAG partnered with Behavioral Health Systems Baltimore on a series of events to support employee wellness. The purpose of the program was to debunk the stigma surrounding mental illness and substance abuse.
Collin Goodling, commercialization manager, is co-chair of McYP. Being an active member of the group has taught him not only the skills to further his career, but also the true meaning of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. At McCormick, diversity and inclusion is at the forefront of growth, and creating an environment that provides everyone the opportunity to achieve their full potential and contribute fully to the goals of the company is critical.
And that’s why, despite the name “Young Professionals,” Goodling stresses the importance of employees of all ages and backgrounds joining the EAG. Salzman says the McYP leadership hopes to expand membership to remote employees, those who work in the field, and create global chapters.
"We're not all as different as we think we are,” says Goodling. “That's the point of diversity and inclusion – we need to treat people equally. Anybody who values or cares about young professionals in the company can join.”