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Celebrating International Women’s History Month: A Tribute to Faith, Resilience, and Legacy from the Christian Employee Resource Group

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) at Piedmont serve as invaluable forums for fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion within the workplace. These groups, composed of employees who share common backgrounds, experiences, or interests, provide a platform for mutual support, networking, and professional development.

One of the significant ways ERGs contribute to the company culture is through the sharing of personal stories. By openly discussing their journeys, challenges, and triumphs, ERG members educate and enlighten their colleagues about different perspectives and experiences. Through storytelling, ERGs help create a more empathetic and understanding workplace where diversity is celebrated and everyone feels valued and respected. These narratives not only promote awareness but also inspire meaningful dialogue and action towards building a more inclusive environment at Piedmont. As the world commemorates International Women’s History Month, Piedmont’s Christian Employee Resource Group highlights one of these stories.

Aunt Janet made your laugh a little louder, your smile a little brighter and your life a little better.

Melissa Hood Julien (CLT), President of the Christian ERG, emphasizes, “Many of the most influential women in our lives mirror the qualities of biblical women: the steadfast spirit of Mary, the resilience of Ruth, the perseverance of Esther, the faithfulness of Hannah, and the virtue of the Proverbs 31 woman. They serve as guiding lights, illuminating paths for generations to come.” One such woman, Aunt Janet, stands as a beacon of hope and inspiration, leaving an indelible mark on those fortunate enough to have crossed her path.

In a recent interview, Jacque Allen, a member of the Christian Employee Resource Group (ERG) at Piedmont and a Customer Service Agent in PHF, shared insights into the pivotal role her aunt played in her upbringing and professional life. Through her poignant reflections, we glean a deeper understanding of how familial bonds and faith intertwine, leaving lasting impressions that transcend time and circumstance.

Childhood Memories: A Foundation of Love and Faith

The Boykin Family: William and Janet Boykin and beautiful parents of five.

“My mother and father are the first born, and I too am the first grandchild and niece on both sides,” reminisces Jacque, underscoring the significance of familial ties in her upbringing. Raised by a strong matriarchal figure, Granny, alongside her mother and aunts, she learned early on the importance of family and faith. Amongst her aunts, Aunt Janet held a special place, embodying a profound connection to her spirituality that left an indelible imprint on her life.

From childhood to adulthood, Aunt Janet’s unwavering faith and sage advice served as guiding principles, shaping Jacque’s character and outlook on life. “You can always rise above your mistakes,” Aunt Janet would counsel, instilling a sense of resilience and optimism that continues to resonate to this day.

Influence in Professional Life: Radiating Joy and Compassion

Transitioning to her professional life at Piedmont, Jacque draws parallels between Aunt Janet’s outlook and her own work ethic. Despite facing life’s challenges, Aunt Janet’s optimism and joy remained unwavering, casting a light that brought comfort and calmness to those around her. Emulating her aunt’s radiant spirit, Jacque endeavors to spread joy and compassion in her role as a customer service agent.

Drawing from Aunt Janet’s example, she approaches each interaction with customers and colleagues with a confident outlook, recognizing the transformative power of a genuine smile and empathetic gesture. Through her actions, she perpetuates Aunt Janet’s legacy of kindness and warmth, enriching the lives of those she encounters.

A Faith-Based Perspective on Women’s History Month

For Jacque, faith serves as the lens through which she perceives Women’s History Month and its significance. Reflecting on her upbringing and the profound impact of women like Aunt Janet, she sees a legacy of faith and resilience passed down through generations.

As she contemplates the global celebration of women’s contributions, she recognizes the role of matriarchs and trailblazers in nurturing faith and fostering community. Aunt Janet’s inclusive approach to spreading faith, whether as a teacher or mentor, exemplifies the transformative power of women’s influence.

Jacque extends a heartfelt tribute to women like Aunt Janet, whose faith and compassion continue to shape lives and inspire future generations. As we honor International Women’s History Month, let us celebrate the resilience, strength, and legacy of women around the world, embodying the spirit of Aunt Janet in all that we do.