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| 1 minute read

The importance of Employee Resource Groups in shaping inclusive workplaces

This morning, Michael Caley-Cook and I facilitated a workshop at the CIPD's Equality, Diversity & Inclusion conference in London.  It was a great session and a topic that clearly resonated with the audience.

Firstly, we defined what an ERG is:

  • Communities to foster belonging amongst colleagues who are often underrepresented
  • An important platform for discussions, knowledge sharing and education opportunities
  • Drive key events, activities and initiatives to progress the DEI agenda

We then opened up a general discussion and some of the key points that were shared included:

  • The distinction between small and large organisations, and especially how smaller organisations can take ERG's forward
  • Recognition that progress can be slow to start, but important to give the space to allow the groups to progress and flourish
  • The value that ERG's bring to an organisation by reviewing key policies and supporting other functions across the business eg Talent Acquisition in their drive to increase the hiring of under-represented talent

We then concluded the discussion with our view on how you best set up ERGs for success:

  • Agree time allocation for ERG Leads to spend on their ERG roles alongside their core roles and seek support from Managers
  • Agreed tenure in role - providing opportunities for other colleagues to take these roles forward after an agreed period in role
  • Executive sponsorship and alignment to ERGs is critical
  • ERG Lead roles are an excellent development opportunity and therefore it's important to provide learning and development support
  • Clarity on roles and responsibilities and overall DEI governance is imperative
  • Make use of company recognition offerings to ensure that ERG teams and leads are being recognised for their work in supporting and driving the organisation's inclusive culture

There was overall consensus on the importance of the role of ERGs in supporting an organisation's inclusive culture.  I would love to hear other views if you agree or have different perspectives around this subject.


diversity equity inclusion