What makes RX an inclusive employer?

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BYP Network’s partner, RX, is in the business of building businesses for individuals, communities and organisations via over 400 events in 22 countries across 43 industry sectors.

Furthermore, RX’s has an African Ancestry Network (AAN) chapter in the US bringing together employees of color and allies to support equality in the workplace. Chair Milton Montaque tells us why it was set up, how it works, what it is doing to celebrate Black History Month, and why it is good for his soul.

Meet Milton Montaque: Chair of RX’s African Ancestry Network Chapter 

Milton, tell us about your role at RX and how you arrived there.

I joined the RX Norwalk office in 2007 as an e-solutions temp, was taken on full time after two months and went on to become manager of the web team. Fast forward to today, I am now Director of Projects and Innovations for the Americas. I oversee the creation and delivery of new digital event tools that enhance the experience of our customers who attend and exhibit at our events in the USA, Mexico and Brazil. I come from a family of educators. I’d be grounded for anything less than a B+! One school year when I was on punishment for a period I taught myself Basic, the programming language. I quickly realized I could do cool things with computers and now, here I am!

“I think what I enjoy most about the AAN is the opportunity it gives me to hear other people’s stories. There are nuances in all experiences, and we all have a different perspective on how we perceive things.”

So what exactly is the African Ancestry Network?

The African Ancestry Network (AAN) is one of a number of voluntary employee groups (ERGs) across RX, and our parent company RELX, which aim to foster diversity and inclusion. We also have LGBTQ+ and Female Leadership ERGs.

The AAN was formally set up by RELX in 2008. Its mission is to help increase the representation, development, promotion and retention of employees of African descent, which we do through support, mentoring and community outreach. There are numerous chapters of the AAN throughout the global RELX family, and we support each other closely by sharing resources and experiences.

“Its mission is to help increase the representation, development, promotion and retention of employees of African descent, which we do through support, mentoring and community outreach.”

What goals have you set yourselves, and what progress are you making?

To maximize the potential and value of people of African Ancestry in RX we first have to increase representation. It’s hard to develop a mentorship program, for example, when you only have two people of African Ancestry in directorship positions. So our first priority is to focus on getting more people of color into RX, and then helping move them up the pipeline. We are working with our HR representative and our recruiting group to reach out to HBUCs (Historically Black Universities and Colleges). Our leaders are also reaching out to their Alma Maters to tell them what we are trying to do and put us in touch with interested groups. One thing we are trying to learn right now is what their students are looking to get out of an internship. We want to influence that pipeline of college students, to interns, to full time employment.

Another key goal is to educate and empower our allies by promoting open and candid discussions around race and equality. It was immediately apparent to us that nothing could be accomplished in our US business just by people of African Ancestry because there aren’t enough of us! Luckily, we have many allies who have embraced our mission.

RX’s mission and values.

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) are at the centre of RX’s mission and values. In January 2021, we pledged $1M over five years to select not-for-profit partners around the world who are working to improve inclusivity and diversity in their local communities.

We regularly catch up with our partners in Brazil, South Africa, the UK, USA and Australia to find out how our 2022 funding allocation has enabled them to build on their vital work promoting and supporting racial equity.

Read the full article about RX’s DE&I achievements here and visit their employer profile page on BYP Network’s job board for more career opportunities!

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