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Building Tomorrow’s Data Center Leaders: Empowering the Next Generation

August 11, 2023

The data center industry recognizes the importance of creating an inclusive and diverse workplace. At EdgeConneX, we believe the voices and perspectives of young employees should also be heard and valued. That’s why we are excited to launch an initiative called NextGenX (NGX), an Employee Resource Group aimed at supporting and nurturing young professionals in the data center industry.

NextGenX Let’s look at the group’s vision and how it aims to provide valuable career development and mentorship opportunities.

NGX is dedicated to helping future leaders grow personally and professionally through its four pillars: Community • Ingenuity • Empowerment • Professionalism

Envisioning a future where diversity in age leads to groundbreaking advancements in the data center industry, the NGX team believes by embracing young talents and empowering them, they can contribute innovation, revolutionary thinking, and fresh perspectives to this ever-growing sector. NGX offers an inclusive space for young professionals to ask questions, voice opinions, expand their knowledge, and envision a clear path toward a successful career. Through mentorship programs with industry veterans, networking events, and access to practical resources, NGX strives to guide the next generation as they progress in their data center careers.

Closing the Age Gap in the Data Center Industry

One of the pressing challenges faced by the data center industry is the growing age gap. By providing resources and support to young professionals fresh out of college and newcomers to the industry, NGX aims to create more awareness about the data center industry to attract more into this sector. Bringing together individuals with varying backgrounds and perspectives fosters innovative thinking and paves the way for new ideas.

The group is also committed to helping employees find purpose in their roles, grow professionally, and become assets to their respective teams and departments. Through collaboration and knowledge-sharing, NGX aims to create a supportive community where individuals can learn from one another and feel an increased sense of belonging. The group welcomes seasoned industry veterans to help cross-mentor and collaborate.

Laura Reyes and Elizabeth Johnson

Building a Strong Work Culture

While EdgeConneX remains focused on its Customers, People, Planet mission, NGX also has its supporting mission – to provide professional development, practical resources, and networking opportunities for young professionals. NGX aims to inspire and cultivate a work culture where young men and women can freely express themselves and enjoy the company of like-minded individuals by fostering camaraderie, confidence, and a sense of support. Whether it’s sharing dreams, ideas, or inspiration, NGX encourages innovation and collaboration to create a united force in the industry.

“At GlobalConneX 2023 (the EdgeConneX All-Hands Kickoff Meeting), one of the topics discussed was adding additional Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), so I started thinking about what type of ERG I would find beneficial. I thought back to when I first started at EdgeConneX. I was fresh out of college and trying to learn as much as I could as fast as I could because, let’s face it, nothing can truly prepare you for the real world. Thinking back on those times, I thought how nice it would have been to have a support group of people at a similar stage in my life or career to bounce ideas off, learn from, and grow with. A group like NGX would have been so helpful back then.” – Elizabeth Johnson, EdgeConneX CapEX Budget Manager and NGX Co-Founder 

Elizabeth continued: “Fast-forward to now, by creating NextGenX, we have already gained so much and are already seeing the benefits of the ERG in our lives and careers. We have found confidants and sounding boards in one another. We bounce ideas off each other, seek advice, and discuss our goals. This is precisely the kind of support and sense of community we want others to find in NextGenX, and we are so excited to share this with the EdgeConneX team!”

“Although the founders of NGX are all in our 20s, we have all gone through very different journeys that brought us to where we are now in our careers. I am excited to share what I have learned as a young professional navigating the data center world, the incredible advice that has helped me thus far, and that I know could also help someone else. We are soon rolling out several engaging and fun initiatives aligning with our professional and personal goals. One example includes setting up a World Cleaning Day (I have always wanted to set up a clean-up group and see how many trash bags we can fill up collectively!). Another initiative involves collecting books to help inform and share knowledge to achieve anything you want.” – Laura Reyes, EdgeConneX Assistant Office Manager, Marketing Assistant, and NGX Co-Founder 

To date, the group’s members include a variety of skill sets, experiences, and job functions, including interns, contractors, directors, and VPs. We can’t wait to see what NGX will accomplish this next year as they launch their mentorship program, networking events, and educational resources to help young professionals navigate their careers in the data center industry.

Stay tuned to hear more from these rising industry stars!

For more information, contact: NGXinfo@edgeconnex.com