CMT's Connect ERG is fostering meaningful connections, collaboration, and community service

March 27, 2023

CMT focuses on bringing people together and fostering an inclusive work environment. As we transition back to working in the office, making meaningful connections with our co-workers is essential to a healthy work life. 

Today, we’re featuring the Connect Employee Resource Group (ERG). 

The Connect ERG started in the fall of 2022, and already has over 50 members. The group focuses on bringing people together who are getting started in their careers and giving back to the community through service.

Connect brings employees together from across CMT – no matter their focus or background – and creates an inclusive community where each person can share ideas, resources, learnings, and progress on projects collaboratively.

To learn more about what Connect ERG is working on, we caught up with Aparajita Chauhan, Chairwoman of Connect ERG.

Our conversation has been edited for brevity and clarity.

CMT: What is your role in the ERG? 

Aparajita: My role is Chairwoman of Connect ERG. We also have a treasurer, a secretary, and a senate representative. My job is to organize the events and make sure everyone is on the same page by coordinating everything. I invite members to events, reach out to speakers, spread awareness of the ERG, and figure out all the logistics for the events. 

It’s been nice to reach out to people in the company to who I might not have spoken with before. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know more people. It’s exciting to have something that brings people together. 

CMT: What events do you host? 

Aparajita: Our first event was at an arcade. We wanted a place where everyone could socialize outside of work and hang out together. The goal was to build a community and get together as a big group. It was a great ice-breaker and a casual way to get to know other co-workers. We had twenty people show up for our first event, which was a big turnout. 

Recently, members from Connect ERG sat down for a leadership lunch with our CEO, Bill Powers. It was great to sit down and ask him questions about his life and hear his advice. 

A lot of us are currently planning the next chapter in our life, so it was nice to talk to someone who can look back and share what they liked, what they didn’t like, what they would recommend, and things to keep in mind. It was really helpful. 

We’re going to host more lunches so people can continue to get to know each other when they come into the office. 

We want to do more of those events and would love to get more leaders in our company to speak, and also speakers from other places. I’d love to get some motivational speakers, athletes, musicians, or anyone who is excelling in their field. It would be great to hear from all different types of leaders. 

I want to plan more casual events as well so we can get together after work in a relaxed setting. 

CMT: What is the mission of the Connect ERG? 

Aparajita: The goal is to link people together who are early on in their careers. We want to build a community with people who may be new to the workforce and provide opportunities for people to get career advice by bringing in speakers with life and work experience. We also want there to be a community service element so we can give back to the community together.

CMT: How has your experience been leading the ERG and being a part of it? 

Aparajita: I like being able to connect with all different people across the company. When I first started with the company it was during Covid, and I had to make an extreme effort to get to know people across the board. So, I want to be able to create an easier opportunity for other people who might be a little more shy or reserved to get to know their co-workers. 

I want to create different environments where different people can connect and meet up. We have so many different departments in our company that do all different types of work, so it’s good to have communication between our different groups in a casual setting. 

I want to increase the communication between the different levels and areas of the company and continue to get to know each other. And I am excited to add the community service element. 

CMT: What does the ERG do to spread the word about CMT? 

Aparajita: There are a lot of members who recently graduated from college and we like to go back to the career fairs at our schools. We set up a booth and get to talk to students who are graduating soon about CMT. 

I went back to Yale in the fall for their career fair and it was really fun. Other members of the board have been very active by trying to recruit people and spread the word. 

We do this either through LinkedIn or by spending time at career fairs. Also, using word of mouth. I tell all my friends about CMT and tell anyone remotely interested in tech to email me so we can talk about it. 

I remember being so stressed out in college about finding a job. But I met a CMTer at a career fair, and that’s how I found out about CMT. So, I feel like I need to continue this career fair trajectory because that’s how I found out. 

CMT: How does the ERG align with CMT’s values? 

Aparajita: CMT is focused on creating an inclusive work environment that is focused on the diversity of backgrounds and thought. I think diversity of thought is really important and I think that’s part of the goal of Connect. 

We have different styles of thinking, and areas of expertise, based on what department we are in the company, and what our backgrounds are so it’s great to get all those people in the same room and have productive conversations. Whether you’re introverted or extroverted, there are opportunities for everyone. 

We promote an inclusive environment where anyone can join and have fun getting to know one another. We also have a lot in common already. We are all working at the same company, and are in a similar phase of life with just starting our careers. Despite any differences in backgrounds or job titles, we already have those two things that connect us. 

CMT: What is your favorite part of this ERG? 

Aparajita: The people and the opportunities. The fact that the company gives us room to have this group, and host activities, leadership lunches, and casual events is amazing. 

I love that this group of people can meet under this ERG and exist at a company like CMT. It can be whatever we want it to be and I think it’s developing into a naturally close-knit group. We can schedule events based on what the members like and what they are likely to attend.