Employee resource groups (ERGs) are valuable drivers of company culture. Not only do they provide a sense of community and allow people to bring their authentic selves to work, they provide leadership opportunities and can deepen a company’s cultural competency.
Black@blend is one of ten employee resource groups at Blend. Their mission is to educate and share experiences from the Black narrative while advocating for, retaining, and attracting Black talent. In addition to recruitment, retention, and education, ERGs like Black@blend foster networking, mentorship, and professional development.
ERG lead tenures at Blend change yearly, and leads are also compensated for their time and commitment. We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Tamila Copeland, Black@blend’s newest ERG lead, and get to know a bit more about her life, her first big event as an ERG lead, and what being involved with an ERG means to her.
Meet Tamila Copeland
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m originally from southern California where I attended both undergraduate and graduate school. Shortly after graduation, I moved to northern California to work for a non-profit that recruited minority professionals to work in the telecommunications industry. Soon after, I began my career in sales.
Today, I’m an account partner on the mid-market growth team at Blend where I get to help financial institutions transform their business with technology and processes that help them stay competitive. I consider myself to be a true advocate for customers, working to ensure they are getting the most value out of their Blend products. I’ve been with Blend for a little over a year now.
Additionally, I love working on initiatives that drive financial equity, inclusion, and access to opportunities like being a volunteer supervisor with the Cristo Rey Work Study Program, working with minority depository institutions, and of course, leading the Black@blend ERG group.
When I’m not working, I enjoy traveling, taking long hikes, and spending quality time with my husband and three children.
How long have you been Black@blend’s ERG lead, and what made you decide to take on the role?
I officially started January 1, 2022 as the lead of Black@blend. I took on this role because I wanted members of this ERG to feel safe, supported, and empowered to be their best selves at Blend. It was also an opportunity to gain leadership skills and work alongside an executive sponsor. Ultimately, I get to make new connections and work with amazing individuals inside and outside of my department.
Did you have any goals in mind as you worked with your fellow members to plan Black History Month?
My main goal was to provide programming that was educational, fun, and inspiring. I was really excited about our anchor event: a fireside chat with Kenneth Kelly, CEO and chairman of First Independence Bank. Not only does Mr. Kelly represent Black excellence, First Independence Bank is our first signed minority depository institution.
What have you learned after completing your first big event as ERG lead?
I’ve learned to leverage the talent and resources of my committee members, executive sponsor, and other internal stakeholders. It’s important for me to have clear goals for the year and a plan for execution. Lastly, our ERGs should be community driven, so understanding what’s important to the community will help Black@Blend grow and thrive.
What does being involved with an ERG mean to you?
Being involved in an ERG is important to me because it provides a platform for marginalized groups to share interests and voice concerns that are unique to the group. It’s a safe place where we support one another and create a spirit of belonging.