How Workiva’s Black BERG is Making Its Mission Statement a Reality

Two business employee resource group leaders share how the group is committed to ‘ongoing education, increased representation and retention while driving social change.’

Written by Taylor Rose
Published on Feb. 22, 2024
How Workiva’s Black BERG is Making Its Mission Statement a Reality
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When Mariam Logon, an associate inside sales manager, used to walk into Workiva’s annual sales meeting, she would pause to scan the crowd. Looking out over the room of coworkers, she was often surprised at the lack of diversity. 

Then, four years ago, Logon saw the company change for the better when a Black business employee resource group was created. Today, the group is called the Black BERG. 


How The Black BERG Started

“When the group was created and I started seeing other Black Workiva employees being part of the group, I felt fantastic,” said Logon, recalling those early BERG meetings. “I was really excited.”

Logon’s experience of feeling like the only Black person in the room is not uncommon in corporate America. The Lean In organization found that 54 percent of Black women say they are often the only Black person, or one of the only Black people, in the room at work. 

Logon joined the Black BERG as soon as it was announced. She was excited to build connections with Black colleagues, especially in a primarily remote environment. 

“I initially felt like I was one of the few Black employees at the company, and we didn’t really get a chance to interact with each other because I work from home, so I didn’t feel like the company was diverse,” she recalled. “Being able to see a team like that and knowing that there were other Workiva Black employees … it was fantastic.” 

For Logon, the Black BERG provides a sense of support and community. 

“And it gives us the option to have open conversations among ourselves, so we are able to share our different experiences as Black employees — not only at Workiva, but also at previous companies,” she noted. “We’re able to be honest with each other and give advice. I think it’s a great support team.”

It gives us the option to have open conversations and share our different experiences as Black employees — not only at Workiva, but also at previous companies.” 


The early years of the Black BERG saw smaller membership numbers than today. Logon explained that, at the time, only Black employees were joining the BERG. 

“Then we helped our coworkers understand that this was an open group, anyone could join as an ally,” she said. “When it was a smaller group I think everyone was a little more shy. We didn’t really know what we could share on those calls. Eventually, we started to realize that this was an open group where we really could share anything.” 


How It’s Going 

Chizoba Ngini-Asiegbulem, a program manager on the research and development project management office team, joined Workiva nearly a year ago. She joined the Black BERG right away and was welcomed into a very different BERG than the one Logon first witnessed when the group was founded. For starters, Ngini-Asiegbulem was pleasantly surprised to hear that BERG was launching a mentorship program the same month that she onboarded.  

“I’ve been in a couple other organizations before joining Workiva, and that had always taken a lot of work — trying to get a mentorship program set up,” said Ngini-Asiegbulem. “The mentorship program really showed me that Workiva has a big commitment to DEI efforts. And it also just showed me the passion that the folks in BERG have for keeping us true to our mission statement.” 



The Black BERG was created to enable the advancement of the Black community at Workiva through ongoing education, increased representation and retention while driving social change.



“One of the key things in our mission statement is ongoing education and retention,” added Ngini-Asiegbulem. “Mentorship programs are one of the big things that keep people at companies. When people have mentors who maybe look like them, that’s one thing. But when they’re able to see leaders that are in those positions that they can relate to, it creates the sense of, ‘OK, there’s a path for me in this company to get into a key leadership position.’” 

One of those leaders is Logon. After she was asked to join the sales leadership team, she was also asked to step into a leadership role with the Black BERG. 

“I absolutely agreed, right away,” Logon said. “This was a great opportunity to allow all the different Workiva Black employees to come together and share the different experiences and get to know each other.”

The mentorship program in the Black BERG pairs mentors with mentees, and provides them with the structure and time to have one-on-one meetings. 

“I believe they tried as much as possible to pair people up with some sort of similarities, whether it’s similar organizations or work, things like that were factored in,” noted Ngini-Asiegbulem. 

“And it’s not just for the mentees, right? It’s also for the mentors,” added Ngini-Asiegbulem. “The mentors are learning from their mentees as well. So it’s support and partnership, as well as building a relationship with these leaders in the organization who might be in the room when conversations are going on about you.” 




Where It’s Going 

Looking at the growth of the Black BERG over the last four years is, of course, important. However, the BERG remains committed to a future of learning, growing and cultivating meaningful relationships amongst the members. 

Ngini-Asiegbulem explained how part of the current and future work of the BERG includes working alongside allies in the group, and prioritizing time face to face with other members. 

“I love that there’s also this encouragement to meet up in person — whether company sponsored or not,” said Ngini-Asiegbulem. 

Ngini-Asiegbulem herself organized an in-person meetup for other members who live in Dallas. The group of employees honored Juneteenth and heard from speakers, watched performances and enjoyed fare from food trucks. 

“When you have folks who are that dedicated to having these sort of meetups, whether it’s in person or virtual, it takes effort, but it’s important for fostering a sense of community,” she added.

The community of the Black BERG has helped the team make meaningful changes in the company as a whole. 

“BERGs serve to make things better not just for that community at the company, but for the company as a whole,” said Ngini-Asiegbulem. “When we have that diverse group of people, that thought diversity, it only helps companies achieve their goals. We’re all benefiting from successful BERG programs.” 

Logon shared how impactful the Black BERG has been to the company as a whole, from her perspective. 

“I think every company should have a team like the Black BERG,” said Logon. “The Black BERG has allowed the different Black employees here at Workiva to have a voice and help increase a sense of belonging. We feel like we are really being seen and heard.” 

The Black BERG has allowed the different Black employees here at Workiva to have a voice and help increase a sense of belonging.”


She went on to explain that the mission statement of the Black BERG feels like it is truly coming to life. 

“Being part of the Black BERG leadership team is a great opportunity to get some visibility,” said Logon. “During the team meetings, I get the opportunity to bring up what we do within the Black BERG team, which is fantastic. Not only do we get visibility from other team members but also from the company’s management team — which to me is fantastic.” 

Building community and relationships takes time, but for Logon and Ngini-Asiegbulem and other leaders in the Black BERG, it’s time well spent. 

“The introduction of The Black BERG has helped us in moving the needle,” concluded Ngini-Asiegbulem. 


Read MoreHow Workiva Cultivates a Culture of Belonging Through Employee Resource Groups



Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images provided by Workiva Inc.

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