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HP’s First Employee Resource Group
Ken Coleman joined HP as a personnel manager in 1972. Soon thereafter, he co-founded (with Howard Smith, not pictured) Hewlett-Packard’s first employee resource group, a network of Black functional managers. Beginning as an informal affair based in Cupertino, the group launched with the goal of increasing Black employment applications and retention at HP, but gradually grew into a strong formal organization to empower and represent Black employees at the company. It also helped ease the path for other minority employee resource groups that would form in the ensuing years.
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