Are ERGs Passé? Deloitte Phasing Them Out for Inclusion Councils

Is it time to get rid of diversity resource groups—also known as employee resource groups (ERGs)? Deloitte, a New York-based financial advisory firm, thinks so. It announced this week that it is phasing out its diversity groups in favor of "inclusion councils," Bloomberg reported.

These voluntary, employee-led groups have long been touted as a way for employers to foster a diverse, inclusive workplace. ERGs have not only focused on women and racial and ethnic minority groups but also veterans, young professionals, and lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender community members.

Deloitte Has Decided Diversity Groups for Minority Employees Are a Relic of the Past  

Over the next 18 months, the accounting and consulting firm will phase out  the Women's Initiative (WIN) and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) group Globe, as well as other groups, and replace them with "inclusion councils" where all employees are welcome. It's primarily an attempt to bring the majority—white men—into the conversation.

The Do's and the Don'ts: A Simple Guide for Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) or Employee Inclusion Groups (EIGs)

If ERGs are not implemented properly, employees—with the best of intent—can create "superficial safe spaces" in which diversity and inclusion are celebrated through the lens of food, fun, and festivities. This practice can build a "cover" that overshadows deeper issues of inequity that exist in your company's policies and practices. Consider this list of do's and don'ts when creating an ERG strategy for your organization.

Online Representations of Employee Resource Groups Inhibit Employee Engagement: A Critical/Cultural Analysis of Corporate Websites

More attention should be paid to employee needs rather than the corporate image, according to researchers at Boston University. They studied 61 online representations of employee resource groups. The findings, they said, point to the need for further investigation of how corporate image might supersede professional development efforts that corporations provide for individual employees.

D&I and Beyond: The Value of Employee Resource Groups

Employee resource groups can boost an organization's diversity and inclusion effort, but they also can help an organization identify future leaders, target gaps in skills and talent, and boost employee engagement, according to this webcast.

Employee Resource Groups: A Research Report

Approximately 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies have employee resource groups (ERGs) and an average of 8.5 percent of employees in U.S.-based companies belong to ERGs, according to this overview from Bentley University in Waltham, Mass. Generation X workers—those in their later 30s and early 40s—were the least interested in participating in such groups, with less than 20 percent of workers between the ages of 35 and 44 expressing interest in joining an ERG.

 

By Kathy Gurchiek

Source: shrm.org