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Black History Month at Paycom: Protecting and Celebrating Diversity

Abraham Mendieta | February 2, 2023

Black Americans make history every day. And Black History Month is a time to celebrate their achievements, contributions and culture. Remember, the challenges the Black community faces — as well as the ability to recognize and offer support — isn’t limited to February.

What is the theme of this year’s Black History Month?

According to the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, this year’s Black History Month centers on resistance. The progress of Black Americans has almost always been met with oppression. Resisting these forces and carving a path toward equality required an utter transformation of:

  • businesses
  • schools
  • media
  • and other institutions

None of these necessary changes would’ve been possible without Black Americans who resisted the status quo, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Septima Clark, Minnijean Brown-Trickey, Fannie Lou Hamer and many more. Their efforts helped dismantle racist legislation like Jim Crow laws and forced segregation.

Here’s how Paycom employees honor and recognize Black Americans during Black History Month and beyond.

A Place to Come Together: Meet the Black ERG

Paycom has newly formed Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to help foster a diverse, inclusive workplace aligned with Paycom’s vision, strategy and values. They are led by and involve employees who are passionate about equity and community.

The groups provide support and help personally and professionally. ERGs create a safe space where employees can bring their whole and sincere selves to work.

The mission of Paycom’s Black ERG is to foster empathy and belonging by highlighting the Black employee experience. It also provides diversity in thought, innovation and collaboration to Paycom by supporting increased opportunities for Black employees. The ERG does so through networking, learning, mentorship and advancement opportunities.

The Black ERG also helps build a sense of community by connecting Black co-workers to colleagues in other departments. In this way, the group creates an environment prime for healthy discussions and friendship.

Meet Shaquille

Shaquille’s Paycom career started six months ago as a regional sales recruiter. Currently, he’s an internal mobility specialist in our Grapevine, Texas, office and a proud member of our Black ERG. In his position, Shaquille facilitates the movement and promotion of team members within Paycom, making his work vital to the ongoing diversity, equity and inclusion efforts within the organization.

Shaquille was born and raised in Oklahoma. He earned a degree in business marketing from Oklahoma’s only historically Black college, Langston University. As a first-generation college graduate, Shaquille understood the value of education and the life-changing opportunities that come from it.

At Langston, Shaquille pledged to Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the first of the Black Greek Lettered Organizations — also known as The Divine Nine. Some of his heroes, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and W.E.B. Du Bois, are also his fraternity brothers.

“Dr. King was able to deliver kindness and peace during a time of such hatred and turmoil, which says a lot about his character,” said Shaquille.

We asked Shaquille about his experience, both in life and at Paycom.

Why is celebrating Black heritage important?

Celebrating Black heritage is important because not only does it honor and acknowledge people who have been oppressed and underserved, but it also inspires the youth who see their people represented. It gives us an opportunity to see that our work will be recognized as it deserves to be.

What does it mean to you to be Black?

It means being part of a legacy of people who have built, prevailed and conquered. It means everything to me and is something that I’m most proud of. Additionally, being Black in the tech industry means opening doors for the underrepresented. It also means the pressure is on me to do well, but I have the privilege to represent others.

What makes you proud to work at Paycom?

I’m proud for the opportunity to represent Black people and potentially open doors or advise people on the path to enter these spaces. Paycom is making efforts to expand its reach and continue to diversify in different areas. I’m glad to represent a portion of our growth in diversity.

Shaquille said he sees many great things happening at Paycom, like the ERGs. He has always been passionate about diversity, inclusion and helping others. For that reason, he was glad to find a company like Paycom — an entity that understands how diversity can be championed at all points throughout our workforce’s career journey.

Fostering diversity and inclusion isn’t just a box to check. Learn more about Paycom’s efforts here.

About the author
Author picture, Abraham Mendieta
Abraham Mendieta
As an employer brand marketer, Abraham Mendieta helps the recruiting teams engage top talent and increase brand awareness. Mendieta is a proud graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where he earned degrees in both sociology and advertising. His efforts on Paycom’s employer brand team include company culture; careers; and diversity, equity and inclusion. Outside work, Abraham enjoys reading, going to the gym, spending time outdoors and hanging out with his family and friends.