GM Diversity:
Middle-East, Southeast Asian (MESEA)

MESEA, established in 2001 as the Middle East South East Asia Affinity Group, is this month’s featured Employee Resource Group (ERG). Since then, this ERG has expanded to include individuals with origins in areas of North Africa as well as Southern Europe. The mission of MESA is to serve as a formal link between General Motors and its MESEA constituents, in order to promote GM's interest and business objectives amongst the MESEA and general community. Additionally, MESEA helps to:

  • Assist in promoting GM’s global business goals
  • Grow GM’s business with a special focus on this large ethnic group
  • Establish community service programs in order to promote GM as a community leader
  • Increase GM management awareness about the contributions and potential of the MESEA community
  • Assist in recruitment
  • Promote career development and growth

In 2012, MESEA set the following objectives:

  • Increase recruitment and retention from within the MESEA community and promote employee career development in the U.S., and in countries within the regions MESEA specifically covers, in order to bring GM opportunities to a greater variety of workplaces
  • Increase GM management awareness about the contributions and potential of the MESEA community
  • Establish relationships with customers and dealers and support service programs in MESA communities in order to promote GM as a community leader

The following describes a few of our activities for 2012.

MESEA is an avid supporter for the Society of Automotive Engineers “A World in Motion” (AWIM) program. This program brings science and engineering education to the classroom for students who are in the third grade and above, and demonstrates how the laws of science affect people every day, while trying to foster an interest in technical careers. On a yearly basis, MESEA provides GM volunteer engineers to help the teachers complete the science projects for the students. On average, 10 GM employees from MESEA support the program annually and help tutor an average of 300 students.

General Motors regularly sponsors the Dearborn Arab International festival, which is a family-centered, cultural celebration that draws more than 300,000 people to the metro Detroit area each June during Father’s Day weekend. MESEA provides volunteers to operate the GM booth, answer visitors’ questions about GM and its products, collect business reply cards and lead the raffle. This year, 15 volunteers donated more than 75 hours of their time to help set-up, manage and tear down the booth that weekend. Due to the hard work and tireless efforts of the volunteers, the MESEA ERG put on a successful event that was a positive reflection on General Motors. Visitors who came to check out the 2013 XTS, 2012 Volt and 2012 Sonic Turbo expressed enthusiasm with General Motor’s new products and could potentially be future buyers that otherwise would considered buying or leasing GM vehicles.

The Pakistan Association of America (PAA) hosted their annual festival in order to celebrate the Pakistan Independence Day this year at the Suburban Collection Convention Center on July 14, in Novi Mich. GM Diversity sponsored this event through MESEA and as a result of their support, GMC was able to set up a display at the event with two static vehicles. Two product specialists from GMC were also available at the event to answer any questions. Attendees showed interest in learning about the vehicles and asking questions. Past events such as this one have resulted in sales gains for both returning as well as new GM customers. Dr. Adil Akhtar, president of PAA thanked GM for its generous sponsorship and presented GM Diversity and MESEA with a recognition award.

On a yearly basis, MESEA represents GM by supporting the South East Michigan month of Ramadan Food Drive. In an effort to teach patience, modesty and spirituality, Muslims abstain from eating and drinking during the day throughout the month of Ramadan. Thanks to employee contributions from General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, as well as many other southeast Michigan corporations, boxes of food are packed and distributed to deserving families to help them observe the month of Ramadan. The drive will take place during the month of August this year. On average, MESEA provides 20 GM volunteers, not including the volunteers’ family members, and we expect to continue that tradition this year.

Finally, on February 10, 2012 General Motors was presented with the, Excellence in Global Diversity Award, at the Martin Luther King Scholarship Awards reception by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). Eric Peterson, GM US Vice President Corporate Diversity, received the award from Imad Hamad, ADC Michigan Director, and delivered special remarks. This award is a testament to the importance of GM support and their continued promotion of diversity in the workplace, and it makes the Middle East South East Asia Employee Resource Group a proud member of the GM family.