How This Global Chair Leads Her Company’s Pacific Asian Ancestry Network ERG

Sponsored by Lumen

Lena Taylor

Photo courtesy of Lena Taylor.

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June 15, 2024 at 1:55AM UTC

“Lumen values a mix of viewpoints, talents, experiences, backgrounds and beliefs,” says Lena Taylor, senior director of Enterprise Security at Lumen Technologies, which offers communications, network services, security, cloud solutions, voice and managed services. “We understand the importance of these viewpoints and the valuable ideas women bring to the table.”

During her 22-year tenure at Lumen, Taylor has had responsibility for leading the company’s corporate information security strategy, shared services, and the Project Management Office. Her sphere of influence includes security governance, risk and compliance, vendor risk management, product security and security architecture/engineering/operation functions that protect the enterprise from the perimeter to the endpoint for 35,000 employees globally as of March 31, 2022. 

Prior to joining the security team, Taylor’s responsibilities included IT architecture and leadership roles with a focus on data center infrastructure, remote access, and end-user services.

In addition to her day-to-day career, Taylor also serves as the current Global Chair of Lumen’s Pacific Asian Ancestry Network (PAAN) Employee Resource Group. The PAAN ERG has goals to increase a diverse Lumen workforce and has partnered with the company’s other ERGs to fulfill this mission. 

Given her extensive experience at Lumen Technologies, Taylor has some great insight to share regarding the company’s Employee Resource Groups, corporate social responsibility initiatives, and mentoring programs.

Tell me a bit about Lumen Technologies’ D&I efforts and/or employee resource groups.

Lumen employs thousands of people around the world. One of our strengths is the diversity of our people, and our commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive culture. Lumen currently has 11 Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) with more than 12,000 members. 

Our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) play an important role in recruiting diverse talent, promoting an inclusive work environment, and providing mentoring support for the professional development and growth of our interns and employees.

Tell me a bit about how ERG’s work at Lumen Technologies.

I am the Global Chair for our PAAN (Pacific Asian Ancestry Network) Employee Resource Group (ERG), and there are several local chairs for regions that have larger memberships. PAAN ERG leaders currently meet bi-weekly to coordinate events. Our programs assist with employee career development, increasing engagement (with people inside and outside of our company) and help us connect with our increasingly diverse talent pools through career fairs and intern mentorship. Our programs and guest speakers come with common themes amongst other ERGs, but we also have some with focus on our Asian American Pacific Islander community. 

Our PAAN leaders have partnered with other ERGs to develop cross-team events; what we call the intersectionality of ERGs, which makes for some very interesting and engaging conversations. In partnering with other ERGs, the Women Empowered (WE) ERG has always offered great guest speaking events that were very relevant to the challenges we face. The WE ERG boasts a very strong culture of storytelling, career development and mentoring programs, which are characteristics that our PAAN ERG would like to incorporate in our programs.

How and why did you first get involved in ERGs?

I was at first a member of our Pacific Asian Ancestry Network (PAAN) Employee Resource Group (ERG) and then was given the opportunity to lead it. My engagement in leading this ERG stems from my passion in giving back to my “own” community, both professionally and personally. These are the same programs that I had the opportunity to benefit from as a member. It is time to return the favor!

What has your ERG accomplished that you’re most proud of?

I am most proud of how present we are. We are critical contributors to storytelling events. These events build the foundational pieces for understanding each other — a platform to share. Authentic conversations and sharing our stories are instrumental in our journey to drive progress. 

Does Lumen Technologies have any special programs or D&I initiatives like return to work, veteran and military spouse hiring, or internships?

Lumen has been recognized by Forbes as one of America's Best Employers for Diversity 2022 for the second year in a row and one of America's Best Employers For Women 2021. Lumen has also been recognized by WayUp as a No. 1 Internship Program in the United States for 2021. We are one of the best places to work for LGBTQ+ equality by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation's annual Corporate Equality Index (CEI) and one of the Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion by Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). For our record of helping and appreciating veterans, Lumen is on the Military Times 2021 Best For Vets: Employers List.

We have so many programs to support diverse hiring. We ensure that we have diverse interview panels and work closely in the communities where we live and work to recruit from two-year and four-year college programs, National and Regional Diversity organizations, and minority serving institutions, including our partnership with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). 

In addition, we partner at the K-12 grade level to provide science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) scholarships and are a supporter of the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) program in the Denver, Colorado area. We find engagement at the high school level allows us to start even earlier in our journey to seek new diverse cybersecurity talent and our Lumen scholarships are helping students to dream big! 

How has Lumen Technologies engaged with or supported its communities? Is this done on a global, national, or local level?

Lumen employees are empowered to be good neighbors and a positive influence in the communities where we live and work. We have a strong Corporate Social Responsibility program in which our global Employee Resource Groups are actively involved with local fundraising campaigns and community volunteer opportunities. From the Special Olympics to our national Campaign to Fight Hunger, our employees are making a positive impact on the world. This is what makes me so proud to be at Lumen.

How have you used your role to help bring up other women who may follow you? How do you build time into your schedule for this kind of work?

I participate in mentoring program engagements for women and people of color, diverse interview panels for internal and external teams and ERG engagements. Taking the time to share my stories and experiences helps me better know myself, so mentoring is a two-way street where everyone wins. I believe you don’t try to make time; you just do it!

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