Employee resource groups (ERGs) have become a standard at larger corporations that value and promote diversity and inclusion. ERGs are voluntary, employee-led groups made up of a specific group of individuals that have shared interests, backgrounds, or demographics. Most commonly, ERGs are formed around a group’s gender identity or race/ethnicity. The intent is for the groups to support the diverse workforce by creating an inclusive workspace. ERGs should align with the organization’s goals and have the support of leaders to be successful.
ERGs have evolved to not only be influencers internally within organizations but also externally. They can contribute to the employer brand and have a positive impact on attracting top talent. To celebrate Black History Month, ERGs have gone all out to highlight the amazing contributions from the black community.
Twitter’s ERG – Blackbirds
Blackbirds revealed their #WallForACause, which highlights 15 women in history who embody black excellence. Blackbirds have also been taking over timelines every Thursday with their #BHMThrowback. Throwbacks include everything from hilarious memes to impactful movements. Let’s also not forget when they launched that awesome chatbot in 2017 to give you more culture.
Argonne National Laboratory’s ERG – African American Employee Resource Group (AAA-ERG)
Argonne National Laboratory is a leading science and engineering research center, focused on clean energy and protecting the environment. AAA-ERG is celebrating Black History Month through a history trivia contest. They are posting daily trivia questions through their news center, Argonne Today. Winners are announced weekly. All questions highlight contributions made to US history by African Americans.
Amazon’s ERG, Black Employee Network (BEN)
In 2017, BEN partnered with BlackPast to develop a new skill for Alexa. When asked “Alexa, tell black history facts…”, she will provide various tidbits about black history. The skill is still active and providing facts from throughout the decades. To make it even cooler, the facts are voiced by Amazon employees and other celebrated people. BEN is also sharing history facts on its Twitter page.
Target’s ERG – African American Business Council (AABC)
Annually, Target puts together a Black History Month assortment. It’s a collection of items that celebrate African American culture. AABC provided insights on what products should be included. The assortment includes a large variety of items, like clothing, music, books, artwork, decor, and beauty products. They are also highlighting the personal stories of Target team members.
Kimberly-Clark’s ERG – African-American Employee Network (AAEN)
AAEN is using its platform to spotlight employees throughout the Kimberly-Clark vast organization who are seen as leaders. This ERG is seen as a strategic partner for making for making positive changes within the workplace. Over the past five years, AAEN has launched a Leadership and Development Symposium, created accountability circles, and provide consumer insights. AAEN has also become a vital part of internal recruitment efforts to help employees develop and move upwards within Kimberly-Clark.
ERGs are a key driver for diversity and inclusion. Effective groups are aligned with the organization’s missions and create inclusive workplaces for all. Truly impactful groups will increase internal recruitment for promotions and leadership development. While also improving the organization’s employer brand, which will attract and retain talent and customers. Tying your ERG initiatives to solid diversity and inclusion metrics will be even more effective.