Diversity and Inclusion: Why Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are important in an organization

Diversity and inclusion is about having passion for change.  Diversity is designed to make a difference.

What is diversity?  

Diversity means respect for and appreciation of differences in ethnicity, gender, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, education, and religion.  

What is inclusion?  

Inclusion is a state of being valued, respected and supported. It’s about focusing on the needs of every individual and ensuring the right conditions are in place for each person to achieve their full potential.

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are employee-led groups that are designed around creating common interests, issues and backgrounds amongst employees of every walk of life within an organization.  ERGs allow employees an opportunity to engage with their colleagues around causes they support and really tap into the heart of the organization. It’s about fostering an inclusive and diverse environment where innovation drives results.  Employees want to feel as if they are a part of a team.  They want to feel welcomed and appreciated.  These ERGs allow employees an opportunity for professional development and networking.  Plain and simple, ERGs are about fostering an inclusive workplace. Organizations which tie diversity and inclusion to their business strategy increase performance, productivity and customer satisfaction.  ERG contribute to an organization’s mission, values and efforts specific to inclusion, such as recruitment and retention. In an effort to embrace diversity and inclusion, organizational leaders and members need to be open to change and contribute to a strong sense of ONE community.

Supporting diversity and inclusion efforts is a step in obtaining a flexible mindset and becoming a champion of change.

Organizations can foster these efforts through a number of activities to include:

  • Workshops on personal branding.
  • Networking events such as happy hours, coffee talks.
  • Factory tours for organizations with manufacturing sites.
  • Lunch and learn on topics such as diversity and career development.
  • Learn the business seminars.
  • Professional development sessions.
  • Celebration at annual parades or walks.
  • Global events such as International Women’s Day.
  • Roundtables with other ERG groups.
  • Connecting through communication postings.
  • Vision board parties.
  • Volunteer events.
  • Empower hours.

Remember…….Diversity and inclusion should become an important part of an organization’s growth, strength and ability to innovate.  It should be a part of an organization’s DNA.Posted in Diversity